Mr. Heller goes to Washington

I think the last time I was in Washington D.C. (before 2 weeks ago) was around 8th grade.  So when I got to visit our nation’s capitol for legitimate business purposes, I decided to play tourist for a while and see the sights.

I spent most of my time around the “mall” area, near the Capitol Building, Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial.  I don’t know how far I walked that day, but I was on my feet for about 8 hours.  My “dogs” were barking (as my friend Peter says), but it was worth it to see what I got to see.

First off, no matter what your political views are, Washington is impressive.  Just thinking about the history represented here is amazing.  Here’s what I got to see:

Got off the Metro, and there was the Washington Monument. What I didn’t know (but learned on my “Secrets of DC Walking Tour) was that much of the stone used to construct this was donated from other countries, and it was Ulysses S. Grant who finally set aside the resources to finish it after work had stopped for various reasons during the Civil War.  That’s why you see a change in color of the stone a little less than 1/2 way up.

If you turn around on the mall, you see the Capitol.  I didn’t get very close to this… the Cherry Blossom Parade was winding down and it was time for me to meet my group for the walking tour.  I did get a picture though.

As I walked past the Washington Monument, I looked North and there was the White House.  This picture was taken from Constitution Ave., a little later in the day (and a few more miles on the shoes).

On down the mall lead me to the Lincoln Memorial.  Being a huge fan of National Treasure, I just had to get down there to see Abe.

And here is the Washington Monument from the Lincoln Memorial.

Just around the corner from Abe is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  If it weren’t moving enough, I was right in front of someone who was explaining what it was all about to his son.  Then there was this:

The little girl used a crayon to rub on the paper over the name of a family member. Amazing.

I tried to make it into the American History Museum and the National Archives, but they were jam-packed, and I had a meeting to get to.  I did get to see Stan, and he was kind enough to let me capture part of his performance.

Last stop was Ford's Theater.  I missed the last tour of the day, but it was neat to see the building and the... gift shop. The only souvenir I bought was a stone drink coaster adorned with Abe's face and the postage stamps he has appeared on. This was actually a significant find because Linda had made me coasters out of similar material early in our relationship, and she stamped on it!

Of course across the street there is a big gaudy sign in front of a house that announces "This is the house where Lincoln died".  Splendid.

So there is my trip to DC.  I had to get this posted before Linda and I leave for Puerto Rico and the Southern Caribbean this week (a trip she earned through her company!).

By the way, I also learned that the D.C. is a tribute to Christopher Columbus. But it's District of Columbia, right? Yes, but when you refer to a city, you use the feminine form, not the masculine. 

See, you can learn something new every day!


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