6-28-10 Monday (Changing Of The Thud)

Our last full day in DC!  Awwwwwwww.  Laurie, Pearl, Tim and Carl were ahead of us today.  They took the Metro into Arlington to visit the cemetery and grounds. We were about 45-60 minutes behind them for a good part of the day.  Jim and I opted for a trolley bus tour.  It was one of those hop off and on when ever you want.  Perfect, it was REALLY hot out and the Arlington National Cemetery is quite huge.  As we made our way through the cemetery via the tour tram, a guide would narrate.  We saw many different memorials and sites.  It’s a beautiful cemetery.

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2010-06-28 011 Above: John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame

2010-06-28 013 Above: Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – changing of the guard.

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2010-06-28 023 Above/Below: the view from the Arlington House.

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2010-06-28 027Above: Inside the Arlington House.  Very empty and in need of restoration/preservation efforts.

The only disappointment was that we were very hot.  I was hungry and hot and felt weary.  There was only one place to buy bottled water unless you’re content with warm to hot water from a drinking fountain. 

THUD!  A girl collapsed during the changing of the guard.  She hit hard too but was later seen rehydrating on a park bench.  Reboarding the trolley wasn’t fun.  It was typically a 15 minute wait each time.

People who bring toddlers to museums and cemeteries suck.  Sorry but keep the kids out of Vegas and cemeteries.  They don’t care, they’re not entertained, they are needy, they’re not having fun, they don’t want to be quiet, they don’t want to sit still.  Stick with Disney until they’re older.

Upon departure from the cemetery we found that the others were at the American History Museum.  Tim told me the cafeteria offered many delicious choices including a salad bar.  He was right.  I filled up on grilled chicken, asparagus, zucchini, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, lettuce, etc.  Heavenly.

After lunch we were able to meet up with the gang and tour some of the exhibits together.

Here’s some of my favorite photos/exhibits:

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2010-06-28 029 Above: The view from our table at the cafeteria.

2010-06-28 031 Above: Interesting.  A float honoring hanging of witches?

2010-06-28 032 Above: Lincoln’s top hat!

2010-06-28 033 Above: C3PO

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2010-06-28 038 Above: The Ruby Slippers!

2010-06-28 040 Above: Kermit.

2010-06-28 042 Above: Fonzie’s jacket.

2010-06-28 043 Above: Archie Bunker’s chair.

2010-06-28 044 Above/Below: The entire Julia Child Kitchen!2010-06-28 045 

2010-06-28 046 Above: A pop up book exhibit.  I used to love them.

Above: Pop Up book.

While Jim and I finished up the museum, the remainder of the crew returned back to their hotel for naps.  Eventually we Metro’d back to the RV.  After naps, the gang came to the RV for dinner.  I made Lipton Onion Burgers.  Tim and I ate veggie burgers.  Jim and I put out a spread of salads and baked beans.

2010-06-28 051Above: Tim listens to Pearl explain world peace or something like that.  Carl (background) still isn’t smiling.  If you ask Carl, he’ll tell you he’s smiling on the inside.

Below: Laurie 2010-06-28 048 2010-06-28 049Above: She tried catching flies but failed.

2010-06-28 050 Above: The hands help her to hear a little better.

We said our goodbyes.  Carl, Tim, Laurie and Pearl have an early flight out to Florida in the morning.  Jim will be driving he and I for about 7-8 hours to get back home to Charlotte.  We’ll miss our friends and are so glad to have been able to visit with them.  We had so many laughs!  I love you guys!

DIH - TurtleJim enjoyed lunch with an ex-coworker while I soaked at the pool.  We bought some supplies to insulate the RV skylights.  See it here.

6-27-10 Sunday (Eskimo Hands)

Another day of sight seeing in DC! Be prepared for oodles of photos!

2010-06-27 001 Above: Dasher wants Clea out of his bed.

2010-06-27 003Above: Dasher paws the cat and gets his wish. She vacates.

Jim and I headed into DC separately from the rest of the gang to take a guided tour of the Smithsonian “Castle” which was the first Smithsonian building and now serves as an information center.

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The docent explained how the Smithsonian got it’s start. The short answer? James Smithson.

