50 States: Washington DC

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

April 7 - April 9, 2018
Washington, DC

Initially, this quick weekend trip was destined for Denver, CO.  My boyfriend had a conference presenting some research at the end of the week but just a month before, he was also invited to another conference at the beginning of the same exact week to present in Washington, DC.  Hotel room and other fun things included.  So we switched up our plans and drove out to DC!

As soon as we got in from our five hour road trip, we dropped our bags and made our way down the street.  Our hotel was situated two blocks from the White House, which put us right smack dab in the middle of everything on our To Do List.  On that first day, they were preparing the National Cherry Blossom Festival Ten Mile Run, so we weren't able to go up as close as we would have liked but we made up for it on Sunday!

That Saturday, we walked, and we walked, and we walked some more!  Ricky really wanted to see the cherry blossoms and I really wanted to see the Lincoln Memorial.  Exasperated with Ricky's refusal to look for directions, I took it into my own hands to find the Lincoln Memorial.

First, however, we happened upon the World War II Memorial.
I do happen to have a fascination with World War II, so I was happy we stumbled upon it.

With a pool in the middle, the memorial recognizes all of those who served from each state and territory.  We walked around for a while, and after watching some other tourists, we got a little more brave in being willing to take pictures.  While we live in Pennsylvania, we clearly have deep feelings for our home states.

We moved along The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, and watched a German photographer assemble the portraits he took of Holocaust survivors.  There was nothing specific about them that made them stand out, just simple faces staring back into the camera, but I knew from the moment I looked at them who they were.  The collection is meant to remind us of the Holocaust.  Scarily enough, people are forgetting the Holocaust and there are ever growing numbers of Holocaust deniers.  It was incredibly moving.

After wandering along The Reflecting Pool, we finally made our way up the stairs to the Lincoln Memorial.  Lincoln was massive, dominating the space provided for him.  There were large groups of people shouting at one another, texting and playing on their phones.  A simple sign in the corner asked for silence out of respect and I refused to speak while in their.  Ricky and I read the Gettysburg Address etched into the walls and made our way past the crowds.
Growing impatient, Ricky wanted to find those cherry blossoms!  So he gave in and googled the location (finally) and we happily landed ourselves right in front of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
I find I enjoy places the most when I stumble into something.  I think I'm simply more grateful for the moment.  The monument was surrounded by beautiful cherry blossoms in the Tidal Basin.
As the day turned into evening, we wandered to the National Mall, plotting our adventure for the next day.  We made it to the Capitol before I pleaded with Ricky to set our course for the hotel and dinner.

We walked 9.5 miles.

The next day, we woke up and got a move on pretty late - the opposite of our game plan, but we wandered our way to the National Air and Space Museum because Ricky was adamant that he wanted to ride the Flight Simulator.
He literally did not listen to my request to take it easy and I crapped myself as we spiraled over and over and over again.

After we'd had our fill of various aircraft and spaceships, we took our chances with one of the many food trucks parked on the National Mall, sat on a bench and people watched.
Eventually, we had to get up and leave because Ricky's parents were coming into town to meet up with us.  Ricky was desperate to take them back to the cherry blossoms, especially given that the sky was clear and completely opposite of the raw gray day we suffered through prior.

We walked along the Tidal Basin, eventually decided to grab dinner at a restaurant along the harbor and relaxing before Ricky had to call it a night and prepare for his conference.

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