Sunday, January 13, 2013

First visit to Washington, DC

Sorry to have left you for a couple of months, folks! October/November/December are the busiest months of my year...I've been swamped and am just now coming up for air...

I thought I would catch up a bit by telling you a bit about my first trip to Washington, DC. I volunteer for a charitable organization which is head-quartered in the US. Normally our Fall fund-raising Gala is held in Raleigh, NC, which is "home base" but this year we branched out a bit and the Gala was held in Washington.

We were fortunate to have the beautiful JW Marriott right on Pennsylvania Ave as our host hotel.

We arrived the Thursday prior to the Saturday event, and got right to the sightseeing!

The beautiful National Theatre, which you can see in the background of the picture above, was the site of the convenient!

We had purchased tickets prior to our visit for the Night Lights Tour; we had been told it was pretty to see the monuments at night, and as the timing of the tour was good for us, we went for it. I would definitely recommend the tour. Our guide was knowledgeable, and it was great to get to all the monuments easily, and know what we wanted to get back to see again. My only quibble is that we have one friend who has a disability which means he is unable to walk long distances....the tour was difficult for him, and this was not mentioned in the description. If you are considering going, the tour requires having the ability to walk at least a mile at a fairly quick pace. Not for seniors. 

Here's my favorites: Martin Luther King a teenager in the '60's, really affecting and imposing. The picture doesn't begin to show you the scope of the monument, which is really well done. 

The Korean War Memorial: really, really eery in the dark...and that engraved wall is just amazing. It is pictures of many of the participants in the war....doctors, infantry, nurses, etc. The "field" is set up to look as though the troupe is working through a battlefield dressed just as they would have been for battle...and you feel as though you are right in the middle of it:

Here we are at the White House! Mr and Mrs Obama did NOT come out to say Hi....

but at another time, there WAS this: *

We were able also to get out to Mount Vernon, George Washington's birthplace, and thoroughly enjoyed that tour of Mount Vernon, Old Town Alexandria, and Arlington Nat Cemetery. Again, though~not for someone who is not able to walk considerable distances. 

Mount Vernon, from the entrance: 

Slave burial ground:

Old Towne Alexandria: (each is 8 ft wide)

Robert E. Lee's home:

Christ Church in Alexandria; gravesite in the churchyard damaged by Union soldiers bullets:

Plaque in the church:

Kennedy graves and eternal flame at Arlington National Cemetery:

And then, of course....the Gala, which was wonderful!

Our Gala VIP group may recognize my boss on the far right....:-)

Sure hope to have an opportunity to visit again and see some of what we missed! Washington was beautiful.....

*Yes, of course it's photoshopped :-)...but what fun...I've gotten a lot of mileage out of that fun little souvenir. 


  1. Hi Lori, I got to visit Washington DC for the first time at the end of June. Yes there the tour buses are great for getting around to all the sites but yes there was a good amount of walking involved. So it is not good for someone who is disabled or elderly. Plus it is not recommended to go when it's hot! We was there the weeks when the temperture reach 100 degrees. I did not get to see as many sites as I wanted to due to my partner was disabled and couldn't take the heat. I hope to go back also to see more. I'm glad you had a great time. One of these times I would love to attend one of the Gala's.

  2. The weather was perfect when we were there...80's for the most part, chillier when the sun went down. We had an amazing time. Hope you ARE able to come to one of the Gala's! This year would be a great time....the 10th anniversary, and it's sure to be special. I'll be running a tour there to some of the sights.


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