Independence Day week in our Nation's Capitol -- UPDATED 8/22
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Classic shot of the fireworks from the VA side! I may have to get ...
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Can't wait to hear all about it Sarah. Also, I agree, you look great and Emilie is getting to be quite the young lady. My co-worker was also present for the fireworks on the mall this year. She said they were awesome!
Day 1 – June 28, 2008 . . . Driving, exploring and “How in the world can looking at airplanes make someone so grouchy?!”
Our first day didn’t start out so well . . . Mike had just returned the following evening from a detachment with his squadron to Nevada and he was TIRED. So tired that he snored . . . LOUDLY . . . all night. That pretty much made for ZERO sleep for me. Me with no sleep getting ready to have a LONG day = NOT. GOOD.
Since Mike had been gone, and I was put on “light duty” by my docs, the lawn had not been mowed in about a month. (yeah, I know. SCARY!) It was pretty much nearing jungle grass lengths and I honestly was getting afraid to walk out in the backyard because I was afraid of what wild animal might leap out and pounce on me at any given time. Mike came home on the 27th and said there was no way we were going to go away for 9 days and leave it to get even longer. So he got up first thing that morning (the 28th) and mowed the front lawn while Emilie and I got dressed and ready and I did all the last minute packing and such.
We were all ready to go by 8:45 or so, so we got the car packed up and headed out of the driveway just after 9am. We thought we would make pretty good time, but evidently the rest of humanity on the roads didn’t have the same idea. Traffic was AWFUL from Williamsburg until Richmond (when we hit I-95) then pretty much all the way up 95 until we got into the DC area.
Emilie still managed to keep a smile on her face though, even when we were slow going.
We still managed to get to the hotel (Key Bridge Marriott) around 1:15pm, so not TOO bad.
Check in was quick and easy. We were not able to get a room with 2 beds, so we were given a room with a king sized bed and had brought along Emilie’s indoor tent and sleeping bag. When we checked in, they told us that we’d have a rollaway bed, but we never did see that bed. Not such a bad thing though because once we saw the room, the first question out of my mouth was “Where the heck are we going to fit a rollaway in here!?”
Here, Emilie will give you a brief tour of our room:
The room wasn’t all that large but it was great for what we needed it for. We were given a room on the 8th floor facing a bunch of buildings . . . but if we leaned against the window just enough, we could catch a glimpse of the Washington Monument.
We settled in the room for about 20-30 minutes then headed right out to do some exploring. The hotel was only a short 3 block walk to the nearest Metro station (Rosslyn) and we had pre-purchased our Metro cards online, so we headed straight into the station and down the L-O-N-G escalator to the train level. (When I say LONG, I mean long . . . the train platform is 97 feet below street level and the escalator is almost 206 feet long. It is the 3rd or 4th longest continuous escalator in the WORLD and takes 2 ½ minutes to ascend or descend . . . unless you walk it. )
ANYHOO . . . we made the long trip down to the train level and waited a short time for the train to arrive to take us to the Smithsonian station.
Once we arrived there, we made our way back up above ground and wandered down the mall, ending up at the National Air and Space Museum.
We breezed through the security checkpoint and headed into the How Things Fly gallery.
Once we’d seen and done everything in there, we all decided it was high time to get something to eat, so we joined the rest of the human race (it seems) in the food court. We all ordered McDonalds and had a seat in the back corner of the dining area.
After lunch, we headed back out and ducked into the Space exhibit, then the Universe exhibit . . . through the rockets and such . . .
Emilie “walking on the moon”.
And “having dinner” on the Space Station
. . . and eventually making our way into the “Old Timey airplanes” . . .
. . . which is where things went seriously downhill for one (small) member of our party. Seems the long day was already starting to catch up to Miss Emilie and she was NOT happy with either Mike or I. At that moment, we both became the “meanest mommy and daddy EVER!” because we didn’t tell her “we’d be going to a bunch of MUSEUMS”.
We left the NASM at that point and headed down the mall towards the Washington Monument and WWII Memorial. On the way, Emilie got a little bit of an injury from her shoes (Crocs) rubbing on her ankle. We stopped and rested her feet at the WWII Memorial as we looked around and by the time we were ready to go, she was feeling a bit better.
There are 4,048 bronze stars on this wall. Each star represents 100 American lives lost in World War II.
I think Mike and I were starting to feel the effects of the long day by that point, so we decided to head back to the hotel. We walked to the Federal Triangle Metro stop and grabbed a train back to Rosslyn.