I Have a Dream

Trip Start Jun 09, 2009
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14
Trip End Jun 23, 2009


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Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Weather seemed to have been on our side at the start of our arrival in DC…it is not now. But no worries!  To the museums!  After a wonderful breakfast at a privately owned local eatery….oh wait, I am being told that this "Star Bucks" we visited are quite common throughout the country.  Nonetheless, it was the warm pick-me-up we needed on a grey and drizzly morning.

Weekday pace is so much more different than weekend pace around the city.  As we were dressed in our cargo shorts, backpacks and t-shirts, these two tourists stuck out like sore thumbs among the dark suits and lanyard nametags.  Rows of crisp business clothes and Bluetooth headsets canvassed the landscape at this hour….and all we wanted to do was warm up from the 60-degree temps and go to the Air and Space Museum.

And that we did.   As soon as we entered we were hit with the Apollo 11 capsule, the Spirit of St. Louis, Chuck Yeager's plane, and the Wright Brother’s new “Flying Machine.”  The sheer size of the museum, required us to pick and choose rooms that would interest us.

Back underground we went as we headed on the Metro up to Dupont Circle for lunch.  We thought Greek, which was lined up with the likes of Ethiopian, Thai, Italian, Spanish, French, just to name a few.  Appropriate there is such an international cornucopia of dining options, as we were just around the corner from Embassy Row.  It was fun to casually stroll up and down the tree lined streets, with narrow and vertical brownstones showing the flag gently blowing in the north wind of each of the countries represented.  Temp seems to be dropping some more, but the drizzling has let up a bit to allow us to take out the camera for outdoor shots.

Ok, now for my only beef with DC.  The Metro.  Wonderful if you want to stay in the Mall or around the museums….terrible if you want to explore the area around Naval Observatory, National Cathedral, and Georgetown.  We had a subway card, but not a bus card which we found out does not work, rudely by the M2 Northbound driver on Mass Avenue.  “We dant take dat card.  Need to get off!”  Um, ok Sir…that we did.  Brian had a good idea to just go get the truck at Union Station.  Oh, I didn’t tell you but Union Station is across the street from the hotel and we can park at the train station garage for 18 dollars a day, compared to Hyatt’s 44 dollars a day.  So we just went back on the Metro to Union and got the truck to head to these surrounding neighborhoods.

To the National Cathedral!  The rain was really coming down now, so I know outdoor photography of the church was out but indoor would be lovely.  The huge massive interior was site to so many memorable events….Reagan’s Funeral, 911 Prayer Service, Kennedy laying in state, Prayer Service for the Hostages in the 1970s, just to name a few.  The pillars rose to a neck strain to the Gothic ceiling adorned with flags from every state.  Walking, sitting, and meditating…the empty church interior provided a wonderful hour long respite from the non-stop touring we have been doing our first week on the road.  It was as if I didn’t want to get up and leave.  It was so powerful, so peaceful, so humbling.  Lighting a candle and saying a small prayer, we headed to something warm in Georgetown.

Navigating the huge black Texas-sized truck on the cobblestone streets of historic Georgetown, reminded me that this district was built to hold horse and buggy…not F-150.  After many slow turns constantly looking in my mirrors, I was able to park the truck – allowing us to get out and walk the streets.  The rain had stopped, but the chill was present.  Could almost use a sweatshirt…in JUNE!  Found a great restaurant called Nathan’s Steakhouse, which we made reservations for tomorrow night.  It had to be good since it was red-walled and had prints of many Senators and dignitaries who had visited.  Couldn’t get in tonight anyways as they were booked…and we weren’t really dressed for it anyways.

Night has fallen sooner than usual as the overcast skies blocked the evening sun.  We took the truck over the Arlington Memorial Bridge to the Iwo Jima Memorial.  Such a powerful and moving monument, especially on a cloudy night.  So quiet up on the hill, overlooking the Potomac  with no sounds except the flapping of the flag and the constant hiss of freeway traffic a few hundred yards below.

The same hill provided some wonderful night shots of the city from a distance….enjoy.  I know I did.

Super late now as midnight approaches.  Hard to believe it is already that time, but you lose track of time when you are under the power of these monuments especially at night….and with no tourists.  We crossed the bridge and decided to see the Lincoln Memorial at midnight.  It was our place.  No one around.  No horns, no sirens, no screaming kids.  Just us and ol Abe.  I will not elaborate on powerful verbiage describing what we saw..I will just show you in the pics.  I could still hear MLK deliver those world-changing words "I have a Dream" as I stood alone on the same tile (which was marked) at midnight overlooking the Reflection Pool toward the Washington Monument.

Up super-early tomorrow….White House called today, and we are moved to the 7am tour.  Can’t wait to tell you about that.  Dispatch out. 
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