just sayin' ... week 3 on the road
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Sunday, April 24
Hooked up with the kids to drive through DC and ended up at the Great Falls where we walked to the waterfalls and oooohed and aaaahed. I love waterfalls … they fill your soul if you let them. The water moving slowly, following its path until it erupts into its roar of strength moving what it can in its path. This seemingly calm fluid that can move boulders, etch its existence into stone provides life to everything on earth. We rode a barge pulled by mules Dolly and Eva down a canal made to run along side of the Potomac River to transport goods between the small communities and was meant to go all the way to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The canal took 22 years to make and was a financial disappointment … the railroad took over. The railroad system actually saved the canal for a while with barges transporting coal needed by the trains … but alas the railroad could transport more … more people, more goods. We ate our picnic lunch and then feed Dolly and Eva our carrots.
We then drove to Georgetown … a quaint little college town. There were people and cars everywhere! Parking was a disaster. So Jessica and I got out of the car while the guys drove around the block and we walked over to the Old Stone House … the oldest structure still in existence in the area. It has been turned into a curio shop and tiny museum. We took a couple of pictures and then the guys came back and got us. We fought through the traffic and skedaddled.
Monday, April 25
David and I spent the day together. We rode the Metro in and walked to Ford’s Theater and the house that Lincoln died in 8-9 hours after being shot. There was an hour long wait to tour the inside of both. David chatted with the Ranger and they swapped history knowledge while I watched. After that show of “who knew more”, David decided we didn’t need to see the inside of either because he came out the victor.
We walked on to the National Art Gallery-West Building where we spent the rest of the day. We saw the only known Leonardo da Vinci painting in North America. We saw Picasso, van Gogh, Renoir, Rembrandt, Toulouse-Lautrec and so many others. Marble statues that I swear were so life-like they could speak. We saw a breath taking wall relief of The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Shaw Memorial. I thought we would stay until they threw us out and we didn’t see everything.
Tuesday, April 26
We met up with Jacob and went to Arlington National Cemetery. We first went to the War Memorial which many know as the Iwo Jima Statue. This bigger than life remembrance shows the men’s emotions of determination as they raise our flag. Arlington National Cemetery is overwhelming … grave sites upon grave sites dating back to the Civil War. We toured General Lee's House which sits atop a hill over looking DC. The Union army took over General Lee’s home displacing his family. Because of Lee’s former friend Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs northern soldiers were buried in Mrs Lee’s rose garden. This continued through out Lee’s property to ensure the family never took back their home. Now it is the Arlington National Cemetery we know today.
We saw John F Kennedy’s grave and Eternal Flame along with Jaqueline’s grave and their two children … Patrick and daughter who was still born. Joseph, Robert and Teddy are buried near by with very simple markers.
The Unknown Soldier changing of the guard was very emotional and done with such dignity and pride. The only sound heard was the soldier’s heel taps as they walked their watch.
We did our best to get to Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Island. We could see it, wave at it and circle by again and again … but never made it to the actual parking area and onto the island.
Wednesday, April 27
Got a hot breakfast and then joined the other commuters on the Metro. We got to the meet up place before the kids so we scoped out a bathroom. We found out the kids were being dropped off by their friend and were caught in traffic so we made our way to the FBI building. After setting off all the detectors with my knees, we finally got through the first security point. Then we got to the second one to be told that we were not on the list and to wait until the rest of our party showed up. The kids showed up and we got in line again … this time we had all been put on the list after running our back ground histories for probably the third time. Tons of information and historical artifacts … with real case information and photos.
We then hoofed it to the State Capitol area to grab some lunch … salad for me … burgers or hot dogs for everyone else. We then went to the Capitol for our tour with Sophie who was the Colorado representative. We weaved in and out of rooms, the rotunda, and more rooms. Saw paintings and statues honoring those that have come before us … the oldest known bust of George Washington … reflections of Robert E Lee, Rosa Parks, Sam Houston, Helen Keller as a child, Chief Washakie, Stephen Austin, Winnemucca, Sakakawea, Winston Churchill and John “Jack” Swigert, Jr Apollo XIII astronaut from Colorado to name a few. We saw the room used for the Senate in the beginning years with some of the original furniture.
We then saw the Senate in action with a representative from Rhode Island pleading his case against land and businesses being operated and owned in America by fake corporations that were actually owned by drug dealers, terrorists and foreign countries like Iran.
The House of Representatives was a real eye opener with what seemed to be total chaos with delegates talking and milling around not appearing to pay any attention to the Speaker of the House as he asked the group questions after they had voted on an amendment to water rights in California. Wow … how does the government get anything done????
Thursday, April 28
The National Archives was wonderful with the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and Constitution. Right there in front of us … we saw the signatures of those who had set forth the foundation of our country. Right or wrong … they did the best they could for the times.
The Supreme Court building was a vision of President Taft’s. This building is massive in its decorum and you feel minimalized by its size and the cases that have been decided here. We found two entries of people in the Supreme Court Bar administration log book from October 7, 1935 with our last name. The Supreme Court building was built under budget and on time. WOW!!!
The Library of Congress was grand and opulent … you felt like you were in a palace. The stunning art of the walls, statues and craftsmanship is awe striking. This along with all the history that is stored here. The Thomas Jefferson’s Library is almost not to be believed. The volumes of literature, novels, history, technical editions, philosophy, books in different languages, poetry and love stories all within view. You wanted to curl up in a sunlight corner and read until your hearts content. Unfortunately, hundreds were lost to a fire.
Friday, April 29
Another day on our own. We went back to the National Mall to see World War II Memorial which was very impressive with reliefs of men and woman during the war. Large peace doves were at each end of the memorial under domes with a large pool and water fountains in the middle. Each state was represented with a column and a wreath. You could see the Lincoln Monument as well as the Reflecting Pool in the short distance.
We found the John Paul Jones Statue … a hero of David’s … and then headed to the National Museum of American History. The Star Spangled Banner was wonderful. Mary Young Pickersgill a flag maker was paid a mere $400 to make the flag that was so large that she had to move from her home to the brewery across the street to complete it. What a shame that there was so much damage to it by people being allowed to cut from it so they would have a piece of it as keep sakes. One of the fifteen stars and a big piece of the red and white stripes was cut out almost in the center of the flag as a memento. The stars were reverse appliqued. The flag was actually stored at Shenandoah Valley in a nap sack for many years. Colonel Armistead took possession of the flag after the battle at Fort McHenry and it was handed down to family members for almost a hundred years when it was given to the Smithsonian.
They had a small display of some First Ladies’ gowns worn at their husband’s inaugural ball. A few had tiny, tiny waist … but most were normal woman. They had a sketch of each First Lady and a little bit of information of each which include their age when they became First Lady. Several were a mere 20 years old.
Saturday, April 30
The g-kids spent the night last night and today did chores and got our laundry done along with picking up the trailer. We watched How to Train Your Dragon and then played at the RV park playground. We allllll took naps and then we walked to the bay. Hot suppers and it was bed time.