Friday, July 13, 2018

Exploring Washington, D.C.

In the DC area, we stayed across the river in nearby Arlington. 

In our advance research, we read it was a good area for families who are driving through.  We kept are car at the hotel and took an Uber into the city (approximately 10$).  

Most of the eastern US was subject to a heat wave (reaching over 100 degrees) so the air conditioned museums were a relief.  

On our first full day, we visited the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum,  American History Museum, and the Washington Monument.    Unfortunately, I had not realized that the National Museum of African American History and Culture requires advanced ticketing so we were unable to visit given the demand for tickets during our stay.  

Lin-Manual Miranda's Hamilton Broadway Costume : American History Museum
Michelle Obama's Inaugural Gown: American History Museum (designed by Jason Wu)
The Hope Diamond: Natural History Museum

There are so many museums in D.C. it is impossible to see them all in one visit.   We definitely plan to return in the future.   We also wanted to visit the International Spy Museum, Postal Museum and Newsmuseum.    Eyewitness has published a guidebook "Family Guide to Washington, D.C.". I was able to borrow a copy from our public library and it provided a useful overview of sights we would like to visit during our stay.

Lincoln Memorial

The White House

On our second day, we walked by the White House and then to the Forde Theatre and learned about Abraham Lincoln’s final days.  This presentation was excellent and I highly recommend it.  Apparently, advance booking is usually required, but we were in luck and there was space for our family at the noon show.  
President Lincoln's box at the Forde Theatre
We then headed to the National Portrait Gallery to see the Presidential Portraits.  I had not realized that the portraits were so varied in style and size.

As we were walking toward the Capitol, we passed by the Canadian Embassy which was hosting a  Canada Day party.  We were able to have our photo taken with the Stanley Cup.

We stopped by the Botanical Gardens and then spent a few hours at a fairly new privately own museum, the Museum of the Bible.  We ran into a church group from Toronto visiting (small world!).
Botanical Gardens
Museum of the Bible: The Museum's Scribe
On our last day in the DC area,  I woke up early and visited the Arlington National Cemetery which was close to our hotel.   The cemetery is 1100 acres and you could easily spend a good part of a day exploring.

Arlington National Cemetary

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Arlington National Cemetery conducts nearly 30 funeral each day. The "impressive landscape serves as a tribute to the service and sacrifice of every individual laid to rest within the hallowed grounds"
We spent the day outside the city in Mount Vernon (George and Martha Washington's home which I will be the topic of the next post) and then returned to see a ball game at Nationals Park.

I would recommend getting to the stadium early, the park clearly does not have sufficient staff to move people through.

Like most ball parks, first time visitors to the stadium can receive a certificate commemorating their visit from Guest Services.  If your children like visiting ball parks, they may enjoy the Ball Park Mystery Series.  There is a mystery about Nationals Stadium.

After the ball game, we drove towards Colonial Williamsburg and the Historic Triangle. 

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