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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Tiring, Whirlwind, Exhausting, Fantastic

Those were the adjectives used by Blaire, Leslie, Jenna, and myself respectfully to describe our day.  Landing at Dulles airport at 5:00 this morning with minimal sleep on our four and a half flight caught an van to the Sheraton Four Points in downtown Washington (12th and K for those in the know) arriving a little after six; several hours before we would be able to check in.

The very kind last at the front desk tagged our bags to put in storage until we could check in later and suggested we walk a block to Soho Cafe Market for breakfast instead of paying $16 each for the hotel restaurant's buffet.  Soho is a great concept, it has made to order items at a fixed price, our a buffet where they weigh your plate and charge by the pound.  In this city where so many are concerned with what is "fair" this place fits the bill---literally.

After energizing on coffee, eggs, coffee, sausage plus donuts for the girls it was about 7:00 and we headed out into the very brisk mid-forties with low breeze to see the sights.
The streets were pretty empty at that hourand very soon we were in front of the White House being lit by the rising sun.  Whenever I see something like this I think of all those who have viewed this same view over the centuries, our nation's home bathed in the light of a rising sun and in awe of what it represents to our nation and the world.

Continuing our early morning walk we went around the Eisenhower Executive Office Building to the mall where we saw the Washington monument half covered in scaffolding as it under goes repairs from the earthquake a while back.  We headed west and walked around the World War II memorial.

As memorials go this one is somewhat lacking, especially in comparison to the many others in our Capital.

We continued down the mall as a very chilly wind started to blow and we were feeling our lack of sleep.  Ahead of us though was the Lincoln Memorial shining in brilliant sunlight.

As we reached the memorial and all the steps the sparse number of people out and about increased dramatically.

We climbed the steps and did at the spot were Reverend Martin Luther King face his "I Have A Dream" speech and had the girls try to visualize the mall in front of them packed with tens of thousands of people on a very hot August day.

When we went into the temple like setting inside the monument we were soon surrounded by a large group of young black students who were high school agreed.  In front of us and the students stepped an older black man, perhaps young sixties. He began to passionately steak to the students about Lincoln and King.  Why it was symbolic  King chosethis spot to deliver his speech, referencing lines and motifs from King's speech, explaining about checks written that were not able to be cashed, a people who were freed from slavery by the man whose statue we were looking at and seen by people beating King's speech who are not yet truly free. It was a great moment and I was very happy my girls were able to hear this man teach his students.

By now it was around 9:00 and we headed east on the Mall walking back past the Washington monument and to the Smithsonian.

Jenna had us laughing calling it Smith Son Ian and asking why I never told them about my son Ian.  We waited in line for about ten minutes for the museum to open and headed right to the cafeteria for some coffee for mom and dad, cocoa for the girls and a bit of a rest. Then we dove into the exhibits, highlights being Dorothy's red shoes, one of the first Apple computers, a Walkman and Abraham Lincoln's death mask.

After a few hours we headed out search of lunch and went to The Pavilion, which is the old post office building converted to shops and a food court (it seems a lot of cities do this with old post offices).  After lunch we headed to the Supreme Court where we experienced Blaire's highlight of the day as we met several members of the New York Ballet who were performing that night at the Kennedy Center.

After a brief tour of the court we caught a cab to the hotel and were able to check into our room.  By 2:30 deep breathing and soft snores filled the room.  Nap time was very much needed after our long night of travel after a full day of school and work and then about five miles of walking and sight seeing.

Rising the troops in the evening we walked a few blocks to the Capital City Brewery for a couple of pints for mom and dad and dinner for all.

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