Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lindsey's and Freedom's Spring Break in Washington, DC

     My name is Lindsey and I am in Mrs. Hughes Kindergarten class. For Easter Weekend, I went to Washington, D.C. with my parents and grandparents. I took along one of our school mascots, Freedom.

Day 1

     We left very early on Friday morning. It’s a long drive. Friday was cold and rainy so we used this as our travel day. We did stop and do a little shopping at the Potomac Mills and the giant IKEA store. We also visited the National Cathedral that evening and attended the Good Friday Service.

Day 2

     We stayed at the Hampton Inn in Alexandria, VA which is just across the Potomac River from Washington. Saturday morning we got up early and rode the metro to the Smithsonian. This was my first trip on a metro. It was fast and I rode facing backwards. It was fun!

     Our first stop was the National Museum of American History. We saw the Star Spangled Banner Flag from 1814 which inspired our National Anthem. They keep it in a special, dark room where photos are not allowed. We also saw all the First Ladies fancy dresses, shoes and accessories. These were worn to their husband’s inaugurations. They also had life size photos of the current president and past presidents so Freedom and I posed for some pictures here. When we were leaving this museum, you won’t believe who we ran in to?! George Washington!
     Next we went to the National Museum of Natural History. This was my favorite. We saw huge elephants, dinosaurs, cavemen, mammals, insects and the famous blue diamond, The Hope Diamond. They also have a room of plants and hundreds of butterflies. We went in and a butterfly landed on my head. The butterflies were very beautiful.

     We grabbed a quick lunch at the Museum of Air & Space and then took off for our tour of the US Capitol Building. Our tour guide was great. She was very nice. We learned all about our government, The Senate and The House. Did you know that the statue on top of the Capitol Building is named Freedom just like our mascot? We walked in an underground tunnel from the Capitol to the Library of Congress which is the largest library in the world. We saw Thomas Jefferson’s collection of books!
     The US Botanical Garden is right beside the Capitol so we went here next. My parents are big gardeners and this was one of their favorites. From there we stopped in the American Indian Museum and then headed back down the mall towards the metro. We walked all day and were very tired. We grabbed some dinner and called it a day. We rode the metro back to our hotel.

Day 3

     We started out early again and went to the Jefferson Memorial. I brought my scooter from home so I really had fun riding it around the Jefferson Memorial and then later at the Lincoln Memorial. We also visited Arlington National Cemetery. John F. Kennedy is buried here and the tomb of the Unknown Soldier is here. Robert E. Lee’s house is on the grounds as well.
     Next we visited the World War II Memorial. My Great-Granddaddy fought in this war so this memorial meant a lot to all of us. Right across, is the Washington Monument. We walked around it but weren’t able to go up. All the tickets were gone. So we walked over to the Old Post Office and went up in the bell tower. It’s really high up and has a great view of the Washington Monument. From there we headed over to Ford’s Theatre to see where Abraham Lincoln was shot and learned the history behind that event.
     The next stop was 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue – The White House. There was a lot of security everywhere and even a sharp shooter on the roof. This is one of the most popular spots in Washington and there were tourists and cameras everywhere. It was starting to get late and everyone was getting tired so we made a quick stop at Union Station, had dinner and went back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep!

Day 4

     Today is the day we head home but we decided to take in just a few more sights before we left. We went back to the Natural History Museum for a view more exhibits. Then we headed over to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing for a tour. We saw how all of our bills are printed. We walked up high on an observation deck and watched the workers print money down below! We saw a pallet that held 64 million in bills! WOW! That was a lot of money.
     Before leaving, we went to Harry’s which is the oldest Hotel in Washington, D.C. They have a great restaurant and we had lunch. I had the biggest grilled cheese sandwich that I have ever seen and it was great! We drove home and got home very late but it was worth it. We had a fantastic time and we learned a lot! We made some great memories too! Freedom really saw some sights and I know she was anxious to get back so she could tell Liberty and Justice all about it!