Monday, June 25, 2007

Washington DC (1 of _)

For those of you who don’t know, I (Nate) spent several days in Washington DC a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, since Miranda has now entered what we refer to as “the real world” she can only take limited vacation time and was, therefore, not able to accompany me. This means that I ended up taking my trip solo. I’d say that it was nice to have the time to myself, but aside from Arlington and the National Cathedral, two places where solitude was an advantage, I wished that I had a traveling companion. I stayed at the luxurious Merkel Motel (a friend from High School) and took the metro to wherever I wanted to go during the day.

The first day I was there I headed to downtown planning on wandering the Smithsonian buildings. However, when I got off the Metro I turned left instead of right and spent my day looking at the obligate memorials. First I saw the, the Washington memorial, which was much larger than I had pictured. Basically, unless you’re standing next to a tree between you and the memorial, you can see it. After the WA memorial I headed over to the WWII memorial, the Vietnam memorial, the Lincoln memorial, the Korean war memorial, the Martin Luther King Jr. “memorial” (it was a plaque), the FDR memorial, the George Mason memorial and, finally, the Jefferson memorial. I’ll give you some highlights of these sights as captions to the pictures below.

See the small people? Yeah, this mother is big.

This is the Vietnam memorial. I liked this angle.

I couldn’t get over how haunted the faces of the statues were at the Korean War memorial.

This was at the FDR memorial. There were a lot of great quotes as you walked through it. Of course, if you’ve been president for three terms you’d hope that you could say something quote-worthy. The statue seemed appropriate for the whole great depression/fireside talk era.

This is a statue of Eleanor Roosevelt at the FDR memorial. She was the first US ambassador to the UN. I had no idea.

Here is George Mason, kicking it at his memorial, reading some philosophy.

This is a plaque on the WWII memorial depicting what Grandpa Walker did during the war.

After I saw the memorials I decided that I had better go find the White House, see where Bush lives (at least for a couple of months out of the year). However, just like when I started my day, I turned left when I should have turned right and wound up seeing some random buildings like the state department, the Federal Reserve and some sort of federation that I think was outdated by NATO. When I stumbled upon the Fed I decided that I would poke my head inside, partly to see if there was anything worth seeing and partly to see if Ben Bernanke was standing in the lobby (not that I know what he looks like). However, as I approached the front of the building I was flagged down by a couple of security guards and told that the general public hasn’t been allowed to go past the first steps since the trade center was bombed. Oh, I also saw a statue of someone who was key in the history of Uruguay… go figure. Eventually though, I did make it to the White House. It was neat but nothing that blew me away.

This is the Federal Reserve, AKA, the building that I was shooed away from. The stairs in the foreground are the limit to where I was supposed to go. The stairs in the background are where I was flagged down.

This is a panorama that I took with the White House in it. It's probably hard to see but it's in the middle of the grove of trees.

That about did it for my first day in DC. After I saw the White House I just headed back to the Merkel Inn and hung out with him for the evening. I’ll be sure to write about the other days of my vacation later. Sights will include Arlington Cemetery, the National Cathedral, the Smithsonian and the Capitol building.