Thursday, March 13, 2008

Arlington and Mt. Vernon

I am back home now, so I can upload a few pictures! :)

I made it to Arlington Cemetery Wednesday morning, following groups of tourists once inside, because the map they provided of the area was not the greatest thing ever. In fact, I walked right by the JFK grave, which is near the entrance. I was following some group thinking they were going that way, but we ended up at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Which actually proved to be good timing, because I got to watch the Changing of the Guard. Hey, if I missed it at Buckingham Palace when I was in London, at least I got to see it here. :)

Visited the memorials to the Challenger and Columbia shuttles, then saw the Tomb of 2,111 Unknown Civil War soldiers, and the Robert E. Lee house before making my way to the JFK grave.

Paid my respects then headed for the exit. It was another long walk back to the Metro.

From there I decided not to go back to the Mall; my feet had had enough. I visited a cathedral that was close to our hotel, and got there in time for a 12:10 Mass, so that was nice. Then relaxed at the hotel for a bit until Tanya showed up.

That evening (late afternoon, actually) we headed back to the Mall so she could check out the Gallery of Art and she wanted to see the National Archives that wasn't the researcher side. She hadn't seen the documents since she was just a kid. So we did that and we got to see the Magna Carta which had just gone on display there that day. Cool. Then I waited while she went around the Rotunda since I had just done it yesterday. Then we went and had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. I got the Twisted Mac and Cheese, which was just to die for. Then took a picture of the Ford's Theatre (where Lincoln was shot), which was right next door. It was closed for renovation so we couldn't go in. Oh well.

Went to bed early that night so we could get ready for our big day the next day at...

...Mt. Vernon! I think this was the most fascinating part of the whole trip. I loved touring that old house. We couldn't take photographs inside though. Got to visit George Washington's tomb.

Martha is on the left; George is on the right.

We also did the "National Treasure" tour, because apparently part of the second movie was filmed at Mt. Vernon (I never saw it). Tanya was super excited about it though, and we got to see parts of the tour that you can't see with regular admission, such as the basement, the icehouse, and the riverwalk down the hill from the house:

Definitely worth it.

After our little visit to Mt. Vernon we had to catch a bus, subway, and plane back home... so now here I am. I am working on posting the rest of my pictures to the Open Seas Photoblogue, and will announce when they are done, so check back in a little bit! I'm hoping to have them done in a few days.

All in all a good experience. And the blisters will heal. :)

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