Thursday, October 11, 2012


It was hard to believe our time in D.C. was almost over.  We had seen and done so much while in D.C.... memories we won't soon forget.  

First thing on the agenda after breakfast was to be picked up for the rental car.  We wanted to get off to an early start since we had another full day planned, but the rental car place didn't open until 10.  Our plans for the day included driving to Arlington National Cemetery, then to Mount Vernon, and then on the road to Williamsburg. 

It took us a while to get to the Cemetery because of road construction and due to the lack of signs directing you to the Cemetery.  It was easy to understand why the guidebooks all said "the best way to get to the Cemetery is on a tour bus or walk." 

Arlington National Cemetery, a military cemetery across the Potomac River from D.C., was established during the Civil War.  It was formerly the estate of the family of Robert E. Lee's wife, Mary Anna (Curtis) Lee, a descendant of Martha Washington.

We walked first to President Kennedy's grave and the eternal flame.  His wife, Jacqueline is buried on his right. On the left of JFK is the grave of their son, Patrick, who lived 2 days and died just 15 weeks before JFK was killed.  (I didn't remember him.  That means  Jacqueline suffered the loss of a child and her husband in less than 3 months.)  The grave on the right side of Jacqueline is the grave of a stillborn daughter.

If you look up the hill right behind these graves, you can see Arlington House, Robert E. Lee's home.

The view from the front porch of the house
The people standing in the lower left corner are at President Kennedy's grave. 

From Arlington House we walked 2/3rds of a mile over to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  We waited around to see the changing of the guard and I got pictures of it.  The first three show the Sentinel walking his post by walking back and forth in front of the tomb.  The fourth one shows the Relief Commander asking us to please maintain an atmosphere of silence.  He had to inspect the new Sentinel and his rifle and then the ceremony continues as the new Sentinel relieves the former Sentinel.


The Relief Commander and the Sentinel being relieved left and the new Sentinel started walking his post.

The walk back to the parking garage and the car was much easier as it was generally all downhill.  The gps was much more successful in getting us out and on our way to Mount Vernon.  

Just before getting to the turn for Mount Vernon, we drove by a Five Guys and decided to turn around and go back.  That meant we actually ate lunch closer to lunchtime than dinnertime.  This Five Guys was an independent building, a common occurrence in Virginia, the home of the burger chain.

Tummies full, within several minutes, we pulled into Mount Vernon, home of President George Washington. Once again they wouldn't allow pictures taken inside the house.

Here is a sign (turned out pretty good) that explains the outer walls of the house.  They are made from wood that is made to look like stone.  (I didn't remember this from my other trips to Mount Vernon so I had to take a picture of the sign and a close up of the house.)

There were reenactors there that weekend shooting off their muskets.

They also had a marketplace that weekend with artists and their wares for sale.  (Didn't take a picture of them....wasn't thinking.)

Back in the car, gps set for King's Creek Plantation in Williamsburg, VA, we were on the road -- finally -- to our next destination.  A brief rainshower on the way was the only "cloud over our heads" that day.  Because of our later than expected start that morning, we didn't arrive in Williamsburg until 8:00.  

After checking in and finding our condo, we were off to find someplace to eat dinner.  KFC never tasted so good and the bed never felt better.

Read what happened next HERE.

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