Tag Archives: Washington DC

DC Statues

One cannot help but notice the thousands of statues and sculptures that are scattered throughout Washington DC.  Notice one and you are probably missing half a dozen more.  These are great subjects to photograph as they don’t move.  They can be challenging in that you have to get your shots without people in them.  The shots are usually in the what I call the “crane your neck” view as you have to look up at them to take the shots.  This also means you have to watch that the sky doesn’t blow out your highlights.  This view, however, can add to the immensity of some of these works of art.  Especially my favorite, the view of the Infinity Sculpture/Artwork that we found outside the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.  I’ve taken this shot before, but never did it come out like this one.  The reflection of the sky in the metal just added to the feeling of motion.  I don’t know what the names of many of the statues are, as I took them as we were walking from point A to point B.  Often, I was only afforded a few minutes to point and shoot.  We were always on the go!  There is just so much to do in DC.

 

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Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

The first place we visit when in Washington DC is, of course, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.  This is a must due to my very nerdy men.  My husband, a fifth grade teacher, loves science almost as much as he loves me and that’s a lot.  Our 8 year old son, gifted, cute and truly a young scientist at heart wants to be a NASA engineer when he grows up.  Last year he even got to meet a real NASA engineer, which of course, further fueled his desire to one day build a faster rocket than anything they have today!  Watch out future American citizens, he just might do it.

 

These are only a few of the photos I took.  I didn’t take near as many as I did the first time we went to the Air and Space Museum.  Back in 2014, I think I took a photo of just about every exhibit.  This year, not so much.  I wanted to concentrate on what I was seeing.  Of course, the coolest exhibit this year was the original model of the spaceship Star Trek Enterprise.  Being a fan of the show, this was a must see.

This Place Could Be Dangerous

* A better late than never post.

Sunday June 7, 2015

Current Temperature: A Pleasant 72⁰ overcast

Current Time: 9:00a.m.

Current Location: Fredericksburg / Washington D.C. KOA Kampground

Okay, so we are not boondocking, but Man does not live on bread alone and this is our Manna and Nector.

After approximately 8 hours on the road we were ready for our evening stop. We stopped at a Flying J in Ruther Glen, VA. This was not a RV friendly Truck Stop. Friday night at the Flying J Denny’s Restrauant must be the thing to do because the place was packed. Parking was not happening and even getting gas was at a risk. They have pumps for RV’s (supposedly for easier access) but this truck stop designer must have been thinking the maximum length of RVs was 20 ft. We do not recommend this truck stop at all. We found one review, after the fact, that complained about music blasting all night and an unsympathetic manager. Had we read that first we might not have even stopped there.

Feeling let down and disgusted, we pulled out our handy Allstays Camp and Review app once again and decided on stopping at the KOA. After all, a shower would be nice right? Mind you, we are not fans of KOA normally, however this place is well worth it.

Tucked away among some winding, scenic roads is the Fredericksburg/Washington D.C. KOA, a nice campground with friendly staff. The sites are nestled among some of the tallest, lushest trees I’ve seen in a long while. The pull-thru site we were escorted to had easy access. The sites are long, narrow and gravel paved.

After setting up and fixing some lovely refreshing adult beverages we headed out for a short walk and a stop at the playground. After all, the Boy had been so good during our hours on the road he deserved some play time. Dinner consisted of delicious “Fancy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches” cooked on my new cast iron griddle and fresh fruit. Oh, and more adult beverages. (No, we don’t normally do this but, hey, vacation just began!)

I slept wonderfully as it was dark and quiet. We awake and discovered the dangerous part – you might not want to leave! Jim said it would be so easy to just stay there, sitting outside, drinking coffee, chatting and forgetting yourself, lost in nature.

Alas, not to happen. Pack it up and go.

Arlington Cemetary: A Humbling Experience

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My father is a 20 year veteran of the United States Army.  He is a veteran of both the Korean and the Vietnam wars, doing several tours in each.  I feel extremely proud of my father and proud of all the men and women that have and do serve our country.  Many of these brave men and women and their families are not as lucky as I am.  My father came home.

We were very blessed to visit Arlington Cemetery.  While there we saw Kennedy’s Eternal Flame and burial site.  We also trekked up the hill to see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  A must see at this part of the cemetery is the changing of the guard, a remarkable and humbling experience.  The tomb is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, rain, sleet, snow or as in the day we visited – sweltering heat.

The pictures I took cannot possibly do justice to the immense size of this place.  They cannot come even close to replicating the feeling one has when realizing just how many men, women and even children are buried here.  (Wives and children can be buried with their husbands/fathers.)  For those men and women that gave their lives for our freedom – Thank You!

NOTE:  There is a lot of walking to see this expansive cemetery.  Wear comfortable shoes, hats and sunscreen (for summer), and definitely take water with you.  Many of the sections are on hills and walking  can be difficult.  In the end, though, you won’t regret the discomfort.

Rules for Visiting Washington DC (summertime)

Rule no. 1:  Wear sunscreen.

Rule no. 2:  Wear a hat.

Rule no. 3:  Take the Metro.  Buy a SmartCard.  Yes it seems very safe, people are very nice and it is fairly clean.  Much cheaper and more flexible than a tour bus.

Rule no. 4.  Make sure your camera battery and phone battery are charged each day.  I must have taken a thousand photos, I kid you not!

