Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring Break in Washington, D.C.

We recently paid a spring break visit to our cousins in Washington, D.C. We arrived via Megabus from Knoxville, and our cousins David and Margaret picked us up at Union Station. They showed us wonderful hospitality, fed us well, ran us around town and let us stay at their house. Thanks, cousins! This was Sarah's first trip to Washington, and we were all excited about touring the memorials and museums.
David and Margaret's house is within the Washington city limits, but the Metro stop for Silver Spring, Maryland, is about a mile and a half from their house. Unless we had cousins hauling us around, we rode the Metro, except we rode the bus one time to the National Zoo.
One of the items on Sherry's list to see was Ford's Theater, where President Lincoln was assassinated. We were disappointed to learn that you cannot tour the theater, but only a small museum downstairs. The theater houses an active theater company, so I suspect that's why it is off limits to tourists.
Across the street from Ford's Theater is the house where Lincoln died. We did not tour it because several busloads of other tourists were in line for it, and we didn't want to wait.
From Ford's, we went down Pennsylvania Avenue to view the White House, which was quite lovely on a sunny and clear morning.
As good Tennesseans we walked over to Lafayette Square to pay our respects to General Jackson. There are identical statues on Capitol Hill in Nashville and on Jackson Square in New Orleans.
This is the national headquarters of the American Red Cross, where I attended a nationwide conference of local Red Cross chapter directors and chairs in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. (I was chairman of the Board of Directors of the Blount County Chapter.) As we walked by the building, I remembered how surreal my being at that meeting seemed at the time.

Sherry and I had been dating six months, and she flew from Nashville to meet me in Washington during my trip. This trip is the first time we've been back since.
In the 1800's Constitution Avenue was a canal connecting the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, and this building was the lockkeeper's house.
We made sure to visit the World War II Memorial for the first time. It is a moving and beautiful tribute to the brave generation who lived through that terrible war.
There is a lot of work going on around the National Mall right now, and we were somewhat aware of that from a webcam we'd found online. The reflecting pool has been drained, and crews were working on the surface of the bottom of it.