Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Washington D.C. Trip!

I'm such a dummo!  I totally forgot to blog about our PA/Virginia/Washington D.C. trip.  I started, but failed totally.  I did do a post about Hershey, PA, but that was it!

So.....here are a few highlights of our trip. Again, Jillian had to work at the amusement park, so she wasn't able to join us.  I really felt a bit off kilter without her there.  Someone was missing and it was noticable to all of us. :(   Next time I'm making her skip work and be with us.  Who knows how many trips we will have left with all of us together? Jillian is already almost 17 and soon will be off to college.

Ok, so here we go....

Remember, this trip was in August, so it was warm. I like summer, but don't love it. I do, however, love that I was able to spend time with my family even if we were dripping with sweat occassionally!

On our first full day in Fairfax, VA, we traveled a bit east to the Washington D.C. Temple in Kensington, MD.  We were sealed there 20 years ago, and we had not been back since.  It was a special experience seeing it again and it brought back many memories.  It also was super fantastic that we could show the kids where we were married so long ago. It was a beautiful day outside.

<<< Still sad about Jillian missing in this one.

<< Due to remodeling, they had to make the reflection pool smaller, but I didn't notice much of a difference. It's still as beautiful as ever.

<< There was a gorgeous Hubble Space Telescope photography exhibit in one of the rooms of the visitors center. You really had to see it for yourself to appreciate it. I really felt small compared to so many stars a many light years away.

<< Miss Ava. I pretty much cry every time I see the Christus.  How can you not?

<< Brycen at one of the interactive areas of the visitors center.  Push a button and hear the story of Lehi.

<< Molly with a replica of the golden plates.

<< Way up on the wall, there were many scriptures to help individuals & families remember why they are here and what we should be striviving for  eternally.

<< A sister missionary took our photo. I can't help but think there are a few of us missing. Perhaps 2 of them were there in spirit.

<< In the parking lot were many islands of grass. Right in the middle of the lot, surrounded by parking spaces was a sweet fawn!  It wouldn't let us get too close, but again, a reminder of the beauty of nature and what HF has given us.

<< About 20 mins away from the Temple, is Washington D.C. itself.  I have to admit that at first I was very frustrated with this place! It's so hard to navigate, people are everywhere and there is NO parking.  Ok, so yes, there IS parking, but it's usually very far away from where you want to actually be.  Trying to get around this place was taking it's toll. Tempers were flaring and exhaustion was high.  We did find some parking near the Jefferson Memorial (pictured), but it was a long walk to actually get there. I needed the exercise though right?  If it weren't so hot that day, it would've been much better.  The memorial was nice, but truthfully, I could've done without that one.  What might have been nice was the paddle boats seen in the water. It was only $4 a person for a 1/2 hour ride. Why didn't we do it? I don't know.

<< So after awhile of trying to find parking and figuring out where to go, we broke down and looked for a tour bus.  Why didn't we do this to begin with?!  It was heaven!  It didn't cost that much either. We settled on,  A Taste Of DC Tour. Since most of our day was taken up by aimlessly driving around, we were thrilled when we found this quick 2 hour tour. It started at Union Station which was awesome to be in! Huge and sooo many people! Fancy stores, eateries etc too. When the trolley tour started, we were able to drive by many many sights, hear an experienced driver tell us interesting facts (did you know you can't use your cell phone while driving in DC? I'm shocked we didn't get a ticket in the mail from one of the many cameras at the traffic signals!) and stop at the Capitol (pictured from our trolley) and the White House. We had plenty time to visit these places before hopping back on the trolley. It was sooo worth the money for this tour. Next time I will plan better and take a longer tour or maybe even a DC at night time tour.  They even have segway tours! But only for ages 16 and up.

<< Kids at the Capitol. If I'm not mistaken, the veranda above the kids is where President Obama was sworn in.

<< Wish I knew what they were thinking.

<< Throwing pennies & making wishes.  I love those trees in the backround.

<< On the Capitol lawn taking a rest.  It sure was hot that day. Look at that poor lady in the background! Hot & tired I assume.

<< A zoomed in photo of the White House thru the fence. We weren't able to get close at all. A person can't even drive near it. The street is closed off. We had to walk from a different area. Police are all over. Some people were reprimanded for getting off the sidewalk. Security seemed really tight to me. 

<< Not a very appealing view behind Macie, but this is all you get when you visit the White House.  Heck, the squirrels can get closer than we can.  Walking around the entrance gets us closer, but trees block the view, so there is no real good view.

<<  The fence around the White House has this pretty iron finial every few feet. I love it.  I wish it were a better photo so I could cut it out and digiscrap with it as an element. Time to get the Canon fixed!

Well, that does it for our first full day in D.C.  When I get a chance, I'll blog a little bit about our Virgina stay. Fairfax was only about 20 minutes from D.C. to the west.  Lots to do in this area!

I need to remind myself to blog sooner because I've forgotten some things, so this post wasn't as good as it could've been. Next vacation (in April!) will be documented sooner!

2 Whaddaya have to say about this post?:

Caity said...

Your right, the temple looks beautiful! My parents were sealed there. I've always wanted to go.

You better document your vaca! Will the whole family be going or just you and Rick?

Randa said...

The Temple is stunning...my parents got married there...this year will be there 23rd anniversary on May 23rd. You should check out allposters.com and type in Mormon in the search box...it will bring up pics of the temples and there's an amazing one of the DC temple, I want to get it for my parents anniversary.