So I’m finally getting around to posting about the trip. I will try to limit myself to one good rant about politicians, but that will come later.
Casey and I were looking at taking a trip out to Colorado to snow ski since she was off for Mardi Gras. Unfortunately during prime time ski season, my frequent flyer miles were completely useless (thanks Delta). Thus I went to doing something that Clark Howard would definitely approve of (and advocates). I searched for someplace that had cheap airfare during these dates.
I used the fantastic Kayak Fare Buzz search and found a round trip ticket for around $200 to Washington D.C.
Casey had been once before but this was a first for me (and I was quite excited considering how much I love our boys in Washington). The trip out on Friday was uneventful (which is a good thing when traveling by air). We stayed downtown at the Hotel Harrington – Google Map, which was pretty good considering it was half the going rate for other hotels in the area ($100/night versus $200/night for everyone else). This hotel had an awesome location and was walking distance to pretty much everything.
Saturday we got up and took the Metro out to Arlington National Cemetery. It was truly an awesome place. To look across all of the tombstones and think of the Americans that have given their lives for this country was a very sobering experience.
There is a Kennedy Memorial that has an eternal flame that is also a very somber sight.
The most impressive and touching site at the Cemetary is the Tomb of the Unknowns and the changing of the guard there. A guard is posted at the site 24 hours per day, 365 days a year with guard changes every hour. It is a very symbolic and respectful duty these soldiers perform. The dedication and discipline they show is touching and the whole experience will bring a tear to your eye.
I have some AVI videos of the changing of the guard, but can’t find a utility to merge them into one so I can post it. If you know a free utility please let me know.
There are also tombstones for those that died in the Space Shuttles Challenger and Columbia tragedies along with the attempted hostage rescue in Iran.
After leaving the Cemetary, we went to the National Mall to visit the monuments.
We took a tour of the Washington Monument which was very interesting and beautiful. Amazing how that thing stays up given the manner in which it was constructed. Quite tall too and the view from the top is awesome.
Then we walked past the gazing pool to visit my man Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial. Beautiful simple building and one really big statue of the man. Too many people around for me to try and climb up into his lap and get a picture so these are the best you will get.
Along the way back we saw the World War Two memorial and the Vietnam Memorial. The Vietnam Memorial was very touching since my stepdad served in Vietnam (Dustoff Pilot) and lost some very close friends whose names are imprinted on the wall there.
Along the walk back we also passed the White Housea and decided to get a picture. Shockingly enough you can’t get very close (due to the big iron fence) and the many, many secret service agents that like to stand 10 feet away from the crowd (a bit intimidating even if you are a law-abiding tax-paying citizen), not to mention the sniper on the top left corner of the roof of the White House (visible in person but not really on the picture). Let freedom ring 🙂
There was a brief stop in the Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian somewhere in there while we had an hour to kill (awesome place!!!)
We met up with some friends of Casey’s that live in D.C. for dinner and drinks and thus ended day one.