2010-06-27 006 Above/Below: Smithson’s Crypt.2010-06-27 005

There are very few exhibits here at this building. They did have a room with display cases highlighting a few things from each Smithsonian museum. It’s kind of like a sampler. One case contained an artifact – a statue of an Eskimo. I thought it was funny. See below:

2010-06-27 008Above/Below: I’d call this “The One Armed Masturbating Eskimo” 2010-06-27 008

OK, grow up. They did have a nice exhibit called, “Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection”. You can click on the link and see a slideshow of them on the Smithsonian webpage. They do a fantastic job of explaining the pins purpose along with photos.

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Next! Over to the Air and Space Museum (the other day Jim and I did the other location) for another tour. First we’ll meet up with Carl & Tim and have lunch while Laurie & Pearl explore the National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum on their own.

2010-06-27 014Above: Jim and Carl wait on the lunch line.

2010-06-27 011Above/Below: Right here in the Smithsonian is a McDonald’s/Donato’s Pizza/Boston Market.2010-06-27 013

OK, let’s go on the tour and get ed-u-ma-cated.

2010-06-27 016Above/Below: Naturally I talked Tim into squeezing into this little plane for a photo op.2010-06-27 015

2010-06-27 017Above/Below: The docent.2010-06-27 018

2010-06-27 019 Above/Below: Views inside this huge museum.2010-06-27 020

2010-06-27 022 Above: This is Jim a la heat signature style.

2010-06-27 023 2010-06-27 028 Above: I’m navigating something. Too bad I don’t remember what it was. Whatever it is, I’m sure I frightened small children while doing so.

2010-06-27 029 Above: All the way down in the gift shop was this ginormous Enterprise.

Carl and Tim left the tour early, met the girls at the restaurant I mentioned above and the 4 of them returned to their hotel for a nap. Jim and I remained in DC. We looked at some more exhibits.

Later that evening we had reservations/tickets to go up inside the Washington Monument for 6:30pm. Carl, Tim, Laurie and Pearl were running a little late so we went up into the monument without them. As we exited, they were going up so we waited for them outside.

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Here’s my inside pictures:

2010-06-27 035Above: Commemorative plaque inside.

2010-06-27 036 Above/Below: Views from the observation windows at the top.

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2010-06-27 042 Above: All interior walls are encased in plexi to protect them.

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2010-06-27 046 2010-06-27 050 Above/Below: Each viewing window gives a map of what we’re seeing along with shots of what the view looked like during different years.2010-06-27 051

2010-06-27 052Above: Time to catch the elevator back down.

Once we all rendezvoused outside it was time for some photos. Photos of the best DC subject? Us!

2010-06-27 066Above: Front to back, left to right: Pearl & Laurie. Tim & Jim. Carl & Garret.

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2010-06-27 060 Above: Garret, Jim, Tim, Carl, Pearl and Laurie. The people in the background liked our idea and did the same pose.

2010-06-27 063 Above: Front to back: Garret, Jim, Tim, Carl, Pearl and Laurie.

I love those photos and I love my friends!

Time to check the map and have dinner. How about the Hard Rock?

2010-06-27 067Above: Carl navigates. Pearl double checks. Laurie (background) triple checks via her phone.

2010-06-27 068 Above/Below: Hard Rock!2010-06-27 069

2010-06-27 070 Above: This is Balance Turtle. Laurie and Pearl take him with them on vacations. Balance Turtle has done a lot of traveling. Pearl says she’ll guest post or we’ll link to her blog about Balance Turtle’s deep dark past. OK, the deep dark part was just to get you hooked.

Dinner at Hard Rock sucked. Tim’s steak was cold. It and Jim’s meal came out first. The food runner stood at the end of the table and passed the food down from one end to the other. I hate that. Why didn’t he walk around? It was a long time before the other meals came out. Jim asked for mayo at the time of his order, none came out with the meal. He asked the server and she said it would be a few since she had to walk all the way down stairs to get it. I whispered to her that she had better get it now since he had ordered it from the beginning and can’t enjoy his burger without it. My chicken was yummy. Carl seemed to have gotten the wrong burger but ate it anyway. Tim complained about his cold food but did not want a new one. The manager came over and we let him have it. Tim was comp’d his meal. We got sincere apologies from the manager. The prices at this location were astronomical. For the price we paid, yes, we were expecting some perfection in the entire experience.

Time to go home. Tomorrow we have another day of sightseeing planned.

DIH - With Alix 105 degree weather. Phew! I get a compliment from a fellow blogger. With some friends we had an aMAZe-ing time. See what I’m talking about here.