Monday, April 5, 2010


This day started with our regular mile and a half walk to the Metro station. This path starts just across the street from our motor home and winds down a hill through what is typical of the forest around us. It's hard to imagine we are in the urban area of Washington D.C.

After exiting from underground through the L'Enfant Plaza, we walked across a bridge over the Washington Channel into East Patomac Park and headed for the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. This day was the prime cherry blossom bloom of all the days we were here. The next day they started dropping because it has been in the 70s and clear skies for 4 days.

After viewing the Jefferson Monument we continued on the path around the Tidal Basin and stopped to take in the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. Here we found an empty bench and stopped for our first snack of the day. Marlene usually packs apples, nuts, water, and a couple of sandwiches before we start out. We stop 2 or 3 times each day and eat small snacks to keep us going.

From the FDR Memorial we continued on past the World War II Memorial and Rainbow pond and then to the Korean War Veteran's Memorial pictured here on the Left.

The Lincoln Memorial comes into view from the Korean War site.

Not only was it peak blossom time, it turns out this day was a record breaking visitor day for blossom viewing. I don't know how they count these things, but I do know it was so crowded on the Tidal Basin Path that sometimes walking traffic came to a complete stop. The same was true for crowds at the Memorials.

The interior of Lincoln's Memorial is cool and was a refreshing pause from the sun and temperatures outside.

Back on the steps we could see the Washington Monument waiting for us.

The Vietnam Veteran's Memorial is a short walk from Lincoln's. With the crowds, it was hard to capture the feeling of solemn respect that this monument deserves.

It was quieter by the Vietnam Women's Memorial so we stopped here for another rest and snack.

We continued walking past the Washington Monument, stopping at the base and checking to see if there were any openings for tickets to go to the top. We had checked on line before we left Oregon to see if we could get a ticket. The earliest next spot was June 15th so we decided to take our chances. No luck! The ticket window opens at 8:30 a.m. and they suggest you get there 2 hours before in order to insure a ticket for the same day.

All of the museums have cafes and coffee shops somewhere in them. The food looks fairly good although we haven't tried any yet. After a pick me up cup of coffee in the Museum of American History, we headed for the Old Post Office Tower. This is another free public site. In the old post office you can take an elevator to the third highest point in Washington D.C. From here you get a clear view of all the surrounding sites. This is a view down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol.

Between the post office and our Metro stop was the National Portrait Gallery. We still had some energy and the museum is open until 7:30 p.m. so we checked it out. In one of the gallery was a display of current portraits done by an artist from Iowa. A woman was standing in front of one of the portraits and a man who looked to be her father was taking her picture. This was a sight I couldn't have planned, a real live person in front of her own portrait, so I snapped a picture myself. (The father and I were soon reprimanded and told, no photos were allowed). In this gallery are the portraits of all the presidents. Each president, those able to, selects the portrait they wish to have displayed here. In the White House there is also a Presidential Portrait of each one. The president's portraits here were all in very presidential settings, poses, or attire, with two exceptions. Bill Clinton's was a giant abstract approximately 8 x 12 feet covering one whole wall. George Bush's showed him in shirt sleeves and no tie with that funny little smile that seemed to communicate, "look what I got". I found myself wondering what will people think when they see this a hundred years from now. The metro was crowded when we finally boarded to go home so we had to stand for several stops. We were in the last car at the very end so I got this unusual shot of the tracks behind us.

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