Olna, Steve, Rob, Melayne and Matthew go to check up on Barack! We're using our "stimulus" to visit our nation's capital... Hopefully, our lovely "Red" Senator, Kay-Baby Hutchison will come through on a Capitol or White House tour! But, if she has access to our political donation records, something tells me that we'll only get a tour of the public restroom toilet-paper storage facilities!
Our Goal on This Trip: Catch the Cherry Blossoms in FULL BLOOM! The average bloom date for the cherry blossoms is April 4th...did we schedule correctly?? The National Cherry Blossom Festival is predicting a "peak" bloom from April 3rd to April 9th, so we may hit the mark!
Mom spent one of her elementary school years in Washington, DC...so we hope to scope out her old brownstone (just East of the Capitol Hill). She has great memories of playing in Lincoln Park, so we can't wait to visit and see what memories it brings back! Be sure to check out the letter from the current resident of the house, plus some of Mom's Memories Here
Our trip is quick, but we hope to also get a good overview of the city on our private tour from Washington DC Tour Guide (dot com!) We're anxious to see the sights...and then go back and explore a little more!
Maybe a trip to Mount Vernon? Mom has been a couple of times and says it's beautiful!
2008 Cherry Blossom Festival Photos
View from the Netherlands Carillon Looking East, Washington, D.C.
Tracking Information for Olna, Steve and Matthew's Flight to Baltimore can be obtained by clicking the arrow next to our flight number, above.
A direct link for the "Live-View" map of our flight from San Antonio to Baltimore (will
show up once we take off from Sn Antonio): Click
Hitting the Metro was a breeze! No problems and we ended up at the right place, at the right time, and nobody fell down the escalator (see our last NYC trip for details!)...so we consider the frist trip via subway a HUGE success!
We walked to the Watergate building...then ate at Tony and Joe's on the Georgetown Waterfront. It was great...and we loved watching all the college kids row by in their "Crew" uniforms. We headed back to the hotel and watched the fog roll in...looking toward Georgetown University.
Melayne and Rob arrive (Flight Information Above!)
Mom, Steve and Matt couldn't wait to hit the touring...so we headed to the subway to have a short visit at Mount Vernon. We were proud that we arrived and got on the first train -- and thought "Wow, how EASY!" Then... Matt realized we were on the wrong subway line! Heading the wrong direction!
So we jumped from the Orange Line...to the Blue Line...then switched to the Yellow Line...and FINALLY made it to the Huntington Station where we caught the bus to Mount Vernon.
We all LOVED Mount Vernon...so historic, beautiful, well-maintained...just awe inspiring! We toured the inside of the Mansion, saw the various side-buildings (school house, laundry, slave's quarters, barns, stables, blacksmith, etc.),the upper and lower gardens, orchards, wharf, etc. Just a ton of walking... but, we all made it with no probs!
We ate at Mount Vernon at the Mount Vernon Inn...it was GREAT. Our favorites: Peanut & Chestnut Soup, Potato & Leek Soup and Salmon Corncakes. Then, back to the bus...back to the subway...and back to the hotel (no errors on the return trip... so EASY -- ha, ha)
We finally met up with the Austinites... and caught up on their day.
After arriving in DC, Melayne and Rob walked and walked... They lunched at the Watergate, then walked the Waterfront through the Georgetown Area. They had fun seeing all the different antique stores, clothing places and restaurants on M-Street.
For dinner, we all crossed the street to Notti Bianche -- great food...
Tour of the City...with our "own" Washington DC Tour Guide... we started our day in LOTS of rain. It was just nasty outside...but enjoyed driving past many historic buildings that we enjoyed. It started clearing up a bit, so we got out at Union Station and were amazed by it's grandeur.
From there, we headed to Lincoln Park, where mom grew up. We had fun trying to re-pose the image that mom's mother had taken almost 70 years earlier! The sun came out, so we considered it a sign... We drove north on 12th street and took some pictures of mom's old residence... It was fun taking a photo of her standing in the same spot as her old black-and-white photo from years ago. Be sure to check out the letter from the current resident of the house, plus some of Mom's Memories Here.
