Filled up with chicken wings and pulled pork sandwiches, we went for a wonder round the port and then jumped back in the car to head onto state number 33, Virginia.
Arlington in Virginia was where we had decided to stay to visit Washington DC, the capital of America. Our home for the next 4 nights was the Comfort Inn and it came with the luxury of a shuttle bus that took us to the nearest metro station. This meant we could get to Washington DC within 20 minutes. Arlington was also home to The Pentagon, which is the largest office building in the world.
Over our 4 days doing the Washington DC Tour, we saw a lot of famous landmarks and visited a number of the Smithsonian Institute Museums. The Smithsonian is divided up into 19 different museums. Knowing that we wouldn’t get around to seeing them all, we picked the two that interested us the most – the National Air & Space Museum and the National Museum of Natural History.
The Natural History museum was filled with stuffed animals and skeletons and an exhibit on Evolution. Barry loved the later, I’m sceptical. It also had a huge collection of unusual gems and minerals. We even got to see the Hope Diamond.
In the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum we got to see all sorts of jets, planes and spaceships, but all the good stuff was stored in a large hanger far out in Virginia due to space restraints. We did visit there later on – click here for the blog!
Obviously no trip to DC is complete without a visit to some of the most iconic places in America. First we went to the White House, which of course is sectioned off by a big black fence and guarded by a police guard. And naturally there was a crazy protester outside who felt it was his job to ‘stick it’ to the President.
Next was the Washington Monument, which is in the centre of the National Mall. It’s 555ft tall and is the tallest building in the district. We could’ve climbed up the inside of it, but we settled on admiring it from afar. From here we walked down the National Mall and to the National WWII Memorial. It honours 400,000 Americans who died in the war as well as the 16 million soldiers who served in it. There was a panel of stars, one for every 100 people that died. It was a very grand memorial, like most that are in America.
We continued on down the Mall, walking past the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, made famous in Forest Gump when Jenny goes running through it. Looking at it though, I wouldn’t have done that. It was green and filled with what looked like algae and bird poop! This led us to the Lincoln memorial and the place where Martin Luther King Jr gave his famous ‘I had a dream’ speech.
At the other end of the Mall (1.9 miles from the Lincoln Memorial) was the Capitol Building. This is where congress meet and writes the country’s laws. I’ve only really seen this building being zapped by a beam from a spaceship courtesy of the film Independence Day. In person it looked exactly like it did on film. This building wasn’t blocked off by a fence so you could go right up to it and there were some beautiful gardens and water features that surrounded it.
Once we’d completed the country’s capital, the last sight we wanted to see was the National 9/11 Pentagon Monument. You’re not aloud to take any photo’s of the building, nor could we really get anywhere near it, but there was a memorial for all those killed in the 9/11 attack on the building. It was made up of 184 benches, one for every person that was killed and inscribed with their name.
With our time in DC complete, it was time to move on. It was a great city with some beautiful buildings and touching memorials.