Monday, May 28, 2012

all aboard to...DC

This past week we made a quick, spontaneous decision to take the train into DC for Memorial Day weekend.  We are not quick decision maybe I should restate that.  MY honey is not a quick, spontaneous, on the fly decision maker.  I'm a go anywhere, do anything kinda gal.  Thank heavens he keeps my feet on the ground.  Needless to say we balance we each other out beautifully.

So this trip was unplanned and sometimes those are the best little surprises.   DC has been on our to-do list since moving here almost a year ago.  How can you live so close to such an amazing city and not take full advantage of it right?!

We decided instead of messing with traffic and the stress that goes along with driving that we would take the train.  BEST decision ever.  None of us had ever taken a long train ride before.  It was so easy.  You don't have to check luggage.  You don't have to go through security or wait forever.  You just get on, find a roomy seat, sit back and relax.  You can plug in your phone, iPad whatever and stay connected.  It's definitely the way to go.

My sweet traveling buddy:)

It was also a wonderful way to take in the country side.  Virginia is beautiful.  Lush and historic.  It made for a peaceful ride.

Once we got there the wow factor started right away.  This is Union Station.  The architecture was so beautiful. 

It amazes me the attention to detail that went into every little thing.  If you love detail you would love DC.

Oh the feeling of finally getting to the room.  Of setting down the luggage and taking your shoes off.  A home away from home. 

We set our stuff down for just a second and then took off. We couldn't wait to explore.  It was weird walking the streets...seeing the history everywhere.  We see it on TV all the time, but to be there in person was surreal.

The first night we walked by the Capitol, took in the Natural History Museum, and the National Archives.  The archives were my favorite.  They usher you into a dark room and you stand in line waiting your turn to see the Bill of Rights, Constitution and Declaration of Independence.  Uh can you say AMAZING!!  There was a poor guy who whipped out his camera to take a picture and the security lady made an example of him and had him escorted out of the building.  I was so glad I didn't make that mistake.  Talk about being mortified.

To stand over those faded documents and make out the signatures of Ben Franklin, James Madison and George Washington was goose bump worthy.  The only thing that would trump that experience would be to visit the Holy Land and stand where Jesus stood.  See the grave he arose from...the hill he was crucified on.  That would be amazing.

This was the sculpture garden right in front of the National Archives building.  It was SO crowded.  They had some kind of jazz concert going on and throngs of people were standing around and laying on blankets.  I didn't get it really.  It was super hot and muggy and to go to the park and sit on the grass just didn't sound fun to me.  I'm not a city girl at all though.  People...lots of people annoy me.  I need space.

The next day we went to the Ford Theatre.  It's the place Lincoln was shot in the back of the head.  Out of all the presidents Abraham Lincoln was my very favorite.  Visiting the actual theatre and seeing right where he was on that night was powerful.  The girls thought so too.

We finally made it to the White House.  You kind of picture this moment as being special.  But in actuality we were dripping with sweat.  It was close to 90 degrees and HUMID, nothing but concrete to walk on and we had been walking a long long way.  The girls were grouchy.  I was on my period because anytime we ever have anything important...any kind of vacation...I'm always on my period;)  And it's time to take the pic.  Little Chick is acting out.  She won't get in the picture, and all of a sudden I feel spit on my shoulder.  Next thing you know I lash out and pinch her on the bottom.  She runs off pouting and that's our White House memory.  There you have it.  Finally after some tears, apologies and calming down we got this shot.  Welcome to vacation.

After the White House debacle we got some ice cream.  Ice cream just makes everything better doesn't it?  We made the LONG trek to the Lincoln Memorial. 

Out of all the sights this is the one I've been looking forward to my entire life.  It was powerful.  Walking those steps.  Standing small by that giant statue of a man who made such a difference in our Nation's history.  I felt small and insignificant...but inspired.  These people who care...really care for something.  Who stood for freedom and liberty and for right.  Those soldiers who gave it all up to protect and defend our nation.  They deserve our utmost respect.  They deserve to be honored.  I am so proud to be an American.  I don't always agree with how our country is ran,  how things are accomplished, but I am forever grateful for our Founding Fathers who came in search of freedom and for all the men and women who have died and lived to protect that freedom.  Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

Have a blessed day. 

598.  DC under our belts
599.  our soldiers...the sacrifices made
600.  freedom
601.  memories with my family...good and bad
602.  the luxury of a train ride 
603.  Godly leaders

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