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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 touristy day!)

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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 today)

The Famous part of the library of congress (no, we couldn't go inside.)

Library of Congress Inside     Library of Congress Inside stairs
Inside the touristy part of the Library of Congress

  Carrie outside the Library of Congress   Outside the Library of Congress - front    Outside the Library of Congress - stairs    Carrie smiling outside the Library of Congress
Us outside the Library of Congress

Supreme Court Building - Equal Justice Under Law     Supreme Court Building - Stairs
We then walked to the Supreme Court Building,
with the famous inscription "Equal Justice Under Law" on the west side of the building.

   Carrie in front of Supreme Court Building   Carrie smiling in front of Supreme Court Building 3    Carrie smiling in front of Supreme Court Building    Carrie smiling in front of Supreme Court Building 2
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.

Capitol Building from Supreme Court Building     Capitol Building - lights in front
(The view of the Capitol Building from the Supreme Court Building)

Capitol Building stairs front      Capitol Building stairs front      Capitol Building front     Capitol Building stairs
We then walked across the street to the United States Capitol Building, which was under construction.

Carrie with Magnolia trees     Carrie at Capitol Building   Jonathan with flowers

Magnolias on Capitol Hill 2     Magnolias on Capitol Hill
There are some beautiful trees and flowers all around the capitol and on Capitol Hill.

Capitol Building on the Hill - the crown         Capitol Building on the Hill
After taking some pictures of the Capitol Building...

Washington DC the Mall 3     Washington DC the Mall 2      Washington DC the Mall
and some pictures of the Mall from the capitol...

Capitol Hill Security
(Note the not-so-disguised security camera)

Capitol Hill Lunch   Capitol Hill Squirrel
...it was time for lunch.
Our friend the squirrel thought so too, and was happy to join us for peanut butter and jelly.

DC Union Station through the trees   DC Union Station - Carrie  DC Union Station
We then walked to Washington D.C. Union Station.

DC Union Station inside 3   DC Union Station inside 2  DC Union Station inside
We walked through Union Station to the Metro platforms,
and took the Metro to the Friendship Arch in Washington D.C.'s Chinatown.

Chinatown Friendship Arch 2  Chinatown Friendship Arch
(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 Place-Chinatown.)

Saint Patricks Cathedral - Washington DC  Saint Patricks Church - Washington DC  Saint Patricks - Washington DC
We then walked to our next location.  On the way, we saw Saint Patrick's Catholic church/cathedral.
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 removed inside.

Ford's Theater stop light   Ford's Theater line    Ford's Theater Hard Rock Cafe'   Ford's Theater Hard Rock Cafe'     Ford's Theater
Our next destination was the Ford Theater.  (There's a Hard Rock Cafe' next door).
This is the theater where President Lincoln was assassinated.

Ford's Theater inside    Ford's Theater inside Lincoln's box  Ford's Theater inside the box   Ford's Theater inside
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.

 Ford theater building     House where lincoln died

We walked from Ford's Theater,
and on our way to the White House,we saw the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Jonathan in front of US Treasury Building     US Treasury Building front     US Treasury Building
The architecture of the Treasury Building is awesome!

White House South Lawn farther away     White House South Lawn   Carrie in Front of White House South Lawn
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 constitution.

    Constitution Garden - the lake  Constitution Garden - lake
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.

WWII Memorial - Atlantic entrance    WWII Memorial - Colorado - Jonathan     WWII Memorial - Colorado - Carrie
We then went on to see the World War 2 Memorial.

WWII Memorial Washington Monument   World War 2 Memorial Washington Monument and fountains   The fountains at the World War 2 Memorial   The walk at the World War two Memorial   The Lincoln Memorial - small
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 https://www.wwiimemorial.com/

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.
The Korean 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.

   The Lincoln Memorial - view of DC Mall     The Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool   
After the Korean War Memorial, we went to see Mr. Lincoln in his memorial.

    The Lincoln Memorial - sun behind   The Lincoln Memorial - closer    The Lincoln Memorial - Lincoln Seated     The Lincoln Memorial - Lincoln Seated darker

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 immortalized.

   Vietnam Veterans Memorial - Vietnam Wall   Vietnam Veterans Memorial - The Vietnam Wall   The Vietnam Wall - reflection    Vietnam Veterans Women's Memorial at the Vietnam Wall
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 Memorial.

Washington Monument - DC
From the Vietnam Memorial, we walked back by the Washington Monument,
and caught the awesome DC Metro back to where we were staying, in Tyson's Corner, Virginia.

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