Friday, March 27, 2015

We the People: went on vacation and here's what we did.

Washington D.C.: March 26, 2015

National Archives located on the corner of Constitution Ave. How excellent. 

Front of the archives advertising for their Alcohol in America exhibit. Another great job Smithsonian!

She's just in awe of all the history!

An interesting gathering of Ukranians out side of the White House

Gretchen in front of the White House!

DC Selfie!

One of 12 reliefs at the WWII memorial. Had to get a pic of the representation of the combat photographer!

WWII memorial looking over everything. All 50 states are represented as well as all US territories. The states were in order of when they ratified the Constitution bouncing back and forth from left to right. In the center of the back wall is filled with around 4000 gold stars. Each one represents 100 deaths. 

The wall of stars. "Here we mark the price of freedom"

The Lincoln Memorial. Construction started in 1914. There are 36 columns on the outside of the memorial. Each column represents each state in the Union at the time of the President's death. The state names are inscribed above the columns. The memorial was dedicated in 1922 and Lincoln's son attended the dedication!
Lincoln selfie. This man was carved from marble by two brothers from New York and is 19 FEET tall and wide! Gretchen was practicing her stoic Lincoln face. 

Lincoln's view. They had the Reflection Pool drained... a bit disappointing. 

Korean War Memorial. Dedicated in 1995 on the 42nd anniversary of the end of the war. The statues were created by a WWII veteran. 
The Korean memorial wall. Etched with the faces of unidentified soldiers. From the right angle the statues can be seen mixed with the etchings. At the end of the wall is another marked 'Freedom is Not Free'
Martin Luther King Jr Memorial. Dedicated in 2011 on the anniversary of his March on Washington. The monument is in three pieces. The two large stones on the sides are the 'Mountain of Despair' and the stone in the middle fits in the center and is called the 'Stone of Hope'. MLK Jr is engraved to the back of the Stone of Hope facing the water and looking towards the Jefferson Memorial. 

The beautiful Cherry Blossoms given to us from the Japanese government in 1912 as a token of friendship. (We clearly visited on the wrong day...)

Lunch with Allison. Gretchen's yummy fried chicken!

View of the Jefferson Memorial across the Tidal Basin. Next week you will be able to see Cherry Blossoms in this picture.

I know I said I was tired yesterday, but today is a completely different kind of tired! We got more than enough sleep and woke up early, enjoyed some hotel breakfast and coffee, and hit the town. We had only made it 3 blocks when it started to pour.

We ran for cover into a nearby museum. Lucky for us it was still closed... Thankfully the guard was EXTREMELY nice and said we could stay in the foyer as long as it didn't become a trend and she offered us the restroom, which of course we did't need until it was super inconvenient. It stopped raining just enough that we figured we could make a run for the Archives.

We made it inside the door just as it started to come down again! We made our way through the Records of Rights. Starting with the Magna Carta written in 1297! That's 718 YEARS! That's like 4 times the age of our country! This exhibit took us through the Civil Rights movement, Women's Suffrage, and Immigrant Rights. From there we went to the new exhibit, Spirited Republic. This exhibit walked us through the life of alcohol in our country. Prohibition was a majority of the exhibit. Alcohol was treated like marijuana and people were written prescriptions! There was also the 'Drunkometer' on display; the first breathalyzer made in the 1930s. I never thought about how much of a role alcohol actually played in our country.
Sam Adams was a partner in his fathers malt house.
John Hancock made his money from importing alcohol.
Thomas Jefferson was famed for importing European wines.
Andrew Jackson distilled whiskey.
From there we went to the 'Rotunda' which houses the Constitution, Declaration, and Bill of Rights. It's incredibly inspiring to see the 200 year old paper that our country was built on. It's faded and wrinkled and fragile, but you can clearly make out 'We the People,' Sam Adams, John Hancock, and many more famous names.

By the time we got to the gift shop we realized we spent our entire morning in there! So we quickly headed to the opposite side of the mall to meet an old friend for lunch. Lucky girl gets to work right next to the White House! We went to a fancy place called Georgia Browns. It was fabulous southern cooking. We have been gone three whole days so I really needed some cornbread and peach cobbler. The gumbo was totally amazing also!

We trekked back to the mall and saw the White House, Washington Monument, WWII Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Korean War Memorial, and the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial. It was quite a walk. I didn't think we would make it back. We strongly contemplated calling a cab to take us the 2 miles back to our hotel. Out of curiosity I added up the total miles walked and it equaled out to 8 miles (not including what we walked in museums). Tomorrow will be so chill. I'm ready for some wine in Fredericksburg.

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