Washington, DC, Days 4-6: A vacation story, part 2

Part 1, in case you missed it…

Day Four, Thursday 6/17:
On a sunny, hot, and breezy Thursday morning – duh, it’s Washington DC in June, but I will say it was slightly less muggy than usual – we hopped aboard the Tourmobile bus to make the rounds of some of the city’s famous Presidential and war memorials. Seeing these places in person, when I’ve seen them in photos and on screens so many, many times, was just a little surreal – it’s probably not unlike the way visitors to LA and Hollywood are affected by the “movie sights” they see when they come here.

Our first stop turned out to be my favorite – the Jefferson Memorial. It’s less traveled than some of the others.

Our next stop was the newest and largest Presidential memorial, covering seven acres and dedicated to the only four-term President, Franklin D. Roosevelt. I didn’t get too many photos since my camera was acting up, but Eleanor Roosevelt says hello:

The Lincoln Memorial is an inspiring place, and the statue of Abraham Lincoln is one of the finest sculptures I have ever seen – photos don’t do it justice.

The Supreme Court

Mom-in-law and the kids waited while Tall Paul and I visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Even in the midday sunshine, the Wall is a somber and sobering place.

We headed back to the Washington Monument on the Tourmobile and found a cab from there back to the hotel for the kids and their grandma. Meanwhile, Tall Paul and I got back on the Metro and rode to Capitol Hill – we wanted to scout the route to the Library of Congress, where we were going the next morning. After that, we decided to take a trip to Union Station. Our Amtrak train to New York City would be departing from there on Sunday morning, and we thought it would be a good idea to figure out in advance how that was going to work.

Days Five and Six, Friday 6/18-Saturday 6/19:
We returned to the Library of Congress in the morning – and this time we went inside! Aside from the fact that it’s a temple of
books, the LoC is one of the most beautiful buildings I visited in Washington. If you go with kids, be sure to visit the Young Readers center on the ground floor. My husband was especially interested in the new political-humor exhibit, Hope for America, featuring one of his personal heroes, Bob Hope.

Our afternoon outing was also a re-visit, as we returned to the National Gallery of Art. My husband, whose degree is in Fine Arts and Illustration, was in his element explaining different art techniques to his kids – and providing irreverent commentary about some of the works we were seeing. However, he was anything but irreverent when he had the chance to view his first Vermeer outside of a textbook – and it was his favorite work by the Dutch painter, “Woman Holding a Balance.”

Saturday, our last full day in the capital, was a day for seeing people rather than sights, and was also the day of my only bookstore outing of the trip. We met my son Chris for brunch – our last meal with him during our visit – and then he walked me up to Dupont Circle, where I was having a book-blogger meet-up with Serena and Anna. While waiting for them, I dropped in at local indie bookstore Kramerbooks/Afterwords and picked up a few things. Serena has already posted about our fun lunch, and I had a great time hanging out with her and Anna!

There’s so much to see in our nation’s capital that Tall Paul and I are already talking about our next visit…but perhaps in the spring or fall, when it’s a little less hot and humid and our California-acclimated bodies are better suited to the weather.

The next installment of our story moves on to New York City – where I didn’t meet any bloggers, but I had the chance to introduce my new family to some of my extended family, and an unexpected visit with a long-time-not-seen friend!

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