Day two we got up and checked out of the hotel. We lugged our suitcases back to the car and headed off to do a few more site-seeing things. On the agenda for the day:
Get tickets to go into the Washington Monument (check)
Eat breakfast/brunch (check)
Get a picture of the White House (check)
Visit the Holocaust Museum (check)
Do a cartwheel on the White House Lawn (semi-check)
Go up into the Washington Monument (check)
Visit the Air & Space Museum (fail)
The ticket office for the Washington Monument opened at 9am so by the time we checked out and walked the 2 miles there we were able to get tickets, no problem. Picked 2:00 as our tour hour and headed off to find some breakfast.
We thought we’d go to this breakfast buffet place we saw along our walk and decided to swing by the White House on the way there. We finally found the place with the “best” view, seeing as there are military and secret service guys blocking the roads leading up to White House. The pic below was the best we could get. Don’t you just love the rusty barricades in the foreground? Brian pondered how far he could run up to the White House before being stopped. Then he wondered if they would actually shoot him or would they just subdue him and arrest him? I was pretty sure they would shoot first and ask questions later…if he was still alive to be questioned. Oh, and I think we saw Malia peeking through one of the upstairs windows. I don’t know, I guess it could have been Sasha…we were pretty far away :).
So, on to breakfast we went. We decided not to go to the buffet and found a Bruegger’s instead.
After breakfast we headed to the Holocaust Museum. No photographs allowed, so, sorry, just a wordy description. It was by far the highlight of the trip. The museum was fascinating, heart-wrenching, shocking, infuriating, informative and so many other descriptive words. We spent over 3 hours making our way through the building. Other than the enormous crowd of middle-schoolers there on a field trip it was an incredible visit. The Holocaust has always fascinated me and to read about the events leading up to it and the devastation during and after the war was a large dose of reality to swallow. I think the most intriguing aspect was the astounding swiftness of the rise of the Hitler and the Nazi party. To think that a country can experience such a dramatic swing in political power in such a short amount of time is frightening. Also, there was a room called voices from the past (or something like that) where you can listen to actual survivors describe their experience in the concentration camp. The most gut-wrenching portion of the museum were the looped videos of the ally troops coming into the camps and finding survivors wasted away to the point of almost nothing and also the numerous people that had been killed. I could only watch that for so long before my heart felt too heavy to do so anymore.
We would have lingered longer in the museum but we had a 2:00 appointment with the Washington Monument. Oh, and if you couldn’t tell from the above pictures…there weren’t no chance we were getting a picture of me doing a cartwheel on the White House lawn. So, we settled for cartwheels on the Washington Monument lawn. It’s almost as cool. Almost. My favorite part…Brian looking like he’s diving into the ground. I was impressed with his cartwheels…and the funniest part was he was convinced his legs were straight the whole time :).
So, it was cool going up into the monument. At the top you can see out over Washington in all 4 directions. I think my favorite part was in front of each window was a picture of what DC looked like in like 1910, 19xx (30’s? 50’s? 80’s? I can’t remember ) and you could see how much things had changed over the course of time. Oh, and you can see they’re working on the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial. It definitely made things a bit uglier. Wish some of the trees had been in bloom, but this was February, so I guess you can’t always get what you want :).
Annnnd, the following are pictures I didn’t put on the first day, but wanted to include on the blog. So here you go.
After a full day we headed out of dodge…and crashed at our friends’ (G & Mary) house. It was a fun, random trip. But we agreed that it’s ok if we don’t make it back to downtown DC for a while. I think the only thing we missed getting to see was the Air & Space museum. That would have been fun.