July 29, 2007 – A little bit after the end of the northbound part of my big tour of the Blue Ridge Parkway, I stopped by and visited another RVing friend, Houston, who lived near Washington, DC. He had a space for my motorhome in his yard where I had all the comforts of my home and his kind hospitality. As usual, RVing affords the best of both worlds, plus a personal local tour guide!
I remember thinking that I was glad he was doing all the driving because I think I’d still be going round those DC travel circles!
I couldn’t believe how incredibly hot and humid it was there and it was exhausting just walking around, but I was determined to see as much as I could.
We did the DC Ducks Tour which starts right outside of Union Station.
With its massive domed ceiling and Romanesque statues, it’s a worthy destination itself. We had a 3 hour wait for the first available tour, so had plenty of time to explore it fully and grab a bite to eat. Lesson learned here: book those tours early!
The DC Duck was a good way to get an overview of this impressive city. Another benefit is you can just ride around and enjoy the informative narration from the guides on the ground, and then you get the view from the Potomac as well.
With security as tight as it needs to be these days, it was a bit disappointing to be reminded that we citizens can’t get closer to our nation’s White House. I couldn’t help but think back on 9-11 and be so grateful that those nut cases didn’t get the chance to destroy these beautiful and meaningful symbols of our history and freedom.
This view of the iconic Washington Monument from the banks of the Potomac gave a distant perspective, but I regret never getting closer. I did learn about something I had never noticed before about the different shades of color seen here. From NPS FAQS:
When the monument was under construction in 1854, the Washington National Monument Society ran out of money and the project ground to a halt. Twenty-five years later, the U.S. Government took over and completed the upper two-thirds of the structure by 1884 using marble from a different quarry. The two sections closely resembled each other at first, but time, wind, rain, and erosion have caused the marble sections to weather differently, thereby producing the difference in color.
We then walked the 7 or so blocks to the capital grounds. For some reason I expected cooler temps in this part of the country even in the summer, but with temps in the 90’s and what felt like 100% humidity, we were quite hot and exhausted by the time we started walking back to the station.
But getting to see the capitol buildings in person was even more of a thrill than I thought it would be.
It is much more imposing than I expected and the architecture is absolutely spectacular!
But I still wish we had allowed enough time and energy to really get around for up-close views of these amazing accomplishments of architecture. I regret not getting inside the Lincoln Monument for sure.
I am totally grateful for what I did see, though, even when I was resistant at first: