Saturday, December 20, 2014

DC part 1

In the second week of April, having waited out winter, we headed north of the Mason-Dixon line. Washington DC is a city that no trip around the USA would be complete without (I would include New York, New Orleans and Chicago on that list too). When I planned this leg of the trip, I had the famous cherry blossoms on my mind. (Funny coincidence, the Cardinals were also in town to play the Nationals). Sarah also had a lucky bit of timing: the MentorCoach conference was in DC the first weekend we were there.

Our hosts were Brad and Marlo, and they took excellent care of us. They live in Silver Spring, which (funny story!!!!!!) is also the ancestral home of our pal Kefira. (OK, not "funny ha-ha.")

DAY ONE: While Sarah conferred, I took the boys to the Tidal Basin. The cherry blossoms were, well, you can see for yourself:

Game faces on

We happened to be there on the blossoms' peak day. In our nation's capitol this is, as we say in the Twitterverse, #KindOfaBigDeal. As my family has heard me say many times, sometimes you get lucky.

We saw lots of people enjoying the beauty, including many who I assume were from Japan. (The cherry trees were a gift from Japan to the US about 100 years ago.) It was crowded, but once again I appreciated how well-prepared for crowds the boys are. Thanks, Shanghai!

While we were downtown, on a gorgeous Friday, I thought we would fit in some more sightseeing. You never know when the rain will hit (more on that in the next DC post). So we walked to the Jefferson Memorial, and read his words inscribed inside the dome.

The boys and I puzzled over a slaveowner writing "…all men are created equal." Desi put the question to the park ranger, who did his best for ten minutes to explain. He earned his pay that day!

From Jefferson we headed to the memorial of another Democrat. Maybe the most famous one of all: FDR. Love him or hate him, you have to admit: his memorial is really BIG.

It is laid out in sections, chronologically. We didn't know that, though, so we came upon the World War Two part and toured it backward. I felt proud that the boys were able to recognize references to the Great Depression. They have been absorbing more than I give them credit for. And they loved the statue of Fala the dog:

EPIC Pano-bomb. Notice my legs, also. Ahhh!!!!

He said "A nude eel." Heh heh

2 cool dudes. I want his hat.

Eleanor's words inspire me every time I jump in a really cold swimming pool: "Do something every day that terrifies you."

They swear FDR whispered "Pull my finger." 

Emmett took cuts

Not far away is the newest addition to the Mall: the MLK Memorial. Just over 50 years ago, he gave the "I Have a Dream" speech not far from this spot. The design is based on a line from the speech: "With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope."

Check out the whoosh-y lines and their "comin' atcha" effect
Lots of well-chosen MLK quotes. And the sculptor is from China. (Which I'm sure came as no surprise to the yay-hoos who thought MLK was a commie.)

Then it was time to head back up to home base in Silver Spring.
Coming soon: DC day 2. Should be posted within a few months haha!