Day 2 started out pretty uneventfully. We caught the metro and went out to Arlington for the first part of the day. I found that I love cemeteries. There is just so much history there! I don’t know how to choose the pictures to show so I will just say that eventually I want to put ALL the pictures from our trip on the Shutterfly site for you all to look at them.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
We were able to see the changing of the guard, the Arlington House, the graves of the Kennedy family and Taft’s grave. It was so moving to walk around and see all of the men and women that sacrificed their lives so that we can have the freedoms that we take for granted.
We spent the rest of the morning at the Smithsonian of American History. It was amazing to see some of the things that they had there. Just a few…the Star Spangled Banner (it was in a clean room and no photography was allowed), the last cup that Lincoln drank out of before he was shot, the ruby slippers, a car from the Dumbo ride at Disneyland, the original Washington monument, etc. It was amazing. They are currently working on an Obama exhibit but it wasn’t ready yet when we were there.
The other side of the White House was impressive to. We came to the conclusion that this is the back of the house. I don’t know if that is right or not but it only seems to make sense.
The Capitol Building. We got there just after the last group went into the building. We got held up at the National Archives and didn’t make it. We did get to walk around and see the outside though. Everyone was leaving work as we got there so it was really interesting to see. It is hard to imagine it being a place that daily business is conducted. After seeing the monuments and memorials it was good to see something that was still a functional place of business.
The National Archives. We got to see the Magna Carta there. After that you had to stand in a line that seemed to be forever long. The guards there must have taken lessons in Nazi Germany. They were EXTREMELY strict. They made it very clear that when you entered the Rotunda where all the documents were located there was to be no flash photography or white lights of any kind. I adjusted the lighting on the pictures after I got home because they were totally dark. There may be a little bit of a weird tint to them because of that.
The Declaration of Independence was amazing to see. I would recommend going to see it soon because it is nearly impossible to read any of the writing. I know that they are doing all they can to preserve it but I think there is going to come a time when it will be totally faded and aged and there won’t be anything that they can do.
The Constitution was in much better shape. These are just pages 1 and 4. We wanted to get a picture of the title page and then all the signatures.
The Bill of Rights. There were also samples of the books from Ellis Island, some documents regarding the emancipation, and several other things. It was so amazing to see such a big part of our history!
It was the trip of a lifetime. I would love to go back when the kids are older and really make it a worthwhile trip. Spend a week there and see everything! We has such a great time and are so thankful to Laurie who took such good care of the kids. She enabled us to have this wonderful experience!!!! THANK YOU!