Saturday, June 6, 2015

Two Days of Seeing the Sights

We've done quite a bit in the last few days. Thursday morning we headed to the Jefferson Memorial. We parked in a free parking area, and walked along the Potomac River to the Memorial. Evidently Washington, D.C., has had a lot of rain, because park benches along what used to be the banks of the river are now halfway covered with water.

Statue of Thomas Jefferson

This picture of the Washington Monument was taken from the top of the steps of the Jefferson Memorial.
 After the Jefferson Memorial, we drove to Mount Vernon to tour George Washington's beautiful home. The backyard faces the Potomac River, and the whole estate is about 500 acres.

Before the tour started, we watched a short movie about President Washington. What a remarkable, Divinely guided man he was! We've heard a story about an Indian Chief who fought against Washington in the French and Indian War. He said that the future president was protected by the Great Spirit, because his men couldn't kill him. The Indian Chief said he fired 17 bullets at Washington, and none of them touched him. Washington had two horses shot out from under him and four bullet holes in his coat, yet he himself was untouched by a bullet, bayonet, tomahawk, or arrow. Many victims had fallen beside him, yet he was unharmed.

After the movie, we walked to President Washington's home, which was gorgeous inside and most of it was original to the house. No pictures were allowed in the home, but below are some pictures taken from the grounds, which was a beautiful setting for such a majestic home. There were a couple of very old, very big trees, one that was from early 1800's and one from the 1700's, according to the plaques on the trees.

Front of Mount Vernon
View from the back porch
After that tour, we went to dinner at our new favorite restaurant in Virgina: Guapos. We both had steak nachos - so yummy!

We decided Friday morning to go visit the Smithsonians, and we also decided that we'd park in the same free parking area in which we parked the day before and walk. Did you know that the Smithsonians are quite a distance down Jefferson Drive from the Jefferson Memorial? It was humid and muggy, but we were convinced we could do it, so off we went.

Our first stop was the Holocaust Museum - very sobering, very sad, but a much needed reminder of what has happened in the past. 

Holocaust Museum. We didn't take pictures of the inside displays.
We stopped in at the Smithsonian Art Museum and then headed to the Smithsonian Castle. The Smithsonian Institution was established with funds from James Smithson, a British scientist who left his estate to the United States.

Ceiling inside the Smithsonian Castle

James Smithson's crypt where his ashes are kept
Then we headed farther up Jefferson Drive to the National Air and Space Museum. Below are pictures of a few of the displays.

The Spirit of St. Louis

The Wright Brothers and the Invention of the Aerial Age

By the time we finished this museum, we were tired and ready to head back to the hotel. We had already walked five or six miles in high humidity with our arthritic joints, but we had to get back to the car, so off we went. And then this life saver showed up:

We can't say that riding on a cart pulled by a bike was on our bucket list, but we went ahead and added it to our bucket list just so we could cross it off. He uses hand signals and a whistle to maneuver through traffic, and he's pretty fast as well as very nice! We sure meet interesting people when we travel!

That takes us up through yesterday. 

There's more to come...