Tuesday, May 31, 2022

DC Trip Day 4

Our last full day in DC we were again up early. This morning for a good reason, we were meeting up with Lily's classmates on their tour. They were scheduled to be at the Arlington National Cemetery so we took the metro over to meet them and tour with their guide.
Lily, Harper, Ellie, Colton B and Angel.

Their tour guide was providing a walking tour through the cemetery which is HUGE and it was 95 degrees out with humidity!  Never mind there is a shuttle you can pay to get you around the cemetery. We walked up to the huge top of the hill for a great view of DC below.
The kids were trying their best to listen to the guide, it was just so hot. She did admit she often has a student faint on her tours!
We got to go in Robert E Lee house at the top of the cemetery. 

There was the change of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier which is very famous.

By this point we were about two hours into the tour in the heat with no end in sight. I had reached the Assembly woman's office about the  Capitol Building tour and was able to get it rescheduled for noon that day. So Lily and I broke off from her school group and headed on the Metro back into the city.
We made it just in time to get a personal tour of the Capitol Building which had been closed to tours due to Covid and due to the Jan 6th attack on the Capitol. You know, the one where Trump told his crazy armed mob to storm the Capitol and stop the Vice President from validating the count to elect Biden as President!!!

The building is amazing and so full of history. The original Supreme Court was a room in the Capitol Building so that very room is where the original Justices made so many decisions,

One thing we learned in DC and NY is the architecture design really LOVED a good rotunda!!

We even got to look in at the old representatives floor where they used to meet and make decisions and pass laws. The current rooms of the Senate and House are not open to visitors. 
There is a memorial to the people who died on 9/11 on the flight that crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. Many believe that plane was intended for the White house or Capitol building and those brave passengers stopped it from making it here. 
Straight from the Capitol Tour we needed to get to the Washington Monument for our tickets to go up to the TOP! It was an amazing view and not for those who are afraid of heights or small spaces. 

We needed a rest after all that racing around. We found a bench in the shade and Lily had a Boba drink to refresh. We had a couple more hours to fill but needed to find some air conditioning. 
The easy choice was back to the Natural History Museum since we didn't have time to see it all yesterday. Never mind that I wanted to go see the Museum of American History. Alas, next time. 
The gem section really was fantastic and worth seeing.  We even got to see the Hope Diamond. 
A devils postpile.
It was finally time to get some dinner. We tried another Jose Andres restaurant, a Tapas one called Jaleo. It was really good too, although I think Mediterranean won our hearts. 
Off to bed again for am early start to head to New York City!

Monday, May 30, 2022

DC Trip Day 3

Our next morning we had a game plan and were ready for another day of walking. We started most mornings with a Starbucks run. 

I had secured tickets to the newest Smithsonian museum, The African American Museum of History. It was phenomenal. I will really need to go back again to have more time to take it all in. 
Beautiful artwork honoring Harriet Tubman made out of quilts. A painting of Breonna Taylor whose senseless death has still gone unpunished.
The whole bottom floor is a timeline of African American history as they arrived in America on slave ships and fought long and hard through extreme injustices.

At the end of the bottom floor you arrive at the reflection fountain that flows from up above on ground level. 
After the African American Museum we made our way up toward the Capitol building for a tour. We had just enough time to pop into the Library of Congress. Lily had been very excited to go since it holds the largest collection of books in the WORLD. Because it was Memorial Day they were allowing visitors in to the reading room which is usually by appointment only. 
The Architecture is stunning. You could appreciate the building for that alone. 

Lily ventured into the reading room and was very impressed.

The building is so amazing. 
The Capitol is right across the street. This is from the back side. We were due to have a tour through our local representatives office. Sadly there was a mix up due to the holiday and they did not show up. 
We made our way over to the Supreme Court instead. You cannot enter and it is blocked off by huge fences now due to the Supreme Court leak and ruling on repealing Roe vs Wade. We are highly disappointed.

We managed a few shots through the fence and hope that we will return in the future and be able to tour inside and have our nations politics turned in a better direction. 

By now we were melting. We found a vendor and got a cool treat which melted faster than we could eat it. 
We still had just enough time in the day to stop in and see Lily's top choice for Smithsonian museums. The Natural History Museum. We were greeted by the famous statue from Easter Island, which Lily promptly informed me had been stolen and should really be returned.
They also have an amazing Gem collection which was high on her list. 

Lily was in HEAVEN with all the taxidermy animals. 
After about an hour it was closing but that was ok, We planned to return again another day. We had dinner reservations at Jose Andras restaurant Zaytinya. It is Mediterranean food and easily the best meal we had on our trip. 
It also just so happened to be across the street from the National Portrait Gallery Smithsonian museum. They stay open later than the Natural History so we had time to look through for about 40 minutes. 
They have all the official Presidential Portraits Sadly the Obama portraits were out on tour but we saw some really famous ones. 
Lily has a thing for old Honest Abe.
I was a million times thrilled to find my ladies there. The women of the Supreme Court, missing the newest Katanji Brown Jackson, and also missing the other lady who is so evil we will not utter her name. 
It was a really long hot day so we headed back to the hotel to rest while Lily watched the movie National Treasure in bed.