Thursday, July 08, 2010

Early July in Washington, D.C.

On Thursday, July 1st, Todd gave “Life’s2Short” a bath and then we caught the Circulator to the National Mall. The Circulator is the $1.00 local bus service that has designated routes around the city. We got on the Circulator at the waterfront and stayed on as it made its loop past the National Mall, through Chinatown and back by the Mall.

An interesting tree in the National Sculpture Garden.


At that point we got off and spent some time exploring the Smithsonian Folklife Festival featuring Mexico and Asian Pacific Americans. The festival showcases the music, food, art and, in general, the cultural traditions of these groups and had attracted quite a crowd.


We then moved on to the Smithsonian Castle which is a beautiful building but most of it is closed off to the public. One side of the lower floor houses the Smithsonian Information Center and a few exhibitions including Madeleine Albright’s extensive pin collection.


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We then ventured into the Hirshhorn Museum, a doughnut-shaped building with a beautiful fountain in the center of it. The museum displays a variety of “interesting” (bizarre, if you ask me!) works of modern and contemporary art.


Next was the National Air and Space Museum which consumed the remainder of the afternoon. And we didn’t even cover all of it.

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We then walked back to the waterfront and stopped in at the Cantina Marina for a few drinks. After a quick stop back at the boat we again caught the Circulator and went to Chinatown to have dinner. When asked, two different locals recommended Clyde’s, so that’s where we went, even though we decided to just have an appetizer and wander around some more.


The “Friendship Archway” in Chinatown.


We ended our evening with more appetizers at La Tasca, a Spanish tapas restaurant, and then made our way to the Metro station to ride the metrorail back to the waterfront (the Circulator only runs until 9:00 p.m.). Having never ridden a subway before, it was a learning experience. Just figuring out how to purchase and use the farecard required assistance from an attendant!

Friday morning Todd cleaned the rust off the exterior stainless steel and then spent the afternoon relaxing. That evening we walked from the waterfront to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the World War II Memorial and the Washington Monument – a long round trip walk!

An early evening view of the Washington Monument.


The Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall contains the names of the 58,260 American men and women who were killed during, or remain missing from, the Vietnam War.

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The Lincoln Memorial includes 36 Doric columns, one for each state at the time of Lincoln’s death.


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The three-year Korean War cost more than 38,000 American lives.

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The statues of American servicemen are made of stainless steel, weigh nearly 1,000 pounds and are over seven feet tall.

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The World War II memorial features 56 granite pillars representing the 48 United States of 1945, the District of Columbia, the Alaska Territory and Territory of Hawaii, the Commonwealth of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


The words of President Harry S Truman.


A nighttime view of the Washington Monument from the pool in the center of the World War II Memorial.


On the way back to the marina we toured through the fresh seafood markets where we saw massive displays of all manner of seafood.

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Saturday morning Todd applied polish to the exterior stainless steel and then we walked about a quarter mile to the downtown Safeway to do a little shopping. After our long walk the previous evening, our legs were a little stiff and our arms got a workout carrying groceries back to the boat! Later that afternoon we walked to the seafood markets where we purchased steamed shrimp to go with our fresh corn on the cob for dinner.

After three beautiful days with temperatures in the 80’s, Washington is heating up again. By Sunday, July 4th, we were back into the mid-90’s so we avoided the crowds and spent the day on the boat. And Todd started another project – cleaning the screen on the front hatch and refinishing the wood surrounding it. That evening we made pizza and watched a great fireworks show from the radar arch on top of the boat.

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Lots of people were invited to the marina to watch the fireworks.

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Happy Birthday, America!

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Early Monday afternoon we again boarded the Circulator and rode up to east end of the National Mall. We then walked a few blocks west to the National Museum of American History where we decided to begin on the third of three floors and work our way down. Five hours later, we finally finished the third floor!

It was still hot and muggy when we left the museum at 7:00 p.m. But since we were relatively close to the White House, we decided it would be a good time to walk over there. After walking several blocks, we were disappointed to find that we couldn’t get anywhere near it. So we headed back toward the marina, putting another couple of miles under our belts.

On Tuesday, July 6th, we left Washington, D.C,. to fly to Springfield, Missouri. Todd will fly to Colorado to see family and friends on July 14th and then we will both return to D.C. on Friday, July 23rd. We will spend the final week of July in D.C. where we have many sights yet to see. Hopefully, the weather will cool down and temperatures will get back to “normal” between now and then!