Sunday, June 15, 2008

Washington DC Trip

It wasn't so much a trip to Washington, DC as it was a trip to Eastern Maryland. In 7 days I put 1500 miles on a rental car and spent two days on the DC subway system. The hotel was at the Baltimore airport just south of Baltimore proper. My brother's Army base was 25 miles north of Baltimore in Aberdeen and each day I was in Maryland I went either to Aberdeen or DC or both.

These are just some of the highlights.

Here is a Coast Guard ship in the Inner Harbor region of Baltimore. We spent a good deal of time in this area waiting for whatever was planned next. (We also toured the USS Constellation.)
Our first day in Washington, DC was a hot one (upper 90's). It was also a Sunday and the only thing open was the Botanical Gardens (separate pictures to come).

Here I am with my dad and brother in front of the Capital.
My dad and brother at the Vietnam War Memorial. Justin is giving a historical sketch on Vietnam era weaponry (apparently the Army still uses the exact same weapon).

We did our tour of the memorials and the mall late in the day hoping to miss most of heat. If we missed most of it I didn't really notice.

The Lincoln Memorial
The National Cathedral
A little gratuitous nudity in front of the Library of Congress.
Jefferson in the Library of Congress.
The south lawn of the White House.My parents at the Botanical Gardens.
Little known to most, the Washington Monument, in the setting sun has an angry alien face created by the red lights and observation windows.
My favorite picture - The Jefferson Memorial at dusk.The WWII memorial.
And finally, the reason we went to Maryland - my brother graduating from AIT.And here's Justin our last day in DC.
Some final thoughts on my trip. The following sums up what I learned, discovered and realized on my trip.
  1. Maryland does not like to give much warning or direction in its road signage. My favorite moment was when driving on a single lane ramp and the signs told me to merge because my lane was ending. I thought this was a fluke but a hundred yards later the next sign told me that my lane would end in a few more yards. It never did.
  2. Maryland drivers come in two forms: slow and fast. Mostly slow.
  3. The subway really is the best way to get around DC.
  4. The Army has some strange rules applied in a random fashion that makes me worry about the security of our country.
  5. I could have never been a Civil War sailor (unless you removed my head so I'd fit below decks).
  6. If ever again I'm going to DC in the winter. Cooler temperatures and less school children (oh god, the school children!).
  7. Favorite sight: one legged man bicycling hands free down the DC streets.
  8. Favorite sites: the shear size and intricacy of the National Cathedral and the Jefferson Memorial at dusk (as seen above).
  9. A good map is a godsend.
  10. A readily accessible internet connection has become my Achilles heal.
  11. I don't really enjoy museums. I'm glad they are there and I find many interesting things inside them, but if I see one more group of teenagers in matching T-shirts or hats...well, I'll weep.
Washington is better in the movies and would probably have been much better before terrorism won and all the buildings I'd really like to see were closed to the public. Of course, I'd just have been waiting with a bunch of bored kids to get in anyway.


Becky Rose said...

Your parents look so svelt!! Kudos to them! I have the utmost sympathy for you dad in the picture where he's sweating through his shirt...we've all been there, man.

Brent said...

He wasn't the only one. It was 105 on Monday when we picked my brother up from the Army base. We did most of our siteseeing from inside the air conditioned car.

spinningmom said...

I'd have loved to have a picture of the one legged bicyclist. Love you Brent!