June 12, 2006
The Library of Congress, Supreme
Court Building, Union Station, Chinatown DC, Ford's Theater (where
Lincoln was shot), The White House, The Lincoln Memorial, The Korean
Memorial, World Wars I and II memorials, The Vietnam Memorial, and
the Washington Monument.
(A.K.A. One heck of a
Warning - Picture intensive page!
We started off the day taking the
DC Metro to Union Station.
By the way, WE LOVED THE METRO!
DC's transportation is set up the way any big city can and
should set up its public transportation. While DC
Residents may feel that the system is overcrowded, from an
outsider's perspective, it is really an excellent system.
Since we were going to be in DC
for a week, we purchased a 7-day pass (the previous day) from
one of the vending machines nearby.
Once we got off the metro, we went
to the library of congress. Now, at the library of
congress, there are several buildings. One fun thing to
do, we discovered, is to go into the wrong building. Not
only can you ride the elevator up and down through several
levels of locked doors and drawers filled with MicroFiche files,
but you can also draw funny looks from people who actually
belong in the Library you're going into.
In all seriousness through, we did
eventually find our way (through a series of underground tunnels
- not joking), to the actual "tourist" part of the library of
congress. We could tell we were in the touristy part by
the groups of people all talking very loudly and wearing the
same color T-Shrits.
The Library of Congress building
is absolutely amazing. We especially liked the exhibits on
Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson, and it was cool to get
to see one of the original Guttenberg Bibles!
(Carrie viewing the one of only
four remaining prints of the Guttenberg Bible -
this one being the best quality Guttenberg bible in existence
The Famous part of the library of
congress (no, we couldn't go inside.)
Inside the touristy part of the Library of Congress.
Us outside the Library of Congress
We then walked to the Supreme
with the famous inscription "Equal
Justice Under Law" on the west side of the building.
We got pictures here with
Viliam Choma, as well as
Patrick and Julie Shaw,
whose businesses deal with helping people get affordable access
to the legal system.
(The view of the Capitol Building
from the Supreme Court Building)
We then walked across the street
to the United States Capitol Building, which was under
There are some beautiful trees and
flowers all around the capitol and on Capitol Hill.
After taking some pictures of the Capitol Building...
and some pictures of the Mall from the capitol...
(Note the not-so-disguised security camera)
...it was time for lunch.
Our friend the squirrel thought so too, and was happy to join us
for peanut butter and jelly.
We then walked to Washington D.C.
We walked through Union Station to the Metro platforms,
and took the Metro to the Friendship Arch in Washington D.C.'s
(Friendship Arch in Chinatown)
(From Wikipedia: In 1986, the city
dedicated the Friendship Archway, a traditional Chinese gate
designed by local architect Alfred H. Liu. The colorful, $1
million work of public art includes 7 roofs up to 60 feet high,
7000 tiles, and 272 painted dragons in the style of the Ming and
Qing Dynasties. Erected to celebrate friendship with
Washington's sister city of Beijing, it was hoped the arch would
reinforce the neighborhood's Chinese character. Also in 1986,
the Metro station was given its present name, Gallery
We then walked to our next
location. On the way, we saw Saint Patrick's Catholic
It was a very cool church from the outside, and we were sad to
see that it had been renovated
so that many of the original architectural features had been
Our next destination was the Ford
Theater. (There's a Hard Rock Cafe' next door).
This is the theater where President Lincoln was
We were pleased to learn that it is a still-working theater
(during non-tourist season).
We would definitely like to go back to the Ford Theater some
time to see a show performed on the stage there.
We walked from Ford's Theater,
and on our way to the White House,we saw the U.S. Department of
The architecture of the Treasury Building is awesome!
We then reached the White House,
and decided to go around the South side,
to take pictures and see the White House from there.
We walked South from the White
House, and thought that we would like to see Constitution Hall.
You'll note that there are no pictures on this web site of
constitution hall. Why? Well, we learned (after
walking onto the floor where a graduation ceremony was held,)
that Constitution Hall is an indoor arena used for large events
(like graduations, for example). This may be obvious for
people in Washington D.C., but as tourists, we had no idea, and
assumed that it had something to do with the actual
After all the walking, we decided
to take a little break to drink some water and eat some CRAMP
(CRAMP Cashews, Raisins, Almonds, M&M's, and Peanuts) in a
graveled area overlooking the lake at Constitution Garden.
It was a much needed break.
We then went on to see the World
War 2 Memorial.
This is a new memorial, but is already a place which carries a
lot of emotion, and we were glad to see a national memorial
honoring those who served our country during World War 2.
More about the World War
2 Memorial can be read at
We then walked to the World War
1 Memorial for those who served from the state of Virginia.
From there, we walked along
Constitution Garden towards the Korean War Memorial.
We think this would have been an amazing place, had we not been
there when two huge groups of tourists were, with tour guides
speaking through Megaphones. But the memorial was still
amazingly detailed, and seemed to capture the fear and anxiety
that must have been experienced by those who were actually
fighting on the ground in Korea.
After the Korean War Memorial, we
went to see Mr. Lincoln in his memorial.
There is so much power in the
words and example of someone willing to die for their
convictions, as Abraham Lincoln did. When the country was
celebrating the end of the Civil War, and honoring those who had
fallen at Gettysburg, and other locations throughout the
country, Abraham Lincoln was working to make the words of the
emancipation proclamation come true. Those words are
emblazoned on the walls around the monument where Lincoln is
We walked from the Lincoln
Memorial to the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial, otherwise known as
the Vietnam Wall. There is so much power
in this memorial, and we were so appreciative of the time we got
to spend here, as well as getting to see the Vietnam Women's
From the Vietnam Memorial, we walked back by the Washington
and caught the awesome DC Metro back to where we were staying,
in Tyson's Corner, Virginia.