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Monday, November 7, 2011

ANNIVERSARY IN DC

This year - Josh and I spent our 4-year Wedding Anniversary celebrating in DC. We had a wonderful time. It was so great to get away for a few days, visit the capital, learn a little, eat a lot :) and spend some much needed time together - we have been back for almost a month now, but before we go on our next big trip (details to come later!!) at the end of this week - I thought I should post an update on how this trip went...

Day 1 - We flew out of Huntsville (very nice airport actually) and into BWI (Baltimore) EARLY Friday morning. We caught an Amtrak train from BWI that took us straight to Union Station in DC. This was Josh's first time on a train and it was a very pleasant, quick trip! Once we got into the city, we caught a cab and checked into our hotel - The Liason. We really enjoyed staying here - it was nice, reasonably priced and EXTREMELY convenient to Union Station and the Capital.

In the afternoon we headed over to the National Mall, toured the outside of most of the Smithsonian Museums, visited the National History Museum (to see T-rex and the Hope Diamond, of course) and then headed straight over to the Halocaust Museum. I am not sure if I can truly describe this experience - I would say that it was probably our favorite thing that we did in DC... but it was certainly not a "fun" experience. To say that it was "sad" or "informative" does not really describe it either.... certainly, we are extremely glad that we went, learned more than I ever thought was possible in a 3 hour period, would definitely go back again - but would never (obviously) bring small children. Although I don't think we can begin to understand the horror that the victims of the Halocaust experienced - The United States Halocaust Memorial Museum certainly makes a good effort of showing you that experience.

Day 2 - On Saturday morning, we were up and out pretty early. We signed up for an early public tour of The Capital. We had both been to DC a few times before - but neither of us had done this particular tour. We started out in the visitor center, toured the Capital history museum (awesome scale models of the Capital throughout its several construction phases and expansions - I know, I am a nerd), and then got a general tour of the Rotunda and the public spaces for the Senate and the House. Getting a refresher of the history of our government and specifically Congress is always a plus. I forgot how truly beautiful the Capital is. Our tour guide said that the Capital is the most recognizable building in the world - (Not that he's biased or anything...)


After our tour of the Capital, we headed through the underground and over to the Library of Congress. After all of the scenes shot in this building after the National Treasure movies... I was excited to check out the hidden door at the information desk that led to the Presidents' private reading room... I was sad to discover that the Main Reading Room is actually closed to the public. You have to be completely official research to gain access to this area... very sad. But, we were able to view the room from behind glass upstairs... just no pictures.


Here are some pictures that we were able to get of the Library of Congress in the public spaces - I think this was my favorite government building that we visited. So beautiful. Love all of the marble and granite flooring patterns and the intricate ceiling designs... Again, nerd, I know. I can't help it.






After the Library of Congress, we spent the afternoon on a self-guided walking tour... trying to hit some of the highlights...


The Supreme Court



J Edgar Hoover FBI Building (So excited about the new movie coming out!!)



The new WWII Memorial



And Back to Union Station - our home away from our hotel for the weekend


Later that evening, we decided to venture back out to the National Mall and tour the monuments at night. This was a lot of fun... not quite as crowded and we really enjoyed testing and playing with all of the different settings on our new camera.

The Washington Monument



The WWII Memorial with the Lincoln Memorial in the background


WWII Memorial - probably one of my favorites!!

We took these pictures standing on the side of the Lincoln Memorial and looking back towards the Washington Monument and the Capital. DC is so pretty :)







View of our hotel at night - Capital in the Background

Day 3 - We woke up early Sunday morning and rode the Metro out to meet our friends in Anapolis. Jeff and Rachel were in town visiting family and friends and were gracious enough to pick us up and take us on a tour of the Naval Academy (where Jeff graduated) and Anapolis. Is was wonderful to get out of the busy city for the day and catch up with great friends - we even got to meet their adorable daughter, Naomi for the first time. She is certainly a cutie.



Naval Academy Chapel - Absolutely stunning. We received a private tour from Rachel's mom who is in charge of religious education for the Academy.


Group shot - in front of the residence hall - Best looking dorm I have ever seen!!


Banquet Hall inside their Residence Hall - very impressive.


Me with sweet Naomi - she loved my necklace :)


Thank you Rachel and Jeff - we had such a great time touring Anapolis with you guys :).


Day 4 - Final day in DC. On Monday we woke up and decided to attend the International Spy Museum. I am sad to say that it was slightly disappointing... maybe we set our sights too high by expecting to learn some critical national spy secrets... or maybe it was because it was the only museum that we had to pay for... but it definitely was not our favorite. I did learn a lot more about the Cuban Missile Crisis that I did not know... but other than that, it was kind of uneventful. I think all of the Bond and Bourne movies have ruined that for me (us).


After the museum, we headed back over to the White House to get some good (not so crowded) pics since it was a Monday. We did a little bit of shopping and then eventualy headed back to Union Station to catch another Amtrak back to BWI.


After 4 days, we were sad to leave, but again, so thankful for this time together. We had a wonderful 4 year anniversary vacation. Can't wait to go again :).


Now for our next trip... Josh and I are actually headed on another weekend vaca at the end of this week!! Josh has a conference for the hospital that he is attending in SAN DIEGO and I am coming with him!! We are both so stoked - we have never been to San Diego and absolutely loved California (San Francisco) on our honeymoon. We are excited to get away again - celebrate our birthdays and visit one of the world's largest zoos. (We love zoos...)



1 comment:

Cindy H said...

Love your pics!!!!