After we left Pete we decided to head to Washington DC. There was no rush to get home as the weather was horrid… Rain, flooding and general gray yuck… Washington was showing some reasonable weather and we have wanted to do the National Mall and the historic sights for a few years. Although we aren’t big city tourists sometimes it makes sense!
We lucked into a campground in Virginia about an hour from downtown DC for $40 a night. Steep for us but great price for the area.
It was a 1/2 hour truck ride to the Metro and another 45 minutes on the train. Actually very easy and convenient… The metro dropped us right in the heart of the city an easy walk to everything we wanted to see. Another bonus and nice surprise…just about all the sights are free! All the monuments, government buildings, and museums are free!
The first day was beautiful and we walked 9 miles and took in many of the buildings and memorials. We saw the Capital Building (active protest and all!), the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Korean Memorial, World War II Memorial, Ulysses S. Grant Memorial, walked through the US Botanical Gardens, and toured the National Archives. We were pooped when we got home!
A few days of rain allowed us to take care of some business…5 loads of laundry and some grocery shopping! No rest for the weary!
Another day we decided to do a car tour… We accidentally found Mount Vernon, Washington’s estate and farm along the Potomac River. It was crazy busy as there was a Revolutionary War reenactment going on. The big truck is always a bear to park so we didn’t think we could stay… Thankfully we lucked into a parking spot at the Washington Gristmill and Distillery. Here we hopped a shuttle to the estate, awesome! We walked the grounds of the estate and took lots of pictures. We didn’t stay long enough to get our inside house tour, because of the crowds it would have been another 3 hours before we could get in…Next time.
We found the Gristmill and Distillery very interesting and actually got to see the gristmill in action! First time either one of us has actually seen a working gristmill with waterwheel. They still make the grain that is used in the production of the whiskey. No tastes of the whiskey though…
Our next full day in DC was a bit more focused. Our fist stop was tour of the Library of Congress, wow! Our favorite building!
Second stop was the Capitol Building. This time we actually went in and took a tour. Again, pretty impressive. Would have liked to see the actual meeting rooms of the House and Senate but long lines are not our thing…
Our final stop was the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Lots of reproductions, some originals… Interesting. Another busy day!
They had the first plane flown by the Wright brothers in 1903…
Our second stop was the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. A little disappointed… Think I like the one in New York better! From there we made the Holocaust Museum our last stop… Wow, really well done. Hard to put words to this visit, so much sadness. Amazing how many people and kids were there yet you could hear a pin drop the whole time we were there…no pictures… Just didn’t feel right.
Ok, it was time to head out… Or not… The last day of sunshine would have been a drive day so we opted to stay one more day and enjoy the campground. Great choice! There were lots of trails in the Prince William Forest Park where we were camping. We took the girls on a 7 mile hike, much of it along a creek. We all had a fun day and enjoyed the sunshine.
Off to Rochester to visit some family and friends for a few weeks!