Friday, August 21, 2009

Day 2 in DC

Today was the first full day of sightseeing. Slept in a little bit and then Alex and I jumped on the metro to go see:

the White House

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the Vietnam Memorial

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the Lincoln Memorial

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I'd like to say I had a lovely glisten going on in this picture, but no, that's called sweat. That's pretty much all I did in DC. Hot, humid and on the verge of miserable.

the Washington Monument

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and the World War II Memorial.

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We saw but didn't go by the Korean War Memorial, but did make it on another day. I wish I had also seen it during the day because it was REALLY cool.

After our walking tour we headed over to the Holocaust Museum. They don't allow pictures, but it was something I really enjoyed. A lot of people asked if it was a downer, but I didn't think so. I love the history of it all and look at it as a where we were and where we are now. Maybe because I've been to a concentration camp I was more immune to it than some, I don't really know. The museum isn't all about look at the awful things we did or let happen. It's a lot of history about how the war started and the history of the Jewish people. There is a whole section dedicated to the concentration camps, ghettos, and what life was like for not just the Jews, but also disabled people, gypsies, gays and others. Then it moves in to the liberation of the camps. I got a little teary eyed when I read about how the people in the ghettos or the concentration camps fought back and when I read the stories of all the individuals that helped hide or save various individuals. At the end there is a hall of remembrance which was just amazing. In the end I felt more uplifted than anything because it showed that you can never give up hope.

After the museum we had big plans to hit up one of the Smithsonians. Didn't happen. After spending most of the day walking the city in 200 degree weather with 5,000% humidity we were spent. We met up with part of our group and headed back to the apartment.

That night we went on a ghost tour. No, we didn't see any ghosts, but if you were this little 9 year old boy you sure as heck did! Something extremely scary did happen on the tour though...

The tour started in Lafayette Square by the White House.

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We stopped by haunted places like Dolley Madison's house where President Madison's wife is still seen rocking in her chair on the porch.

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St. John's Church - the 2nd structure built in the square (after the White House) and where every US President has attended services. Supposedly 6 ghostly, hooded figures show up and sit in the President's pew to pay their respects whenever a president dies. Ooooooooooh! It's also the scene of my frightening moment.

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We turned around to look at the next haunted location, The Hay/Adams House (now a hotel) and learned about the haunted 4th floor (I forget what happened there).

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We then headed over to the Decatur House. They had to remove several of the windows on the street side because there were so many ghostly sightings of the house's previous owner, Stephen Decatur.

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730 Jackson Place is the former home of Congressman Daniel Sickles. Sickles killed Philip Barton Key (Francis Scott Key's son - he wrote the Star Spangled Banner) for sleeping with his wife. Sickles was tried for murder and acquitted and the defenses of temporary insanity and a crime of passion were born.

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712 Jackson Place which was the home of Henry and Mary Rathbone. They were the couple that were at Ford's Theater when Abraham Lincoln was shot. Years later Henry was still distraught that he was unable to save the president. He shot Mary, tried to kill his children and then turned the gun on himself.

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Finally, we ended up at the White House again.

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I also got to see the Eisenhower Executive Office Building

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and the Blair house which is the guest house for White House visitors.

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That's the end of day 2!

3 comments:

  1. The ghost tour sounds so fun! I did not know that about Henry Rathbone. Freaky!

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  2. Faith I don't know how you remembered all of the ghost tour but thank you! Awesome pictures!

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  3. Kim - I did have to look up a few of the locations to remember what was what, but I remembered most of it.

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