I'm Dr. A, and I'm a blogaholic. Welcome to the latest edition of the Blogaholic Anonymous meeting. What is Blogaholics Anonymous all about? Well, this is only for those who are hopelessly addicted to blogging. If you're not, then stop reading this right now! LOL
As you already know, this edition is from Washington, DC. I did not get to see everything here, but I will take you on my short walking tour - all I could do in a few hours. Below are some reflections as I walked around the city.
White House: I wanted to come here first. Regardless of your politics, if you've never seen this place up close, you must make a point to someday. The first observation I made was all the people. Just to be funny, if I was President (yeah right, like that would happen), one day, I would run out on the balcony, and yell, "Hey! All you people, get off of my lawn!" Maybe that wouldn't go over very well. I tried to take a tour inside, but they absolutely did not want any cameras in there. And, traveling by myself, I guess I couldn't go in.
Of course, there were the obligatory protestors. Don't get me wrong, not belligerent, just wanting to make a statement. It was nice to see some cub scouts doing some cleaning in the park across from the White House - wonder what those scouts were thinking. As I went from the north lawn to the south lawn, I saw more people. Even people playing football and soccer, "Yeah, let's meet up Saturday afternoon on the south lawn for our game." Very cool.
Washington Monument: This was my first sight as I was driving into the city Friday night. It is as majestic in the daytime as it is at night. You really don't know how tall this structure is until you're at its base. I did not get to go to the top of the monument because all of the viewing tickets were already given out for the day. This a good point to see a lot of the other monuments. Looking north, you see the White House. Looking south, you see the Jefferson Memorial. Looking east, you see the top of the capitol building. And, looking west, you see the Lincoln Memorial and the World War II Memorial. I guess I should have figured it out, but all the monuments are national parks. And, what do people do in the park, they play sports. An interesting sight seeing people play sports with the backdrop of the monuments.
World War II Memorial: I've seen this on television, but have never been there before. It's definitely a beautiful place with all the fountains and all the people talking about their experiences during the war. I saw many families there and many veterans talking to their grandchildren about their life experiences. What a perfect location between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial.
Lincoln Memorial: The reflecting pool lies between the WWII Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. I even saw some airplanes in the sky above, as they go to Reagan National Airport. As I was walking to the monument, I imagined all the history that has taken place here throughout the years. Then, suddenly, I had my Martin Luther King moment. I saw him on the steps of the memorial and I imagined all the people surrounding the reflective pool. I had to pause - quite moving.
One of the things I didn't realize was all the steps to climb to get to the top of the monument. I realize I'm really out of shape, but I felt it was quite an achievement for me to get to the top of the steps. The first thing I did was look back east to see the Washington Monument, its image in the reflecting pool, and the capitol building in the background. Felt very patriotic at that moment, and a smile came across my face.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial: In contrast to the WWII memorial, where there was a lot of energy and noise, this place was very solemn and quiet. People have told me this before, but it doesn't really hit you until you're there. There's no glitz; there's no glamour; just names on a wall. Kind of felt like hollowed ground starting at one end of the memorial and descending to its midpoint and then walking up and out of the memorial again. People left flowers. People used pencil and paper to trace the names of their loved ones from the wall. Powerful sight to see.
Capitol Building: I just had to take a break after that. I got some water and made my way back past the Washington Monument and walked to the Capitol. This was a long way (for me), so I found a bench near the metro/subway station. As I sat there for a few minutes, it was interesting to see the people come up from the subway station, especially the children, as they saw the monuments for the first time. I also noticed many international people in the city. I heard a lot of languages spoken, and you could tell that they were happy and proud to be here - the home of democracy. Americans definitely take democracy for granted, and that was emphasized to me in observing these people from other countries.
Final Stops: Continuing walking east, I saw the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court. I didn't realize the size of the court door until I walked up all the steps and saw it for myself. There were some students gathered in front of the Supreme Court building talking about how to effect change and the impact of court decisions. Who says American students don't know anything about how their government works? I finally got some food at Union Station, which is a fully working train station for those who do not know. As I was having lunch, I saw travelers rushing into and out of the building, much like an airport. I was so tired, that I took the subway back to the hotel.
For the visual part of my essay, I encourage you to check out my Flickr file and leave some comments as well. I hope you enjoyed a quick walking tour of Washington. I'm on my way back home later today. Thanks for checking in!