Wednesday, October 10, 2012


After taking the subway to D.C. the first two days, for our third and last full day in D.C., we decided to walk across the Key Bridge over to Georgetown from our hotel in Rosslyn and catch the Old Town Trolley.  It was 2/3rds of a mile, but after all the walking we had been doing, that was a piece of cake.  

The Old Town Trolley is a great way to get around as it has frequent stops and you can get off and on all day as many times as you like.  The driver also identifies places along the way and so you can learn a lot of information about the city and area as you ride. Since we had all the statues to see AND go to the National Cathedral, I decided the trolley was the perfect way to go.

We got on the trolley in Georgetown and rode to the main station and then boarded a different trolley to take us around the D.C. area.  Here are a few pictures of the sites we saw.

*St. John's Church was built in 1815 and has become known as the Church of the Presidents.  It is located opposite the White House on the north side of Lafayette Park.  Several Presidents have worshiped at this Episcopal Church.

*The National Theater is the white building in the picture.  It produces Broadway-level plays and musicals.  The National Theater is the oldest playhouse in the United States and has operated in the same location since 1835.

The National Archives was OUR first stop.  Here we saw the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the U. S. Constitution.  We also saw a really interesting film about what the National Archives stores and how the public can use it to trace their ancestors, etc. I couldn't take any pictures inside but did take these two outside. 


Forty-five minutes later we were back on the trolley.

* A view of the Capitol down a street.

* Union Station and the construction work around it.  Decided to leave it in the picture.  The trolley stopped here but we didn't get off.  Janice and I each bought a COLD bottle of water for a dollar while we waited.  Best dollar I spent that day.

*The United Methodist Building.  (Oops, I almost missed it.)  It is the only non-government building on Capitol Hill. While it houses the General Board of Church & Society of the United Methodist Church, it is also a symbol of justice and peace for denominations worldwide.

*The other side of the Capitol.

*This is the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian.  There are no "corners" in this building.

 *The Castle (Smithsonian Institutional Building).  On the National Mall it is the oldest building of the Smithsonian (1855).  Did you know that we have the Smithsonian Institute because a man named James Smithson, a naturalized British citizen, willed his fortune to the United States even though he had never been here under the name of the Smithsonian Institution "an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men." He died in 1829 and was buried in Italy.  In 1904 Smithsonian Regent Alexander Graham Bell had his remains brought to the Smithsonian to rest there. (I had a little help with this from SI Archives.)

*This is how Janice wanted to view D.C.  No one else was willing to join her.

We are on the trolley making our way to the  Memorials where we will get off.  

Walking up to the Jefferson Memorial, we had a nice view of the Washington Memorial and its reflection.

And the Jefferson Memorial and its reflection.

Mr. Jefferson

Janice and Leon out in front (along with a bunch of other people) at the Jefferson Memorial.  You can see his statue in the center of the opening.  (Don't remember what she was saying to me.)

This was looking across the water from the Memorial.  It took me a moment before I realized it was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Memorial. (but I'm getting a little ahead of myself.)

When you get off the trolley, you generally have to wait 30 - 45 minutes for the next trolley to come along.  I had suggested that maybe we could just walk from the Jefferson Memorial to the Lincoln Memorial instead of getting back on the trolley (and waiting for the next one to come along).  Leon felt it was way too far to walk.  I had my map and knew that we had gotten off the trolley just before the bridge and that on the map, the other memorials were just on the other side of the bridge.  So anyway, I convinced them that it wasn't too far to walk when I showed them how close the trolley stops were on the map.  "It's just across the bridge, Y'all,"  I kept saying. 

It was "just across the bridge" but one memorial runs into the next memorial and by the time we finally got to the Lincoln Memorial, we were a little tired.  (I don't think I have ever mentioned today was probably our warmest day--80s)  

It did turn out for the best though because after we walked over the bridge, we walked through Franklin Roosevelt's Memorial.  That one wasn't there the last time my husband and I and even Leon were in D.C.  It just covers a lot of area.  It is like walking through a wooded park.

Entering the Memorial

Saw Eleanor first.

