Monday, April 9, 2012

Washington DC - Days 4 & 5

Happy Monday!  How was everyone's Easter weekend?  Hopefully it was as good as mine.  I do love holidays that revolve around family time.

It's time to wrap up the remaining Washington DC posts!  I'm combining the last two days together so this will be the last post on my DC trip.  It's been fun to look through these photos and reminisce!

Jess and I decided to spend our Sunday visiting Mount Vernon and Arlington Cemetery.  It was a pretty dreary day outside, which was a big change from the heat we'd been experiencing the days before.  We started out at Mount Vernon which is the estate on which George Washington lived and died.
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Mount Vernon
I really liked Mount Vernon.  The rooms inside were all so colorful and unique.  They also have done a remarkable job of preserving the artifacts on site, and most are originals including the bed George Washington died on.

George Washington just might be my favorite founding father.  I think that most men would've let the power go to their head, but he always kept complete power at bay and because of that we don't have a monarchy currently ruling America.  Thank you, Mr. Washington!
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And you thought you were done with blossom photos...NOPE!
The estate is large and has some incredible views of the river.  While down at the wharf I was lucky enough to catch a bird making a nest.  Pretty awesome!
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Being a farmer's daughter, I was also really impressed with the 16-sided barn that Washington designed to help process the wheat.  Basically, they lined the floor of the barn with grain and then the horses walked on it to open up the wheat and let the seeds drop through the floor where they could be scooped up and cleaned.  Pretty ingenious.
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Also, it looks cool.
George Washington's tomb is also on site at Mount Vernon.  Grave sites never stop being a bit eerie and surreal.
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George Washington's Tomb
Overall, it was worth the trip out there to see where the father of the US lived and walked.
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The petals look like pink snow on the ground!
After we finished up at Mount Vernon, we headed to Arlington cemetery.  We had quite a rough time finding parking that was affordable.  We went on quite a random goose chase trying to get there in as cheap a manner as possible.  Luckily, our adventure placed us right at the footsteps of this lovely monument:
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Iwo Jima Memorial - Huge and Breath-taking
I think this might have been my favorite memorial of all the ones I saw in DC.  It was just HUGE.  Pictures don't do it justice.  Also, it's such an iconic image and they did a fantastic job of capturing it.  The gold lettering around the base is a list of all the American wars fought to date.  There are so many wars on there for a country so young.  I hope they never fill it up, but we all know that one day it will happen.

Arlington is definitely worth visiting, just to try to grasp the sheer enormity of the place.  There are so so many graves.  They have 100 funerals per week there, on average.  It was very humbling.
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Of course we also watched the Changing of the Guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  I think Jess and I could have stayed and watched the ceremonies all day if given the opportunity.  There is just something about the reverence of these men that guard this tomb day in and day out.  We were lucky enough to see not only the changing of the guards, but also a Wreath Ceremony.
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Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
We stayed at Arlington until the sunset and then headed back to Jill and Dave's place where they had a birthday cake made for me!  So very cute (and delicious)!  It was such an unexpected surprise.  I am so glad that we got to stay out there and spend some time with their family.  Being so far away from them is not fun!

On our last day there, we decided to hit up the famous DC Cupcakes.  There was quite the line at 10 am when they opened!  We got half a dozen to sample.
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DC Cupcakes
They were delicious.  My favorite was the Mint Chocolate.  We snacked on them throughout the day.  

Jess had an earlier flight out than I did, so I dropped her off at the airport and then headed back to the White House to try to get a better view of it since it had been closed off the day we had first visited it.  I lucked out!
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The White House
They were having some sort of picnic on the front lawn.  I tried looking it up, but I never found out what was going on.  In either case, it was good to get closer and see it in person.

Next, I hurried to the Metro so that I could go see the Supreme Court.  We had walked past the Supreme Court a few days prior and I hadn't even realized it.  I took pictures of it without even realizing what I was snapping a photo of.  Total fail.  Anyway, I wanted to see it one more time before leaving for my flight.
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US Supreme Court
I'm really glad I went back!  I happened to time it perfectly with the start of the debate on the constitutionality of Obamacare.  There were news crews and protesters all over the place.  It was quite a different scene from when we walked past earlier in the week.  It will be interesting to hear the decision from the Supreme Court on the case in a few months.

Anyway, that's my DC trip!  I hope to go back one day and spend more time in the museums.  There is just so much stuff to do in that region, and the vast majority of it is free.  Love it!


  1. DC Cupcakes? SO JEALOUS! Looks and sounds AMAZING! I loved reading your DC recaps. Soon, you'll have to visit MN and write MN recaps!!?! :) :) :)

  2. Loved reading these recaps!!

    Those cupcakes look delicious!!

  3. those cupcakes look incredible! and love your pic of Arlington! and also the bird pic! both are very cool pictures :)

  4. Glad you had such a great trip. I love DC so I'm quite jealous! And DC cupcakes too! So not fair.