Tuesday, May 19, 2009

D.C. in Pictures

I meant to blog earlier about our trip, but to be honest,
I was tired and wanted to watch the last two episodes of Prison Break (which were terrific and maddening at the same time by the way). Also, Nathan won't let me do the vacation post until he is finished PhotoShopping every single picture we took. And we took A LOT of pictures. So here is a feeble attempt that will consist mostly of pictures (all of which are PhotoShopped) to alleviate the need for much writing. Plus, I've uploaded some of these pictures five times and written captions for them, and Blogger keeps deleting them.

Our trip was with three other dental school students: one single with no kids, one single with his 7 year old daughter (who Megan and Jeremy love), one married and brought his newly returned missionary sister as well, and one married with 4 kids. It was a blast having so many friends with us. I had to not use some of my favorite pictures and substitute others because I didn't get permission from everyone to post pictures of their kids, so sorry, you're not getting all of the coolest pictures.

The first stop was the Maryland Statehouse in Annapolis. This is where George Washington resigned his commission as commander of the army since he was elected president. If he hadn't resigned, he would have been considered a dictator.

We started our first full day riding the Metro. We parked the van in a lot ($4 a day!) and then rode the Metro into D.C. Seriously, this is the nicest public transportation I've ever used or seen. Here are the kids waiting for the Metro to arrive.

We began at the Washington Monument, or in Megan and Jeremy's words,
The Big Elevator.
It was really cool up there. We rode the elevator up and were able to see
the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, and lots of other cool stuff from the top.
Here are a few pictures of us waiting to go in.

We also went to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and got to see some twenties and one hundreds being printed. While we were there they actually had to halt production because when they were randomly checking one of the bills, they couldn't find the security strip in it. It got passed around to four people and none of them could find it.

Here we are at the Smithsonian, the Museum of Natural History. This display is for what salt would look like if you could do something cool with it, I just don't remember what. I assume it wouldn't actually be blue and red.

Megan posing with a huge amethyst.
The Smithsonian The Museum of American History. This is Lincoln's hat. They had a huge display on him and his wife and it. was. cool.

Arlington National Cemetery.
It doesn't really hit you until you're there looking at how many graves there are and how far you walk only to see more graves the entire time.

The changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I couldn't help but wonder what was going through their minds at this time. It is a very mechanical and precise ceremony they go through. One of my first thoughts was, this is so cool. But then I thought, all this for one guy whose name we don't know? Why? And then I realized that this one fallen soldier is a symbol of each and every American, soldier or not. Those who take the time to protect this grave symbolize the dedication and responsibility associated with our Armed Forces.

I pointed this grave stone out to the kids because I thought it was special.
A Jewish soldier in the U.S. who went to fight in WWII.

This is as close as we got to the White House. Megan was all kinds of excited even though she can't stand Obama. She has her own political views that have been only mildly shaped by my constant mouthing off during talk radio, watching the news, or reading the news. She will tell anyone willing to listen how she feels about Obama.

Ford's Theatre. A National Park Ranger gave us a history of the theatre and then shared Lincoln's assassination story. It was really cool to sit in the theatre and hear the story. We had to wait outside for almost an hour before going in and it was worth it.

Here is Megan at The Library of Congress. This was a bit of a bust. Our tour didn't work out, so we bummed a little on another tour, but didn't stick out the whole thing. I was ticked that we couldn't actually go on a real tour (not that we would have learned anything, the kids were so loud and my ears were popping since I was really sick this day).

This is a picture Nathan took of the roof/ceiling in the Library of Congress. He had to take two pictures with two completely different exposures to get it and then put the pictures together on PhotoShop. Click on it and check it out bigger, it's really cool.

The National Botanical Gardens, the Children's Garden. By the time we left, both Megan and Jeremy were drenched. And we weren't even there very long. They loved being able to water the flowers and plants.

The Capitol Building. Very cool tour with a great video the Supreme Court should watch. I've noticed lately they've been a bit confused on what their job is, this video could help.

Megan and me with good ol' Sam Houston.

