Monday, July 12, 2010


Saturday I stayed at the RV while Larry took our car in to get the head light fixed. The other head light burned out in Florida and they had to replace the whole light fixture and had our car for four days. Luckily this time they were able to replace just the part. John picked him up at the dealership and they drove into Washington to try and rearrange our tour of the White House. John had scheduled a tour for our group but he realized the day before we left Gettysburg that the tickets where for July 9 at 8:15am. We were driving to Washington on the 9th, there was no way we could be at an 8:15 tour. Once your time is set there is NO changing it. So this is what we saw of the White House. Larry didn't get home till after 3 so we spent the rest of the day here at the campground.
Sunday we took off bright and early for a day in DC. We took the car to the Cherry Hill Park
Metro Station for it is free to park on the weekend. It is only 4 miles away and an easy drive. The Metro was easy to use and we quickly became experts at reading the maps. There are four lines, red, yellow, green and orange. We had to switch lines to get to different places several times in our travels and never got lost once. This is Union Station our first stop in DC.
We had purchased a two day pass for the Greyline hop off and on tour bus. It is a open top deck bus, so you are up 13 feet and had to duck for some of the trees. I saw a lot more of Washington,DC than I ever had before. There are 27 stops that you can get on and off. We got off at three of them. Our first stop was at the Capital building (closed on Sundays). From here we walked the Mall to the Washington Monument, about a mile. It was a hot day, but a beautiful one.

The view from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial. From here we walked to the White House and picked up our tour bus, getting off at the National Cathedral. We arrived just in the right time to get a tour. Our guide was excellent and we learned so much. Here are just a few things she told us. It was started to be built in 1907 and was completed in 1990. It is all hand carved and is beautiful inside and out. The aisle is 1/10 of a mile long. Woodrow Wilson is the only President buried there. Helen Keller is buried there also. It is an Episcopal church, but all faiths are welcome to come and worship. It is done in the 14th century style so there is no writing, since most people could not read, all story telling is done with pictures- windows, carvings,paintings,and tapestries. The pictures tell the story of the Bible and the American history all the way to going to the moon.

A beautiful rose window that changes color with the time of day. The windows are not stained but different minerals are added to the glass to give them their color. The place is amazing.

Our next stop was at the Arlington Cemetery. Another long walk and it all seemed to be uphill. This is the flame at Kennedy's grave. Jackie and their children are buried here also.

The tomb of the Unknown Soldier was our next stop. We saw the end of the changing of the guard. Someone had just sent me an email about it and how they take 21 steps and always carry the gun away from the tomb. It was very interesting article I'll try to find it and send it to you.

So many graves!
We left Arlington Cemetery and hopped on the Metro Line to Foggy Bottom. We ate at a Chinese restaurant watching the end of the World Soccer Game. We then got a Kennedy Center shuttle bus to attend a concert. Every day there is a free performance at the Millennium stage of the Kennedy Center. Today's was a performance by the summer music institute orchestra. Young people from 31 states, the ages of 14 to 20, spend four weeks at orchestra "boot camp". They were outstanding. Larry is still talking about it.

Monday we took our car back to the Saturn dealership to get tires, oil change and take care of a recall. They shuttled us to another Metro station and off to Washington we went. We boarded our sight seeing bus once again but didn't get off at all, just enjoyed hearing about all the places and seeing the sights. We ended the tour at the Capital building. We went to the Hart building where the Senators offices are located and got passes from the Florida Senator. (John had arranged for us to pick them up). The passes allowed us to sit in the gallery. It was a little disappointing since we thought when the Senate was in session that Senators would be there, but they were all in their own offices and only one Senator was there speaking. At least we saw and heard a little bit. There is A LOT of security around the Capital and we had to go through two check points, could have no bottles or food. I think it is worse then at the airport. We had to check in all electronics, phones and cameras to go into the Senate. We left DC at rush hour but made it home in an hour for the shuttle to pick us up to get our car. It has been a great trip to Washington and we could have spent many more days here. If you live in PA or close by be sure to take advantage of this great city. We recommend the Metro system.

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