Thursday, May 24, 2007

Our Nation's Capitol

Well, our long awaited trip to Washington DC is finally a reality! I always promised my daughters that when they graduated college I would take them on a trip. Ali decided she wanted to visit our nation's capitol. If she hadn't been an English and Secondary Ed major, I think she would have gotten a degree in Political Science because she loves to study history and the workings of our government.

We arrived mid afternoon on Tuesday, and although we had planned to drive around the city for a bit, we were too tired from our red-eye flight and decided to drive straight to Virginia to our "home away from home". We are staying with our friends Tom and Marybeth. Their home in Fredericksburg, Va. is GORGEOUS and a very relaxing place to hang our hats until the 31st. They have been so gracious and are both wonderful cooks!

Yesterday was spent touring a couple of the monuments/memorials. Our first stop was to the WWII monument. This was very poignant for me because my grandfather was killed in Italy during WWII. It was quite emotional, and as I expected I found myself wiping tears from my eyes multiple times during the day. The last time I was in DC the memorial didn't exist, so I really had no clue as to its location. I didn't realize it was situated just between the Lincoln Monument the Washington Monument.

After we left the WWII memorial we walked the short distance to the Lincoln Monument. I knew how majestic it was, but I still got chills as I walked up the granite steps. Ali became very emotional as we approached this towering monument to our 16th, and one of our most beloved presidents.

Our time at the memorials ended with a brief stop at the Vietnam wall. Unlike WWII, I don't know anyone who served, or gave their life, in this war. However, so many emotions came to the surface as the walked along side the thousands of names etched in the ebony stone wall. We read some of the letters that people had left for the soldiers. Some of the letters were written by school children to people they never met. Other momentos we saw were more personal. We saw a photograph of an older woman and her granddaughters that was taken at a wedding. The back of the photo said the photo was of the soldier's family who he will never meet...absolutely moving and heartbreaking.
We will be revisiting these memorials over the weekend once my husband and Ali's best friend, Katie arrive later today. Currently we're sitting in Busboys and Poets-a coffee house in NW DC that was named after Langston Hughes who was a busboy when he was a young man.
Ali has been having a great time using her new camera that she bought the other day. She thought it might be a little sophisticated for her needs, but it has certainly proved to be a worthwhile investment...check out the shot she did of me :)

Our day ended when we took a late lunch at Union Station. What a phenomenal place!!! We had lunch in a restaurant that is located where former presidents and dignitaries waited for their trains. I LOVE ALL THE HISTORY WE'RE EXPERIENCING!!!
Well, Ali is rushing me off to a new location, so I won't have internet access for a day or two again, but be sure to check back for more of our diary!!

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