Monday, October 1, 2012

East Coast Trip -- Washington DC

Here are some highlights of our time in Washington DC--it sure was hot, but we still had a ton of  fun!

 about to board the dc metro to get into the city

here we are preparing for our segway tour.  if you are unfamiliar, these are the little devices that you mostly see mall cops riding around on--yes, we were "those tourists" riding around town on our segways!!!  haha!  i think there were 8 in our group, and we toured the major sites of the city in 3 hours with our guide.

here i am practicing--hehe
these babies aren't motorized--they have "high-tech gyroscopes" that are basically really sensitive sensors that respond to your body's movements.  you just keep your feet still and put your weight in your toes to speed up and in your heels to slow down.

mario is getting a few instructions from our guide

he's a pro already!

the white house was our first stop!

we took a little break here at the capitol building

the one downside is that although you see every major site during the tour, if you want to spend time in any of the buildings, you have to come back.  we got to go into the monuments, but other than that, we had to stay with our segways.

our guide was awesome!!!  he was very informative, funny, and interesting.  he told us tons of little side-stories that were hilarious.  and he answered all our questions.

mario in front of the washinton monument
let me just tell you, we are SOOO glad we did the segway tour.  DC is so big, that we would never have seen all we needed to within our short timeframe had we tried to do it all on foot.  and on top of that, our trip fell during the time that 3/4 of the country was in that huge heat wave this summer, so it was so hot--and i'm talking hot like dallas, tx hot--not regular dc hot.  we were so thankful to be getting that little breeze as we sped around on the segways...everyone walking just looked so miserable!  :(

i loved this tidbit of info from our guide--
can you see in the pic how the monument changes color about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom?  well, construction began on it in 1854, but the project came to a halt when private funds ran low.  the monument remained partially built during the civil war as well.  the government took over the project in 1884 and finished it with marble from a different quarry.  the two sections matched at first, but over time they have worn differently in the wind and rain.  our guide told us that the color difference will continue to get more and more obvious over the years. 
i found this fascinating because i visited dc in 1997 or 1998, and i didn't think the color difference was very noticeable! 
our guide also told us that it's been said that abraham lincoln wrote a personal check to the tune of $8 as a donation to help the building project...don't know if that's true, but it was funny to think about!

the stately lincoln memorial

we loved how psalm 19:9 is etched into the memorial...
"..the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether"
what an affirmation that these noble men that served our country during its early years depended on God for their wisdom, strength, and ability to guide our nation

well, our tour finally had to come to a close...
goodbye segways...hope to see you again someday

of course we had to go to arlington national cemetary to see the changing of the guard in front of the tomb of the unknown soldier
such a beautful way to honor some of the men who've given their lives for our freedom

love this pic--it just stretches on and on
our dear friend matt hooked us up with reservations to see the evening military parade held at the marine barracks in dc.  it was such a great experience!  it consisted of the US Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, the Marine Corps Color Guard, the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon, and Ceremonial Marchers

what a beautiful ceremony!!! 
the music was unbeliveable, the marching and formations were perfectly syncronized, and the demonstration of the drill team with their rifles was magnificent.  these men have bayonets on the end of their rifles, and they spin them and throw them with such precision--all without any audible cues--it was truly breath-taking.

had to get a picture of this--
in our hotel room (courtyard marriot), both nights we stayed here the fire alarm went off each morning at 7am!  the first morning the recordings over the loudspeakers were warning everyone to get out, so we woke up from a dead sleep to the blaring alarms, and incoherently we were trying to throw some stuff together and make ourselves presentable.  just as we were heading down the stairs with a few personal belongings, we heard an announcement that stated it was a false alarm--they were having trouble with the elevators!!!  the next morning the exact same thing happened, except we knew this time that we didn't have to leave!  of course, it was way too loud to sleep though!  what a bummer!!!  we went on vacation to get away from 7am wake up calls!!!

We went to breakfast the next morning at this little place called the Waffle Shop.  There aren't too many breakfast places period here, but this one is supposed to be really popular.  Doesn't look like much, and the breakfast was good (nothing amazing or anything), but the staff was really friendly.  You can't tell from the pic, but this place was PACKED--so packed you could barely walk in and out of the place.  We got seated at the counter area, so our view during the meal was of the wait staff scrambling!  haha!

this guy with the coffee pot was hilarious!!!

Then we walked right down the street to Ford's Theatre
where President Lincoln was shot in 1865

at the entrance to the museum and theatre
Then we walked across the street to the Peterson House where the president was carried after the shooting.  He never regained consciousness and died here the next morning.

a little later we headed over to the US Navy Memorial
depicting a beautiful granite map of the world

that night we went to the hamilton for dinner and a concert!  it was one of the most fun nights of our trip!!!  mario had bought the tickets in advance--we got to see toad the wet sprocket live!!!  it was just a really cool, intimate venue.
let me just say that the food and drinks weren't that great, but the music definitely more than made up for it!

the singers interacted with the crowd a ton--it was hilarious!!!
my absolute favorite part was the opener, jonathan kingham (who also plays with the toad the wet sprocket band).  he was amazing--so gifted!  he plays mostly in the secular market, but his lyrics reflect a love of God.  We were so captivated by his performance that we bought not one, but two of his cds on the spot!!!
anyway, mario and i  loved being there together...
it's day three of our trip, and we're already getting spoiled with being able to do things on our own time schedule and enjoying each other's company with no interruptions!!!  :)
next up...philly!!!


Mandy said...

Love that dress!