Monday, June 28, 2021

Shuffling Off to Washington DC


Click on all pictures to enlarge

Lelia and I took a break from traipsing ACW battlefields and visited our nation's capital, Washington DC. We also made a side trip to Mount Vernon to visit George Washington's home. More on that later. This was Lelia's first visit to Washington DC and so I got to enjoy seeing the city through her eyes. I hadn't been to the city in quite some time and so I had forgotten how spectacular The Mall looked.

It was a Saturday morning so the inbound traffic wasn't very bad. We were approaching the city from the Virginia side and there comes a moment when the road descends a hill and suddenly the whole city of Washington DC lies there in front of you. Lelia's look of astonishment at her first viewing of the city reminded me a bit of Dorothy seeing the Emerald City of Oz for the first time. Fortunately there were no flying monkeys involved in our travels.

First things first, we found a parking space along The National Mall about half way between the Capital Building and the Washington Monument. The impossible (parking) became possible. The Mall is designed so that the Capital Building, Washington Monument and Lincoln Monument are all in the same line of sight. The Washington Monument is in the middle of the Mall and the Capital and Lincoln Memorial are at opposite ends of the Mall. Thus, if you are in the middle standing at the Washington Monument you can turn and see the Capital Building on one side and then turn the other way and see the Lincoln Memorial.

I am posting pictures of the three buildings as they would line up:

Lelia in front of the Capital Building

The Washington Monument. 

The Lincoln Memorial

I'm serving my country by holding up the Washington Monument
and keeping it from toppling over.

One thing that caught my interest was the large number of food trucks that park in front of the Washington Monument. Food truck choices run the gamat from basic American fare (burgers, dogs and fries), Mexican, Greek, Middle Eastern, Chicken and finally, ICE CREAM! The ice cream trucks are particularly obnoxious because they play this one tune over and over and over and over and over and over and, get the point? I can still hear that tune playing in my head.

Food trucks by the score.

The Jefferson Memorial

The World War Two Memorial. There is a stone slab for each of the 50 states.

The World War Two Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial and the Reflection Pool

OK, I've been saving the best for last: our mile long trek to the Lincoln Memorial. It looked like a long way from our position next to the Washington Memorial and the temperature was very warm. Lelia was game to give it a try and she made it fairly easily.

We starting chatting with one of the park rangers at the giant statue of Abe Lincoln and he told us all about the history of the statue and what the symbolism of various elements represented. This serves as a reminder that when you are visiting any of the US National Park, talk to the park rangers and they will give you a lot of good information and history about the park that you are visiting.

Next stop - Mount Vernon!

Having seen most of the sights along the National Mall, we decided to drive to Mount Vernon, George Washington's house on the Potomac River. The GPS Gremlins were on the prowl again and they did their best to get me lost in some residential housing area nearby. After much gnashing of teeth and a few choice words, I was able to disable Siri and let my car GPS take us to the site.

The front facade of Mount Vernon

Some of the out buildings at Mount Vernon.

George's view of the Potomac River from his back porch.

Stained Glass Windows in the Mt. Vernon visitors center

Lelia say, "good bye, we will see you tomorrow at Fredericksburg


  1. Really enjoying sharing your ACW road trip. Thank you for sharing.

    I have only made one trip to the USA from the UK back in 2002 and saw Washington DC on a grey mizzly afternoon, which made the Vietnam Wall, Nurses statue and especially the Korean War memorial with their rain capes much much more haunting and powerful.

  2. Another excellent account of your trip. I really enjoyed seeing the photos and having a sense of the scale of things.

  3. Thanks for this Jim, brought back some memories. My first visit to DC was exactly 27 years ago this month and it was 100 degrees F. Yes the mall and all its monuments and museums is spectacular. CG

  4. You have brought back happy memories for me too of our trips to visit DC and Mount Vernon, though you seem to have encountered fewer queues at the latter than we did

  5. Thanks Jim, great photographs and the joy shines through in all the pictures.