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Day 7: Washington DC

July 30th, 2010 · No Comments

Another great nights’ sleep, great bed! Much better then waking up in the morning, broken because you had to sleep in a dingy bed …

After showers and dressing we went to have breakfast in the hotel restaurant. Breakfast is included, so we definitely will gratefully use it.

Another buffet with an ‘omelet station’, very tempting. A very kind chef poured his soul in to the eggs and omelets. Samantha too has again found her way to the omelet station.  Ordering is getting easier by the day for her, but she really-does-not-speak-English! ;o)


After breakfast we first had to figure out where exactly the metros tation is. It has to be really close, but where exactly?…

Luckily the reception knew, so we could quickly get going.

Because it looked like yet another sweltering day, we thought it best to start at Arlington National Cemetery. Once there we could also purchase Tourmobile Sightseeing tickets. We used this method of transport last time we were in DC, and we very much liked it then.

Geordi is very interested in the presidents and really wanted to see president Kennedy’s grave. He was totally impressed. Both were in awe about Arlington and the sheer number of graves there!

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With the train we went to the ‘The Tomb of the Unknowns’ to watch the ceremonial changing of the guard. We were exactly in time. The ceremony is very moving and both Miriam and I get emotional when we watch it.

Once the honor guard had been changed we decided to wait for another changing, and then take position at the point the new guard is inspected by his sergeant.

That turned out to be a good decision, as there was a special wreath ceremony on behalf of Boyscout troop 576. (There’s a large Jamboree in Washington in honor of the BSA’s first centennial). That too was very impressive. Once the wreath was put in place bu a few representatives of the scouts, a bugler blew the Taps. Words cannot express which emotions whirl through you at such a moment!

Shortly after this ceremony, there was another changing of the guard. Especially Geordi was so impressed by the inspection that he had a lot of questions, which I could answer while we made our way back to the train!

*Miriam couldn’t decide what photo’s to use.*

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With the train we went on to Arlington House, the house where General Robert E. Lee lived with his wife and children. The view from here over Washington DC is truly amazing. Unfortunately the National Park Service is currently renovating the mansion, so all furniture has been removed.

By now it was time to head for Washington itself. At the entrance of Arlington National Cemetery we transferred to the bus that shuttles between Washington’s major points of interest.

We decided to go to Union Station first: FOOD!

Along the road there was enough to see and the kids (as well as ourselves) clearly enjoyed it all. We’re really happy that we’re in a position to be able to show all of this to our kids now as well.

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In Union Station we first hit the foodcourt and found ourselves a free spot. Miriam first made a tour of the court with Geordi to find food. Samples were being offered everywhere, but Miriam and Geordi quickly agreed: The Bourbon Chicken was best. So together they ordered one Bourbon Chicken.

Once they returned, I left with Samantha and we fell for the King BBQ. That way we all get to eat what we like. It may not be fancy, but a foodcourt is very convenient!

DSC_0308 DSC_0306 DSC_0307 After lunch we looked around and shopped a little inside Union Station. When we exited the station to board a train, the sky had become ovecast and a few big droplets already fell from the skies. A serious thunderstorm moved over, accompanied by some heavy rainfall.

This rain literally drowned our plans. We intended to go to the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial. But due to the rain we entered the National History Museum instead

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We arrived just in time, because in the main hall they were just busy unfolding a large flag with the help of a lot of people. This truly is a MEGA flag (30′ by 40′, 9m by 12m). And once the flag was completely spread out the guide and all people (and there were many) started singing the US Anthem. Being able to sing the anthem is normal for Americans. Where the Dutch are barely able to sing the first stanza of our anthem, the Americans sing theirs with heart and soul.

Then the huge flag was carefully folded again, in that special way that the American flag is to be folded.

That rain had to be, without it we would have missed it.

After that we went to see the “original” Star Spangled Banner. Last time we saw it, it was hanging in the main hall, but now they had a special area for it. Unfortunately photography was not allowed, but nobody mentioned filming…


We didn’t intend to stay here for too long. If we felt like it we could always return later.

But since the rain was still falling outside, the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial were still not possible. Miriam was seriously disappointed, as that was exactly what she wanted to show the kids!

We thought it’d be a good idea to head for the National Air and Space Museum for now. Walking in between the raindrops we walked to the museum. Despite the rain, the kids still love Washington DC. We can safely say that DC too left a big impression!

We couldn’t recall too much about the Air and Space Museum. But we know for sure that a lot has changed in the last 14 years!

We went (had) to see the museum in a high tempo, but as expected, Geordi was totally in his element here! He loves anything to do with air and space flight.

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By now the skies had cleared and we could resume our scheduled stops. Unfortunately though the busses stop at 4:30PM. We decided we’d just wing it and see.

The Lincoln Memorial left a big impression on the kids as well, just like the great view from there. Both Samantha and Geordi want to know everything.

We made a few of the obligatoru ‘joke photo’s’. Always funny to see other people doing the same thing once you step away…

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From the Lincoln Memorial we first visited the Korean War Memorial. Again very impressive!

When we walked towards the Vietnam Memorial we saw a squirrel that took his time posing for the photo’s!

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The Vietnam Memorial is very impressive, but it also makes you sad when you read all those names on that big black wall.

From there we slowly made our way back towards the Mall to get back on the Metro towards the hotel. It’s a bit of a walk, but we were in a good mood!

Once back in the hotelroom we all felt like we had been worn down 4”! Our feet were gone and we could literally be wrung out!

But we ended up seeing so much more than we intended. The kids enjoyed, so we did too.



A bit of relaxing and refreshing (clean clothes!) in our room to shortly afterwards take the care too find some food. In the area we’re staying there isn’t that much to eat, so that’s a pity. And to go to Ruby Tuesday again is not an appealing thought right now.

But it did give us a chance to also visit the Marine Corps “Iwo Jima” Memorial. It isn’t very far from our hotel and has good (free) parking.

We both think it is a very touching monument. We’ve seen it on pictures many times before, but never with our own eyes. It is much bigger than Miriam expected!

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Now it is time to find some grub! We drove to Fairfax and bought ourselves some food at the shopping area.

Much later than intended we returned to our hotel. Geordi was already dosing off in the car.

But it’s safe to say we had a GREAT day!

Tomorrow Charleston. A long trip.

Now it is time to find some grub! We drove to Fairfax and bought ourselves some food at the shopping area.

Much later than intended we returned to our hotel. Geordi was already dosing off in the car.

But it’s safe to say we had a GREAT day!

Tomorrow Charleston. A long trip.

Iwo Jima memorial (HDR)

Iwo Jima memorial (HDR)

Weather in Washington DC at time of posting: 27 °C, few clouds, wind 300° at 7km/hr.

Categories: USA Roadtrip 2010

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