Friday, June 7, 2013

Monumental Washington

Washington is HOT. Like sweltering, sunburn kind of hot and it wasn't even officially summer when we were there. This time we were staying at the Harrington Hotel, which is only about a block from the beginning of the monument triangle. (A ton (or several probably) of monuments arranged in a triangle shape from a bird's eye view, not a humongous triangle!)

We arrived and after a quick rest headed out to explore and eat. We stopped at a delicious Japanese fusion place then headed on.

We came across the Navy monument which was very cool and even had a world map showing NZ! Unfortunately Australia was sliced into thirds by the curvature of the Earth and only the east coast was showing.

New Zealand!!

Not Australia
These flowers were left over from Memorial Day which is the equivalent of ANZAC day.

A sailor. I love the very casual posture - feels like this is 'everyman' which I suppose was the point.

We also took a walk along Washington Mall and saw the Washington Monument with scaffolding (now that's once in a lifetime, right?) and the White House.

Smithsonian Castle on Washington Mall

The capitol building at one end of Washington Mall

Smithsonian Castle

The Washington Monument

The White House!

And from the front.

Random building that I thought was very pretty :)

The next day dawned equally hot and we optimistically decided to walk the length of Washington Mall and over a bridge to Arlington. After all, the walk would be pretty.

The WWII Memorial

Some shade! My God, were we grateful! Also, what a beautiful , leafy avenue.

The Lincoln Memorial

View from Lincoln towards Washington - the presidents still keep in touch!

The Lincoln Memorial - the child in me nearly took over as all I wanted to do was clamber all over the statue!
Capitol building again - isn't it pretty?
Pink in the face and dehydrated we finally arrived via a quick detour to the Lincoln Memorial. Arlington is the national cemetery for the military and contains the grave of JFK as well as that of the unknown soldier amidst the thousands of white crosses. It really is a sight to see.

It just stretches on and on.

JFK's tomb - was plainer than I had expected. A fair number of the Kennedys are buried around here - a tragic family.

Tomb of the unknown soldier.
We also happened upon the changing of the guard which was interesting. They moved with such precision they were like robots though I pitied them in their full military uniform in the heat!

We took the subway home for a much needed rest then set off for Georgetown - an older, prosperous suburb in Washington.

A nearby fountain with children escaping the heat

The river

The main street in Georgetown
We wandered around the shops for a while before stopping for a much needed cold cider at Martin's Tavern - the same place where JFK proposed to Jackie (booth number three)!

That was it for us though - we were pooped! We took an early night to snuggle up in bed and watch the Fastest Indian for a taste home.

The next day we decided to do things a little closer to home! We got up early to make it to the National Archives - the place where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are kept as well as, surprisingly, a copy of the Magna Carta. This was the first evidence I had seen of America actually embracing its British ancestry.

Almost all of the buildings had this Classical architecture

I got my nerd on for a couple of hours that don't need to be documented before we made our way the the Smithsonian museum of Space and Flight. (Also, photos weren't allowed!)

Oh, and we saw the FBI building!

Mum behind some giant (and now illegal) missiles - they were destroyed as part of the disarmament of the USA and the USSR

Earth is that teeny blue one at the  bottom - this is to scale! (I wouldn't like to know what the scale was though - too many zeros!)

After that it was the museum of Natural History (which felt strangely like biology revision) before we decided we were museumed out and headed to the sculpture garden for some jazz and an ice block.

This is how giraffes drink - front legs splayed.

A pond to cool your feet in while the jazz drifted over - the stone edge was pretty toasty though!

The Rabbit Thinker (I have no idea of the actual name)

Stacked Chairs?

This 'tree' was entirely silver
That night just to undo all our sophistication (ha!) we went to see Star Trek which was a relaxed end to a full day!

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