Thursday, March 29, 2012

Washington DC - Day One!

First off, let me just say that I loved Washington, D.C.   It was clean, warm, and beautiful.  I'm sure a lot of my love for it had to do with the fact that it was full-on spring there, but there were many other things I loved as well!

My flight landed at around 4 and I had a few hours to spare before picking Jess up at the airport, so I headed to the Washington DC temple to kill some time.  This temple is kind of tucked away and sneaks up on you outta nowhere!  The thick trees really help to conceal it.  As always, the temple grounds and the temple itself were beautiful!
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DC Temple
After leaving the temple, I headed back towards Reagan airport to get Jess.  Her flight landed around 10 so it was definitely the end of the day for us.  We drove to Gainesville to Jill's house and promptly went to bed.  

The next morning we woke up early and got ready to head back into DC.  We had intended to get most of the stuff at the National Mall done in one day, but as anyone knows who has ever been to DC that is pretty much impossible.  So we actually only got a few things done!  

We started at Ford's Theatre where President Lincoln was assassinated.  It was a bit surreal to be at a place where such an important moment in American history occurred.  They had a nice museum in the basement and then they put on a short 30-minute play in the theater itself.  At first I wasn't very thrilled at the idea of the play, but I actually really enjoyed it.  I wouldn't miss the play if you go there to visit.
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The gun that killed Lincoln
This is the gun that killed Lincoln and it was TINY.  You could seriously conceal it in your hand and no one would be able to tell you had anything.  Small, but quite deadly.  

After touring the museum and theater, we headed across the stress to the home where Lincoln actually died.  They have done a good job of replicating things as they were during that time.

After Ford's theater, we headed to the Capitol for a tour with Senator Hatch's interns.  We had scheduled the tour several weeks in advance and it was significantly better than the tours you get by simply walking up to the Capitol.  We even got to go on an underground train that connected all the buildings.  Fun, and efficient.

Surprisingly, I was kind of disappointed with the interior of the Capitol.  I think that Italy spoiled me rotten; I just wasn't all that impressed with the dome itself.  The rooms felt small and compared to the actual size of the building I was expecting more from it.  However, our tour guide was excellent and I'm glad that we went and saw all the historical rooms within the Capitol.  

Next, we headed down to the Washington Monument and the Tidal Basin.  Guess what I was most excited for?
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Cherry blossoms!
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I love flowering trees!
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HUGE building
The walk from the Capitol to the monuments was looooong but pretty.  We walked past all the Smithsonians (so many of those!) and both Jess and I commented that Washington DC is definitely a runners' city.  SO MANY RUNNERS.  Seriously.  We saw hundreds and hundreds of runners over the course of the trip.  They have many walking paths to choose from.  We were surprised that with so many places to run they were running where the tourists walk, but I suppose it was probably the easiest location for them to get to.  In either case, I thought it was pretty cool that it is such an active city.
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Washington Monument
Right next to the Washington Monument is the World War II Memorial.  It is really pretty!  Each marker signifies a state.  It is really well done.
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WWII Monument
Finally, we made it to the Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossoms.  We wanted to make sure we hit these at full bloom (and before weather had a chance to destroy them!) and we nailed the timing.  They were PERFECT.  Soooo pretty and they smelled so good.  I seriously took hundreds of photos of them.  I couldn't help myself!
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Tidal Basin
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Jefferson Monument
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Happy, happy girl
By the time we reached the Jefferson Monument the sunlight was fading fast and we had finished all we could in one day.  The sunset was gorgeous and the views from the stairs were amazing.  It was an excellent first day, even though we didn't get to do all we had planned to do.  That's okay, because we made up for lost time the next day...


  1. Those are gorgeous photos! What a fun trip. I would love to go there someday. At the Univ of Wash campus in Seattle there are gorgeous cherry trees blooming. So pretty!

  2. love it!!! Josh and I were sealed in the DC temple so it is my favorite. :)

  3. I would love to visit the DC temple some day! Glad your back. Looking forward to future posts!

    Finding Joy in the Journey

  4. Those photos are SO BEAUTIFUL! It looks like SUCH AN AMAZING TRIP!!! Ahh, I'm so jealous you were there during cherry blossoms!