Finally around another corner was FDR.

Still on the Memorial grounds...

My husband in line with everyone else.

Yeah, that's him.

We continued walking around the lake and came to Dr. Martin Luther King's Memorial.

There were three or four bus-loads of school children here.

Walking across the street and a little further we came to the other end of the Reflection Pool.  That is where the new(at least to us) World War II Memorial is.  I couldn't get far enough away to really get a good picture of the whole thing, but it is impressive.  There is a column with each state's name engraved on it and a carved wreath.  On one end it says the Pacific
and on the opposite side of the Memorial, it says the Atlantic.

Here is the view facing the Washington Memorial and with my back to the Reflecting Pool.

It looks a lot closer than it actually is.

You may have heard on the news about how dirty the Reflecting Pool is and the efforts they are making to clean it.  It's true.  It was so dirty and smelled so bad.  

In this picture with my back to the Lincoln Memorial. I am surprised that the reflection was so good even as green as the water was.

I really liked the picture though because you could also see the Capitol.  If you look closely, you can see the columns for the states at the WWII Memorial at the end of the Reflecting Pool.

I don't have a picture of the Vietnam Memorial because I have to admit Janice and I decided we needed to sit and rest a little.  I could see it from where we were sitting and she had seen it when she went 8 or 9 years ago.  My husband and Leon walked down to it to pay homage to those who lost their lives in the war.

I didn't remember so many steps at the Lincoln Memorial and since we had all walked up all those steps on previous visits, we admired it from below.
Recognize Leon and my husband?  I wonder what they are looking at?

On our way to the trolley stop, we walked by the Korean Memorial, but I didn't get a picture of it either.

*FINALLY back on the Old Town Trolley and one last look at the Jefferson Memorial as we crossed a bridge.

We enjoyed our ride back to the main station and looked forward to finally getting something to eat.  Once again it was closer to dinner than it was to lunch when we walked into the Hard Rock Cafe in D.C.  We decided to just get an appetizer sampler and Janice and I got a mini dessert since it would be time to eat dinner in about 2 hours.

We boarded the trolley and took off for the National Cathedral.  Just as I got there, the battery died on my camera, so I had to get out my cell phone.  It doesn't do too badly, but I would have taken more and probably better pictures with my camera...esp the ones inside.

Actually the one I took outside turned out pretty good.  I laid down on the ground in front of the Cathedral and looked up at it to get almost all of it in the picture.  I missed just the tip of the steeples.  If I could have seen the screen on my phone, I would have known to move it up just a tad.

My pictures from my phone are not as sharp as my camera would have been, but here are some inside shots I took.

Looking back up at the stained glass window. The Cathedral had sustained some damage from the earthquake.  There was a "net" hanging below the window that prevented you from seeing it clearly.  That is one reason my picture isn't better.  Not sure if the net was there because of the earthquake or not.
If you look closely, you can see the net across the "ceiling" below the window.  You can also see the colors reflecting off the net from the window.

Looking toward the  alter.  The choir was practicing.  They are visible on the left and the choir director in the right-center of the opening.  (Sorry the picture is a little blurred.)

The ornate and beautiful pulpit.

The Pentagon Cross.  The cross was made from pieces of concrete from the Pentagon when it was hit on Sept. 11. (Sorry my sign doesn't show so that it can be read.)

We had to be back at the trolley stop at 5:30 to catch the LAST trolley of the day.  We enjoyed our ride through Georgetown and learning all the interesting things about it.  Our driver let us off at the top of the hill about a block up from the actual stop, so we were able to cut a fraction off our 2/3rds mile walk BACK over the Potomac River and the Frances Scott Key Bridge to our hotel and dinner.  (Have I mentioned that except for our first night, we all slept like lambs every night?)

Tomorrow, the fourth full day, we will rent a car, drive to Arlington Cemetery, stop by Mount Vernon, and finally drive to King's Creek Plantation in Williamsburg, VA.  Hope you will stay with me as we continue our End of the Summer 2012 Vacation.

*Pictures taken from the trolley. 

Missed the beginning? click HERE.

Read the next installment HERE. 

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