Chris and I spent Labor Day weekend in Washington D.C. My brother Sean and his wife Bonny flew into Dulles Airport Friday night to tour the city with us, and Chris booked a very mod hotel - somewhat Austin Powerish. We formulated an action plan to hit all the major sights and were, in the end, happy how much we accomplished. I can't say that our weekend was relaxing, but that didn't matter since the sun was shining!
We started Saturday at the Smithsonian Castle and then moved to the Air and Space Museum.
In the background is The Spirit of St. Louis, the plane Charles Lindbergh flew solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
Chris and Sean are standing in front of a Russian surface-to-surface missile, nearly 16.5 meters tall.
The National Museum of American History was closed for renovations; however, in the interim, the Air and Space Museum played host to a small exhibit of artifacts, including Abraham Lincoln's top hat, Dorothy's slippers, Thomas Jefferson's Bible, etc. I had to take a picture with Rosie the Riveter since my father bought me a copy of the famous poster when I was a little girl.
We toured a couple art museums and walked to the Capitol and White House on Saturday. Sunday, we paced through Arlington Cemetery to JFK's grave, The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Marine Memorial to Iwo Jima. Next, we toured the Mall: Jefferson's Monument, Lincoln's Monument, The Korean War Memorial and the World War II Memorial. Chris snapped my picture next to the Minnesota pillar at the WWII Memorial for my grandfather who fought in the Philippines.
I previously visited Washington D.C. as a seven-year old on family vacation. My parents drove our blue minivan from Minnesota, and I remember most vividly feeling utterly exhausted from walking to the monuments, swimming in the hotel swimming pool and seeing the Spirit of St. Louis. I have no memory of viewing the Vietnam Memorial, which perhaps made strolling along the glossy, black wall more powerful as an adult. The names engraved on the wall seemed to crescendo, and I was surprised to see our reflections bouncing back as we stooped to read the letters and mementos.
Before we dropped Sean and Bonny at the airport Monday, we toured the National Archives, the building behind us in the picture below. Housed within the building's rotunda are the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, along with other precious documents.