Archive for the ‘Washington DC’ Category

On The Move September 11, 2007

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

We have been in the Tampa Bay Area for a month.  We had a great time not doing much of anything.  We visited with friends, looked at retirement communities, and sat at the pool.  We left the Tampa area yesterday.  We drove to Tallahassee and stayed in a RV park here.  We are going to drive down the Panhandle coast and look around and sit on the beach. We will slowly make our way to the Dallas area and will be there around the middle of September for a few weeks. While in Dallas we will probably empty some things out of the RV, visit family and friends and tend to some business.

We have driven a total of 15, 000 miles since we left Dallas in March.  That is a lot of miles!!!!!!!!!!

On a side note, when Rick went to Washington for his brother’s funeral, he and his son, Justin, made a quick trip into DC to show Justin some of the sights.

Justin at Iwa Jima Memorial.



I finally got a good picture of the laser etched wall at the Korean Memorial.


Mount Vernon and Manassas Battlefield (July)

Thursday, August 9th, 2007

Perhaps this will help us catch up.

We spent a couple of weeks visiting Rick’s brother and family.  While there we took in several of the Washington DC points of interest.  It seems like there is a historical sight on every corner.

Mount Vernon 

On a Sunday in late July, we went to Mount Vernon.  George Washington picked out a beautiful site for his house overlooking the Potomac.  The site now contains a museum and several theaters that talk about different portions of Washington’s life and the Revolutionary War.

The house was wooden and the siding had been grooved textured to look like masonry.  Each room had a person talking about the history of that portion of the house.  It was an extremely hot day and the house was sweltering.  This followed an hour wait to enter the house. Further information on Mount Vernon can be found at


This  photo is one you won’t see in the pamphlets. This is George and Martha’s outhouse located about 75 yards from the house.


Manassas Battlefield

Rick’s brother lives in Gainesville and we drove through portions of the Manassas Battlefield every day in order to get to our RV location.

Two major Civil War battles were held at Manassas.  In the summer of 1861, enthusiastic volunteers in colorful uniforms gathered to fight the first major land battle of the war. Confident that their foes would turn and run, neither side anticipated the smoke, din and death of battle. Nearly one year later, both sides met again on the same battlefield with the Confederates winning a solid victory bringing them to the height of their power. Further information is available at:

The place is full of old time fences.  Some are original and others have been repaired.

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This old stone house was located on an edge of the battlefield.


Visit to the Smithsonian (July)

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

We’ve been on whirlwind path through New England that we have not been able to get all of the stops posted.  We’ll take a look back at a couple of the stops we made along the way.

We spent a day visiting the Smithsonian.  The complex consists of 19 museums and 9 research centers.  As you can imagine, one day is not adequate to see everything.  In fact, two weeks wouldn’t be long enough.  During our visit, we elected to take in the original Smithsonian Castle that houses the natural history museum.


The journey through the museum was amazing.  I came around the corner and spotted the two relics shown below.


Other Texas relics were in the same area, including this Dimetrodon Grandis that patrolled Texas during the Permian period about a quarter billion years ago.



Tinka’s favorite was the Hope Diamond.  (She was hinting about our upcoming anniversary)


Further information about the Smithsonian can be found at:

No visit to Washington should go without a visit to the complex.  We plan on taking in more museums on our next visit.

The Washington DC Tour Thursday, July 19,2007

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

Most of the memorials are free but you need tickets to get in to some of the exhibits or memorials.  Lena had tickets for the Bureau of Printing and Engraving Agency.  We saw lots of money being made.  Unfortunately, they didn’t pass out any to us for a souvenir. 

Then we went to see Ford’s Theater where Lincoln was shot and right across the street was the boarding house where Lincoln died.  The bed they had him in was very short so they laid him diagonally.



Lincoln Memorial


Washington Monument

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Korea Memorial

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Iwo Jima Memorial


We didn’t get a picture of the Viet Nam Memorial.  White Housea-white-house-with-protestors.jpg 


a-capitol.jpg  a-view-of-jefferson-from-wm.jpgClick picture for Panoramic picture of the Jefferson Memorial from the Washington Monument.a-view-of-white-house-from-wm.jpg Click picture for Panoramic picture of the White House from the Washington Monument.

We, also, drove around and Lena pointed out buildings to us.  It seems every building is an old, important building.  They are all ornate and beautiful.


Some have even changed their names.This used to be the PO Dept. but it is now the Environmental Protection Agency.  The next three pictures are of the EPA.




At the end of the day we were dropped right at our home.

Washington DC Wednesday, July 17, 2007

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

A few days ago we went on a van tour of Washington, DC.  The tour guide picked us up right at our RV site.  Nice!!!!!  When we boarded, there was already one couple in the van.  Then we drove around the RV Park and stopped at another site and picked up 6 more people in a popup.  Mom and Dad and 4 children. They were 13, 8, 6 and 5.  We both thought, OH NO!!!!  But those children were wonderfully behaved all day long.  As we got out at the end of the day we gave each of them some money as a treat to spend on their vacation.

VA and DC are totally dripping in history.  It seems like every exit has a sign showing a battlefield or a museum.  Most highways and main streets are named for someone in history.  I wonder how many museums there are in the area?Back to our tour.  The first place Lena, our guide, dropped us off was at the Arlington Cemetery.  Just a bunch of burial sites?  NO!!  Robert E Lee’s Mansion sits on top of the hill looking over the land.  


A view of Washington DC from the mansion.

 a-lee-mansion-view.jpg Just down the hill from the front of the mansion was the eternal light and

John Kennedy’s burial site (and his family). 

 a-JFK and Flame

 Nearby was Robert Kennedy’s site with just a simple white cross as a headstone. 


 There are all kinds of statues on the land. 

There is an interesting story about the mansion, which is called the Arlington House.  The mansion, which was intended as a living memorial to George Washington, was owned and constructed by the first president’s adopted grandson, George Washington Parke Custis, son of John Parke Custis, who was a child of Martha Washington by her first marriage and a stepson of George Washington.  Custis built the house on top of the mountain overlooking Washington DC.  The mansion is a faux limestone in front.  He wanted to make an impression on the people looking up at the mansion.  The back end on the house was not done that way because he said no one could see it.  George Washington Parke Custis and his wife, Mary Lee Fitzhugh (whom he had married in 1804), lived in Arlington House for the rest of their lives and were buried together on the property in 1857 and 1853, respectively. On June 30, 1831, Custis’ only child, Mary Anna Randolph Custis, married her childhood friend and distant cousin, Robert E. Lee.Lee was the son of former three-term Virginia Governor Henry (“Light Horse Harry”) Lee and, like his father, was a graduate of West Point.  The couple lived in the house and were keepers, not owners of the land and house.  When Robert E Lee went to fight for the Confederate Army, he and his wife moved away from the mansion during the Civil War.  For a joke(?) the Union Army started burying the Union Soldiers and slaves on the 1,100 acres that Lee had lived on and made his home.  Lee never returned to the Arlington House.For the story click on the blue.

 We saw the changing of the guards of the Tomb of the Unknown Solder.  That was a very precise military exercise and intense to watch. 




There are 30 to 40 funerals there every day.  There was a funeral going on and we saw the laying of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. 


Then right after that we saw a funeral procession with a military band, then 6 horses (with 3 horses with the missing riders) pulling the casket just like during JFK’s funeral procession. 


 Not everyone gets to see all 3 when they visit Arlington Cemetery.  We were very lucky.

Tomorrow we will post the rest of the tour.