The National Archives. This is what I was most looking forward to, beside the Lincoln Memorial, and I hope not because I worked at the Utah State Archives for a few years. You can kind of see the print mark of a hand in the bottom left corner where everyone who signed the Declaration of Independence rested their left hands as they signed.

The family outside the Jefferson Memorial. The walk to get here was l-o-n-g but gorgeous! On the way we saw other memorials as well.

WWII Memorial. Every star represents 100 Americans who died in the war.

The Lincoln Memorial. I loved this. I loved being able to read his words all around the memorial and look up at his massive statue thinking about how difficult his presidency was and how he handled everything even though some of his decisions weren't popular for the most part and definately would have been considered illegal today.

Friday we made a little trip to see the Washington D.C. temple. Gorgeous!! Jeremy was asleep and Emma fussy, so I stayed in the car with them while Nathan and Megan got out to take some pictures. I was surprised by the number of people I saw turning into the parking lot just to take pictures of the temple.

Then on the way back to the hotel we stopped for something to eat. We punched into the GPS that we wanted Mexican and found a Pupusaria!!! And it was dang good! Nathan said they were the best pupusas since he was in the mission.

Saturday we started the long drive home, but not without a sweet surprise from Nathan.

Since we didn't have a lot of time to spend we did the automated tour/ride which was free and ended in a free Hershey's Bar for each of us (the little ones).

Here are the kids enjoying the singing cows who take such great pride in the fact that their milk goes into Hershey's Milk Chocolate.

We let Megan and Jeremy each pick one candy. Jeremy picked a package of Twizzlers that is almost as big as he is and probalby weights as much, while Megan picked York Peppermint Patties, which will be no surprise to anyone who knew us in Logan from the 27th Ward.

And is this not the funniest thing? I love it!

There were a couple things we did that we didn't get pictures of, an awesome tour of the Pentagon (we have no pictures of this for obvious reasons) and eating at Jimmy Cantler's Riverside Inn with almost everyone one who joined us for the trip (the couple with the missionary sister couldn't find the place and ended up going elsewhere). Nathan and Jeremy got all you can eat crab, and eat they did. Megan got a "cod-dog" while I stuck to a good ol' hamburger.


katie said...

How fun. I wonder when I'll take my boys on a trip somewhere besides grandma's. I'd be frustrated with my kids becuse they'd be tired and want to go home and I'd just want to see everything.

Kellie said...

There were times we couldn't see everything we wanted because the kids were restless or whinny. Next time I think we'll focus on a couple places instead of trying to get to everything. We'll split it up still into multiple days, and try to find really kid-friendly stuff to do between them.

Leanne said...

what a fun trip! (and I'm sure there were a lot of times it was not so fun, due to the fact that you had 3 kids with you!) but still--worth it!

Amber Omer said...

Looks like a blast to me! Thanks for sharing the pics--I feel a little bit like I've been there now. I'm sad we haven't been able to come out to your part of the country yet. But it is in our future for sure! :)

Rachelle said...

Wow, what a neat trip! Great pics too. My sis is back there right now and I wish I could go visit. I posted a review about the Scrapbox on my blog, if you’d like to see a pic, come visit!

Anonymous said...

You are an American family. Patriots all.
You don't have to go see the sights in Washington D.C. to feel love for our founding fathers...but it sure helps.

kollers said...

Where do I begin. . . What a fun and amazing trip. And the Hershey kiss lights. . get out of here! I wish I had those for my future house. I would absolutely love to go to D.C. and see all that. How amazing to get a better feel for our history. And I love that Megan picked the patties. . good old Bishop Smith! Glad you guys got to go and have fun!

trublubyu said...

what a fun trip! i was in dc last summer about this same time and it was an incredible trip! there is so much to do and see- i think you could spends months and months and not get it all in.

my favorite stop was the library of congress. too bad you weren't able to enjoy it. there was something very spiritual about that place for me.

thanks for sharing your trip and pics!

JerieH said...

I hope, I hope, I hope that we get stationed in Ft Mead (Just north of DC Area)! Then not only could we give my brother the family support he needs to stay on the straight and narrow, but then you could come and visit! You could leave the kids with us and go and see everything you missed due to whinniness.