We went to the Eastern Market and loved checking out all of the foods and "stuff", then off to Arlington Cemetery. We walked the hilly areas and visited JFK's eternal flame, and then to the Tomb of the Unknowns. Mom got a ride back on the shuttle to the visitor's center after being "floored" by the Changing of the Guards (wink-wink). She thought the Seargant would NEVER get through checking out the new guard's rifle.
Our guide, Dillon dropped us off at Phillip's Seafood Restaurant which was GREAT! We all needed a good meal to get us ready for the boat tour around the Cherry Blossoms.
Cherry Blossom River Tour around the Tidal Basin -- this was a great trip with lots of wonderful information. Captain Munch-a-Lot was full of.... valuable information (and PEANUTS!) We took so many pictures and videos, so enjoy! A reminder, there are 5 people on this trip, 4 cameras and 1 video camera...so you may see repeats (of repeats, of repeats, of repeats....) but, they're all wonderful!
We ordered pizza from Manny and Olga's and it filled-the-bill! We were all so exhausted...but, hungry...and amazed that we all made it to 11PM before konking out!
Kay Baby's Capitol Tour! Our scheduled visit, naturally, was at the same time as the Cherry Blossom Parade... So, we joined an estimated crowd of 1 million of our closest friends en route to the downtown area! Thank goodness mom grabbed a seat and we all made the same subway ... and enjoyed laughing with other visitors as the train became more-and-more packed! It was amazing the surge of folks -- but, all very happy and friendly!
The stop before "ours" was where the hoards of folks vacated the train. Matt asked, "Is it something I said?"...and the lady that had been laughing with us said, "NO, it's something you DID...P/U!" Everyone giggled along and headed on their way to the parade.
We enjoyed this hour long visit through our nation's capitol... it was very informative and the new Vistor's Center was very nice. We went via tunnel to the Library of Congress, and all of us were amazed at the beautiful building. Mom had told us how ornate it was (or how she remembered it...) and boy, was she exactly right! Amazing stuff!
It was a brisk windy day, but we loved the walk to the Supreme Court building...and back to Union Station for lunch at B. Smith's. It was VERY good...and Matt's Fried Chicken on a Waffle with Maple Syrup won the prize!
We returned to the hotel to recouperate...then walked to M Street in Georgetown, Rob did his best "Flying Nun" impersonation with arms slung wide, as he caught a toe on a curb. Luckily, he caught has balance before "landing" in the Vietnamese Restaurant. We walked and walked and decided to try Marshall's Bar and Grill, which had the biggest Chicken Wings that we'd ever seen! They were great and Steve is still talking about them! I think they were his favorite meal of the whole trip!
Melayne "took in" about 1/2 of what the tour guides told us throughout the past couple of days. As we walked along this evening, she commented on President Sam Adams, and how she never knew that the beer was named after a president. We "think" she heard that one of the statesman statues in the Capitol was of Bostonian Sam Adams...and since we were at the capitol, she missed the Statesman part...and figured they were all presidents. I can't wait until she goes back and talks about Preisident Sacagaweia, since we saw a statue of her, as well. By the way, Melayne has also been on the lookout for a statue of Paul Revere all week...again, not sure why, but she keeps looking...
As we returned to the hotel, Steve grabbed more DoubleTree cookies (YUM!) and Rob verified that there would be a Continental B'fast the next morning!
We woke up early...and Melayne, Rob and Steve shuttled donuts and coffee to the room. We condensed our belongings into just one room, and headed out to the Lincoln Memorial.
It was a great morning and the weather was amazing. Mom said it reminded her of the weather that she remembered from 70 years ago. She said she never remembered it raining...and on a morning like this, we quickly forgot the rain and fog from the first couple of days here.
We toured the Lincoln Memorial, visited the Korean War Memorial and Vietnam War Memorial... It was just a wonderful last day.
Home again for both groups... Tracking Info below.