It has been said by some that adventure is a wonderful thing...which is just what we found to be awaitin' for us when we landed in the Albuquerque airport Tuesday afternoon on the first leg of our journey to D.C. What do ya know, of all the random things, the BWI airport had been struck by lightning and it was indefinite as to when we would be taking off again.
And then... no sooner had we taken off then we had landed...and we were THERE...in the car, driving to our destination....and catching ourt first glimpses of D.C.
The Sights: towering buildings, busy traffic...
The Feel: of thick back East air...
The Sounds: Honking cars...and that constant sound up front of a single voice saying, "Recalculating...recalculating!"...and the dads up front whispering back and forth trying to figure out how to get to our hotel from here, "Maybe we should have turned off at that exit!"..."or perhaps the one we just passed up."
And then that Feeling: that we've taken this U-turn three or four times, and that this 45 minute car trip is starting to feel rather like an hour long one :)
Those were our first impressions of D.C as we rode through the night, looking for our hotel, and seeing for the first time that spectacular view of the Capitol dome, and the Washington monument standing tall in the night...
And since we kinda had a thing for adventure, it managed to follow us into the Metro at D.C....we had asked the hotel workers that as we had to be at the capitol at 10:00 A.M. for a tour, what time would we need to leave to be at D.C. They responded with the shocking number of 7:00 A.M...it was not till we were trying to find our way through the Metro to our destination that we finally understood what they meant...we were tourists, and we'd need every minute of those three hours...well, almost :)
We arrived in the busy streets of D.C. with enough time to find our way around, and take a short tour of where we would be staying for the next two days...
Then 10:00 came and it was time for our tour...and here we are at Jamie Herrera's office, our congresswoman....she wasn't there that day as she had more important things keeping her busy (like a baby)
(here we are in her office :)
D.C. had no idea what they were getting themselves into allowing two very gingery red-heads into their territory!!! (they should have known, it was an immediate recipe for danger)
And here was our tour guide...he took us through an underground hall to reach the different buildings, built specially for the workers there to keep away the reporters :)
The Capitol balcony is often used for speeches, but fortunately for us, there were none going on that day...and we got a personal tour out there where a spectacular view of D.C. awaited us...
....of course, the Washington monument had to be under construction while we were there, and was all covered in scaffolding due to an earthquake...It was still a spectacular sight though!
For those of you who expected us to come back as learned historians, we did learn one very interesting fact about the painting of the signing of the Declaration...for whatever reason, it's artist had decided to paint Jefferson's foot stepping onto Adam's...I'll never be able to look at the picture in the same light again :)
The library of Congress was spectacular...with it's intricately carved pillars, beautifully painted ceilings, and floor to ceiling book shelves!
...and then there were the two very old Bibles, the Gutenberg and a handwritten Bible from the 1400s..Sadly enough, the tour guide was strangely mislead in his teaching. He had just finished describing the history of these Bibles when he began pointing at the drawings on the ceiling and described the history of before man could talk...how sadly depraved man is, believing such lies. They are as spoken of in Romans 1, when they suppress the truth: "20 For since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things."
(The Below pictures have been pulled from the internet as you are not allowed any photography inside the museum)
In one room, there were floor to ceiling pictures covering the wall and reaching down for two stories. There was also a boxcar you could still walk through, and one of the crematoria ovens.
One room was full of just the shoes of those that did not make it out...I was again reminded of the depravity of man.
"We are the shoes, we are the last witnesses.
"We are the shoes, we are the last witnesses.
We are shoes from grandchildren and grandfathers,
From Prague, Paris, and Amsterdam,
And because we are only made of fabric and leatherAnd not of blood and flesh, each one of us avoided the hell fire." Moses Schulstein
Here is one of the many pictures that daddy took of the Jefferson memorial....probably a good half of the 850 pictures taken on this trip have this monument in it :) But one has to capture it at its many angles...
Of course, I was thrilled to find that when we reached the Korean War Memorial, the crowds were mostly Asian...I wanted to join one of the Korean tours being given, even if I didn't understand what was being said :)
I feel like for most of these pictures, my captions should be, "Here we are in front of this memorial, and if you'll look here, we are standing in front of this tall building, and here we are again." :)
The WWII memorial was spectacular!!!
So ya' we fit a lot in the first day, starting at 7:00 in the morning...But it was a day not soon to be forgotten!
The last place our weary feet carried us was to the White house...(and no, you can't see Obama's face through the window) God was very good to us as the shooting that took place near the Whitehouse, inside in the Navy yard happened two days after we had left D.C.
Foot sore and bone weary, we stopped at the nearest restaurant we could find and fell into the chairs...though getting back up again was to be a different story entirely :)
To Be Continued....