June 9, 2013

Washington, D.C.

Last October when super storm Sandy hit the East Coast, we hunkered down at the Cherry Hill Park about 10 miles north of Washington D.C. to wait out the storm. We really didn't get to see much of Washington, D.C. at that time.

We are back at the same park and have been more productive about seeing the sites that D. C. and the surrounding area have to offer. We figure that it would take five years to thoroughly take in all of the museums, government buildings, monuments and history of this place. Most people come here and try to catch as much as they can in a week or two. That is what we have been doing this past week.

Top on our list of priorities was Mount Vernon, President George Washington's 200-acre estate. It is located 30 miles from the city, right on the Potomac River.

Bronze statute of
President George Washington

Because there wasn't any photography back in the late 1700s, the only pictures available of President Washington were those that were painted by artists. But, today, with technology, experts have a better idea of what George Washington looked like. This statute is their reproduction of his face at age 47.  

Front of George Washington's home
at Mount Vernon, Virginia. You can see the 
blue waters of the Potomac on the right.

A closer view of Mount Vernon.
(Could not take pictures inside of the house.)

Left side of Mount Vernon showing the 
Potomac River running behind his house.

Walkway behind the house leading 
to the Potomac River.

First burial vault of George and Martha Washington.
They were moved to the new vault in 1830.

Casket of President George Washington
inside the new vault. (Martha Washington's
casket is to the left and not shown on this picture.)

Stain glass depiction of the 
Reading of the Declaration of Independence
to George Washington,
located in the Donald W. Reynolds Museum
and Education Center located on the property.

The Museum was most interesting, as it is laid out chronologically to the events in President Washington's life. One of the best Museums we have visited.

Next on our list was the Washington National Cathedral.

 Washington National Cathedral

Jerry took this picture from inside 
the Cathedral while we were up in the balcony.

The Washington National Cathedral
(looking down from the balcony)

We could not see the beautiful ceiling because of the wire mesh underneath it. The mesh was put into place to prevent debris from falling into the Cathedral after the earthquake 2011. A number of structures suffered damage from the earthquake and are still under repair, including this Cathedral, Union Station and the Washington Memorial.
The alter in the Cathedral

Looking from the alter to the back of the Cathedral.

So many beautiful arches throughout the Cathedral

Organ in the Cathedral

While we were there, the organ master played three short symphonies for the people in the Cathedral. The pipes were so powerful and the music so beautiful that it cannot be described in words. So, we went back today for Sunday services. Just wanted to hear the organ music once again and thank God for all His gifts.

In the seven years that we have been RVing, we never thought to take a formal bus tour of any place we have visited. That changed here. We decided to see Washington, D. C. at night and took a night tour of the city. It was a challenge taking pictures at night.

Thomas Jefferson Memorial

Side view of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial

Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial

Eleanor Roosevelt is also represented
within the FDR Memorial for all of 
her peace-keeping work. She is the only 
First Lady outdoor statute in D. C.

Korean Memorial

Martin Luther King Memorial

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima Memorial

On Saturday, we visited The National Archives. We saw the actual Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Magna Carta of 1297 documents. (The Magna Carta document is one of four surviving documents.) No photography, of course. These documents of heavily protected by security and put away in secret vaults every night. 

National Archives Building

The line waiting to get into the National Archives

This is part of the US Navy Memorial.
There are bronze depictions of people and 
events all over this city.

Inside Union Station -- the central transportation point
for all of the trains, subways and buses. It is huge.

 Ceiling in Union Station

Speaking of buses and subways, we have been making our way around this city by riding them.

Inside the subway

The subway cars we ride

Tonight we have been invited to dinner at Denise and Clyde's place here in Maryland. Denise and I were co-workers at one time, and we haven't seen each other in 14 years. Jerry and I attended their wedding 24 years ago. She said that every year on their anniversary (last week), they watch the video of their wedding. When they saw us on the video, they said: "There's Jerry and Mary. Wonder what happened to them." Then I call her the next day.

We have one more week here in the Washington D. C. area before moving on further up the coast.

Enjoy the life you live.

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