Rule no. 5.  Realize you will be doing the tourist thing all day long.  It is tiring, but oh so worth it.  It also means eating out a lot!

Chillin' at the Zoo.  The misters were great.
Chillin’ at the Zoo. The misters were great.

Rule no. 6.  Because you will be at it all day long, make sure to wear comfortable clothes and shoes.  Also bring bottles of water with you.  I cannot emphasize this last enough.  Very easy to get dehydrated.

With that being said, we are leaving DC tomorrow and heading to Williamsburg.  I haven’t been there since I was 10 and I am so excited.

Photos from the National Air and Space Museum

Below are just a few photos from our visit to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC.  This is a must  see if you are in DC.  Very well organized, taking the visitor from the very beginnings of humanities’ place in the Universe to the most modern examples of human space exploration.  We spent our time in awe and totally enjoyed every minute of the visit.  Well worth the time. 

Tomorrow the National Museum of Natural History.

Jim fell in love with this one.  Found it to be quite interesting.
Antartic Plane.  Jim fell in love with this one. Found it to be quite interesting.
I fell in love with the chrome on this plane.  What remarkable shine and smoothness.
Howard Hughes plane.  I fell in love with the chrome on this plane. What remarkable shine and smoothness.
Even the Navy is represented at the Museum.
All Hands On Deck.  Even the Navy is represented at the Museum.
Apparently this was one of the types of planes used in the Indiana Jones movies.
Since our wedding was based on Indiana Jones.  Apparently this was one of the types of planes used in the Indiana Jones movies.
From Wright Brothers to Drones.  We have come a long way.
From Wright Brothers to Drones. We have come a long way.
One of the planes Amelia Earhart flew.  Very beautiful.
One of the planes Amelia Earhart flew. Very beautiful.
The plane is the original plane the Wright Brothers flew at Kitty Hawk, NC.  I went there as a child and have been fascinated with planes since.
The plane is the original plane the Wright Brothers flew at Kitty Hawk, NC. I went there as a child and have been fascinated with planes since.
Only 5 of these bikes exist.  Quite beautiful workmanship.
The Wright Brothers started off with bicycles not planes.  Only 5 of these bikes exist. Quite beautiful workmanship.
Many exhibits show how man has visited space.  It was quite amazing.
Many exhibits show how man has visited space. It was quite amazing.
We ate lunch at the biggest McD's we have ever seen.  Also the most expensive.
We ate lunch at the biggest McD’s we have ever seen. Also the most expensive.
Jim was explaining about the Sputnik satellite.
In Awe.  Jim was explaining about the Sputnik satellite.

On the Way to DC

Well the traveling Wallaby’s are heading to DC. We left yesterday and had a fairly good trip. We came to some slowdowns due to accidents so we decided to stop at The Comfort Inn Campground in St. George, South Carolina. Yes, a campground located at a hotel. It was okay for a one night stop over. Nothing to write home about except the warm pool. It was very nice to swim in a fairly clean and definitely warm pool after a long drive across several states.
Getting off early in the morning we headed back out and are now staying at the South Forty Campground in Petersburg, Va. This is a pretty campground with a much larger and cleaner pool. Again it was wonderful swimming after a long day in the truck, especially since we were rather sweaty. We have decided this is a must for traveling. The nearby restaurant, Nino’s Italian, though is a pass by as it was not that good. We use an app called AllStays and it is great for finding the nearest campgrounds, rest stops, truck plazas and our favorite, Walmarts that allow overnight stays. Highly recommend it!
Since most of what we are doing is traveling I don’t have much to talk about except to report that the first of the premade breakfasts we tried were pretty good. (I spent a whole day cooking and freezing to-go breakfasts for the trip.) The breakfast burritos were a hit with me and Jim, not so much for Kaelin. Tomorrow we will try the Cheesy Egg Puffs.
The other thing that made the trip good so far is a game we made up. We each pick something to find and whomever sees it first gets 5 points. Once a person gets 20 points they get to pick the next thing. When I couldn’t record our initial anymore that item was scratched off. We had things like alligators, dogs, license plate numbers that spelled actual words and many other fun things. Did you know green is not a popular car color? It really helped pass the time.
Tomorrow we only have about 3 hours to get to our final destination: Cherry Hill Campground. So excited!

12 Days til Yet Another Adventure – Joint Adventure That Is

The Mastodon Backdrop for our wedding.
The Mastodon Backdrop for our wedding.
Like all of our adventures this next adventure promises to be most interesting. In fact it could be our best ever. In twelve days, July 4th, Jim and I will be exchanging vows at the Silver River State Museum. This hidden treasure is part of the Marion County School Board in Ocala, FL. Being teachers Jim thought it would be only appropriate that we profess our love in a place that is meaningful and rich in history. For us it is time to write new histories.
Preparing and researching for the wedding has been an adventure in and of itself. Because of the history of the Silver River State Park we decided on a “themed” wedding. However, though we toyed with the idea of Tarzan or The Flintstones, neither of us could quite see being dressed the parts. Another theme came to mind and has taken on a life of its own.
After the wedding I will post pictures and thoughts, but for now a few more pre-wedding tasks and honeymoon chores. A couple of weeks camping trip to Washington DC and surrounding areas will be the height of our wedding adventures. No biking, no boating but lots of photos!