Wanderlust Home and Pet Care
State #6 Washington D.C.
June 7: Ok, I know D.C. Is not a state. It rained all night and into the morning due to Tropical Storm Andrea. We got out the rain gear, walked to the metro station which is very conveniently located near the marina. The Smithsonian’s American History Museum was packed. Duh, what else do you do when it’s raining! We were able to catch a highlights tour but the docent was awful. We ended up leaving the group to do our own thing. There are so many museums to see, I need to do some research. After the museum we stopped in at Safeway to get the items on our grocery list. Safeway is right next to the metro station. I’m sure we will have more items to purchase. The rain finally did stop early in the evening. I’m sure my plants loved the rain water.
June 8: We actually saw fleeting glimpses of blue sky so I thought we might as well see the Old Post Office Pavilion since the Washington Monument is closed for repair due to the earthquake in 2011. The building was completed in 1899. The walls at it’s base are 5 feet thick. The tower is run by the National Park Service but no fee to go up. In 2012, the building was purchased by Trump and will be converted into an international hotel. The view was a disappointment with wires or dirty plastic windows to look through. The tower also wasn’t tall enough to give a good view over the tall buildings of the Federal Triangle where the Post Office is located. The 9th floor of the tower has the Bells of Congress. They are a replica of the bells in Westminster Abby, given by Britain for the US for our 200th anniversary of the end of the Revolutionary War. By 9:30 am we made our way to the National Zoo. I was amazed that there wasn’t an entrance charge. Can you imagine what the food bill is for the animals. Apparently the Friends of National Zoo, FONZ, raises enough money to keep the zoo in the black. There was a long line to see the Pandas so decided to move on. The African animals brought back wonderful memories of our safaris. If you can’t afford a safari, the zoo is the next best thing.
June 9: We had a free walking tour of the mall. Our guide, Tim, was very knowledgeable and funny. It was a four hour tour so the dogs were barking as we came home. I was impressed with the Vietnam War Memorial, initiated by a 20 year old Vietnam veteran. It was designed by a 21 year old architect major whose design was submitted for the national contest . It was judged by 8 architects and won unanimously. What I found disturbing is that the Vietnam Memorial was the first of 3 memorials to be built. The Korean and WWII memorials came later. Those wars were just as important. I discovered I can get my Dad’s name register for the WWII memorial at www.wwiimemorial.com. The Lincoln monument is so impressive but I didn’t realize Martin Luther King spoke to the crowd on the mall in 1963 from the first landing of the Lincoln monument. King began his speech with “5 score years ago” referencing the emancipation proclamation in 1863 similar to Lincoln’s “4 score and 7 years ago” referencing the declaration of independence in his Gettysburg's Address. Gary was fascinated by the fact that the mall and Constitution Street use to be a canal built in 1815. It fell into disuse and became the city’s sewer system. Lincoln writes of how the city stank during the summer months. I learned a great deal - was a great day.
June 10: The Library of Congress was established in 1800. After 2 fires destroying and a shortage of space, a new library building was erected in 1897. It was absolutely like a palace inside however was the first building in D.C. to have electricity installed. The building was dedicated to Thomas Jefferson as his personal collection was purchased to replace those books burned in the first fire. Also displayed is the first book printed with movable metal type - the Gutenberg Bible. After the library we used the tunnel to walk to the Capitol Building for the tour I reserved. I was disappointed in the tour - we only saw the dome room and the hall that use to be the meeting place of the representatives. The film, however, was very well done. It was raining cats and dogs as we made our way home.
June 11: The clouds blew away leaving the sun in all her glory AND HUMIDITY. The Tidal basin was a hot walk but short distance from the marina. The Thomas Jefferson Memorial is on a straight line south of the White House. The structure is an adaptation of the design Jefferson used at Monticello. We walked further along the basin to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial. On the way home we found two geocaches. We missed out finding geocaches in our travels of the previous states. Oh Well. Lunch was oysters (Gary only), king crab and peel and eat shrimp from the fish wharf.
June 12: We have had a travel bug with us since New Caledonia. We wanted to leave it in Argentina. We read that the muggles steal the geocaches so no good there. I wanted to leave it in Colorado - duh March, snow on the ground. We forgot about geocaching until we arrived in D.C. Our primary objective - deposit the travel bug in a good geocache. Gary found the Congressional Cemetery. “History comes to life (bad descriptor in my opinion) in the Congressional Cemetery….These important individuals from many walks of life create an exciting tapestry of American heritage…” so read the walking tour introduction. Many of the tombstones were of the same design and all located in one area. I decided to read one and is was Henry Clay - I think he ran for President. Sure enough, google confirmed this ole brain - John Quincy Adams won the Presidency. We then found the Eastern Market. It is the only remaining market still in use from the 1800’s. Lunch was at a Thai restaurant - we had Papaya salad and asked for extra spicy, yum!
June 14: The winds were reasonable enough to say goodbye to Washington D.C. So we are getting the boat “ship shape”. While I was doing dishes Gary brought in the spring lines at the aft. Next thing I heard, Gary is saying “oh shit”. We have been exiting the boat at the back platform and onto the finger wharf running parallel to the boat. The platform was 5 feet from the wharf after removing the aft lines. Our side and bow are still tied to the wharf so it’s not like we are floating away. Gary pulls us back to the wharf and we retied the lines. The wind is blowing perpendicular to the boat. I knew that the back of the boat is where we have the most control. I would need to keep a line from the boat’s bow to the wharf as we were exiting the slip. As we moved forward, I pulled in the bow line, ran to the other side of the boat to check on the clearance of the pile and then ran to the back of the boat to check on the clearance of the dinghy. All is well but I can feel the blood rushing through my body. We anchor back at Mattawoman Creek for the night.