Tuesday 28 May – Well we have a sunny day with a high of 26 Celsius and we are headed to Washington. It only took about 1 1/2 hours from Gettysburg to Cherry Hill Campground in Washington. It’s about 70$ a night, full hookup and we had a basic site. Trees all around our site, a nice gravel drive and a seating area. This is a beautiful park, probably one of the nicest we have ever stayed in.
After we set up, we went to Arlington Cemetery, it was $2 an hour to park. We took a trolley tour which was 15$ each, but you can go around the cemetery as often as you like. We went around twice as we didn’t think we saw everything the first time. We stopped at the Tomb of Unknown Soldier and watched the Changing of the Guard. It is so hot today. The Amphitheatre and Arlington House was closed for construction for one more year. So we walked over to the Women’s Memorial Museum, quite interesting. We also learned that only two Presidents are buried in this cemetery, Taft and JFK, also a couple of astronauts. Beautiful place.
We left and drove to the Iwo Jima Memorial. Free parking, went past the road to get there twice and nailed it the third time. Confusing place to get into, even with a GPS. The Iwo Jima Statue is beautiful. It’s the first photo on this Blog post.
To get downtown Washington, this is what we did – we drive to a multilevel parking lot, about a 10-15 minute drive from the campground. It only cost us $5.20 a day to park there. Then it’s a two minute walk to the subway. We had purchased a transit pass initially at $20 each, when as needed, you can add addition funds to for your trips. It costs $8.20 to get to downtown DC and $7 home, on the subway. The Metro took 25 minutes from the subway to get right downtown. Piece of cake and very easy and not expensive at all. When we left Washington, we gave our transit passes to the Campground, they give the money that is left on the prepaid cards to homeless vets.
Wednesday 29 May – Hot and and sunny, 36 Celsius and then some. So stinking hot! We left super early, at 730 and drove to the parking garage at the subway. We took the green line to the Navy Memorial. We walked down to the Ford Theatre but of course it was closed as it was so early, so we headed back up to find DC Trails, a bus tour company. They are right outside the Spy Museum. It was $42 each for a hop on- hop off. It was not worth it. We saw a lot of different buildings and went down Pennsylvania Avenue, just like Monopoly!
They did do a driving tour of the city so we got off at the Whitehouse and walked to the south side. We got about 2 photos taken and then they made us leave and barricaded the sidewalk. We walked to the north side to get more photos. And there was lots of activity there also as there was a huge demonstration going on. We sat on a bench to watch the demonstration. I got talking to a family on the bench beside us and he asked where we were from. I told him and he said no wonder you’re so friendly, you’re Canadian! ha ha We are pretty friendly.
I was tired and it was sooooo hot. We finally left there and sat on a hot corner for almost 40 minutes waiting for DC Trails to pick us up, as per their schedule. They didn’t come – so we got a cab – $11 plus $2 tip to go to the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Wall and Korea Memorial, all in the same area. The Lincoln Memorial was HUGE. Korean Memorial was superb, soldier statues in the grass/trees. Just fantastic. The Vietnam Wall was also quite something. I can’t believe I am really here seeing all these memorials.
We finally caught a DC Trails bus and got off at Stop 20. I forget what was there but we got off and walked to the Museum of Natural History– we saw Dum Dum ! and some other stuff, much like the ROM. We walked to the Museum of American history, all were free. That was a long day, made longer by all the waiting for the DC Trails bus. If you go to Washington, try another company.
We also walked around the National Mall, very pretty spot.
Thursday 30 May – Left in the morning and took the Metro again. We stopped and got a photo at the Canadian Embassy. but we didn’t stop long or go in. Not sure if you are allowed to?
Then we walked to the Capitol Building, which is quite a long walk from the Metro. We had to stand in a lineup at the back of the building for maybe 30-40 minutes. NO food or drink inside. I had to dump my granola bars (our lunch) and you could take bottles but no liquids, including water into the building. We got in and had to get in another lineup for tour tickets. We stood maybe 20-25 minutes and then a teacher, who was with his class, had extra tickets so he gave them to us and another couple. Nice! So then we went to ANOTHER lineup for the 1140 tour. Hal was our tour guide and we all had headsets and walked through 2 rooms only, beautiful place. I thought we would have seen more but they are very security conscious.
After the tour, we walked down through a nice tunnel to the Library of Congress. We walked all through every area and room. Fascinating building and architecture. They have a beautiful statue outside the Library of Congress building.
Left that building and walked over to the Space Museum. We walked through the Botanical gardens and past the American Indian building to get there. The Space Museum was a zoo. Tons of high school kids, all over, very loud place. We paid $5 each to see an IMAX movie on A/C carriers, meh, pretty boring. They announced a severe thunderstorm watch and we waited for a bit but the noise from all the kids became deafening so we left anyways.
We walked through the Art Gallery,because it was raining, and did a little tour while we were there. Then we took whatever shortcuts we could. Got back to the Metro and headed home.
Well tomorrow we are of to Fredricksburg, Virginia.