Hi, everyone! I’m back with a new post on Day 1 in Washington D.C. Our grade recently visited D.C for a class trip. Enjoy!
We took a Southwest flight to D.C and we arrived there at 9:45 PM EST at DCA Airport. One of our favourite things was flying into the airport along the Potomac River. It was very pretty and we got great views of the Capitol Wheel (a Ferris wheel in Oxon Hill, Maryland along the Potomac.) The picture below is a little blurry but you can see the outline of the Ferris wheel.
We arrived at around 11:00 at our hotel in Springfield, Virginia. We stayed at a casual Courtyard Marriot. One thing we liked while staying at the Courtyard was the nice baristas at the Starbucks in the lobby. We didn’t do anything that night since it was pretty late and we had a busy day ahead of us.
The next morning we had breakfast in the lobby and then headed out. We were on our way to D.C at 8:00. We passed through Arlington and crossed Francis Scott Key Bridge into Georgetown. One of the first famous things we saw was Georgetown Cupcakes. Famous for their TV show DC Cupcakes and their delicious cupcakes!
Our first stop in D.C was to the National Cathedral. The architecture of the cathedral reminded me a lot of architecture of cathedrals over in England. The inside was so big and the stained glass on the walls was beautiful. Parts of the cathedral are still in renovation from the earthquake in 2011.
One of our favourite stops was in the Bishops Garden. A great place for photo opts and also a nice place to just sit and relax.
From the cathedral and gardens, we drove down Embassy Row and enjoyed seeing all the different, cultural architecture buildings. Our next stop was at the Air Force Memorial which has beautiful views of the D.C skyline from atop a hill.
After spending a good amount of time at both the Air Force Memorial and the National Cathedral it was already time for lunch! We decided to head back over into Virginia and have lunch at Pentagon City Mall. I got a drink from Starbucks and a turkey sub from Subway. One of my friends and I shared vanilla Thai rolled ice cream and a bubble waffle. It was soo good!
From Pentagon City Mall we walked over to the Pentagon for a tour we had scheduled. Unfortunately, we were late for the tour and had to leave. We walked over to the 9/11 Memorial which was just outside. This was definitely my favourite place that we visited on the trip. It was so peaceful there and seeing all the symbolism throughout the 184 benches (representing the 184 victims) was really cool. My friends and I threw coins into the ponds (under every bench) that didn’t have any coins or flowers by them.
From the 9/11 memorial, we took our bus over to Abe’s Cafe and Gift Shop, which was right across from Ford’s Theater (where Abraham Lincoln was shot) and next to the House Where Lincoln Died. We browsed for a while and some people got drinks to go.
We drove from the gift shop down to the National Mall. We went to the American History Museum which was fun. We saw the original United States flag, the original Swedish Chef from the Muppets, the Batmobile, Dorothy’s ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz, and all of the first ladies dresses from Abigail Adams to present. Unfortunately, they had taken the original Kermit off display.
We walked from the American History Museum across the National Mall to the Holocaust Memorial Museum. We got identification cards when we entered, identifying us as a person who either survived or died in the Holocaust. It was a very sad place to visit but we learned a lot while there and it was important to learn about.
After leaving the Holocaust Museum we went to the World War II Memorial. We found our state in the semi-circle of stones each with a state or U.S territory on them.
Before we headed to dinner we walked around Constitution Gardens Lake and across the road to the Albert Einstein Memorial where we took a big class photo. From the statue, we got on our bus and drove to Union Station where we had dinner at Uno’s Pizzeria.
Our day wasn’t over yet after dinner though. We still had many more memorials to visit. Our first group of memorials by nightlight to visit was the Vietnam Wall and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial. One of my friends and I broke off from the group and went to look for all the symbols our tour guide had told us about that were on the wall. A diamond means that they have been officially declared dead, a cross means they are still missing in action, a diamond over a cross means they were missing in action and then were declared dead after the wall was built, and it has yet to happen but if somebody missing in action returns alive their cross will have a circle around it.
Three Serviceman Statue
Our next memorial was the Lincoln which wasn’t far away.
We liked seeing the “I Have a Dream” plaque on the stairs.
The plaque was wet so the picture didn’t turn out great
One of my friends and I once again broke off from the rest of the group taking pictures to go find some ‘easter eggs’ in the Lincoln Monument. We found all 3 that were described. On the back of Lincoln’s head from one of the columns, you can see the outline of another face which some say is the face of Robert E. Lee who was Lincoln’s enemy looking out to what was once his plantation (now Arlington Cemetery.) Robert E. Lee was the Confederate commander in the Civil War. The Union soldiers gained revenge on him by burying their own on his land and it is now known as Arlington Cemetery.
Another ‘easter egg’ was that when they were inscribing some of Lincoln’s famous speeches on the monument they accidentally wrote ‘Euture’ rather than ‘Future.’ You can see this below the word ‘encouraging.’
A final ‘easter egg’ was that two states weren’t included with the rest surrounding the top of the memorial. That’s Hawaii and Alaska. They are included in a plaque near the bottom of the memorial instead.
If you look closely toward the bottom you can see the words ‘Alaska and Hawaii.’
Before we headed back to the memorial we walked through the Korean War Memorial. Wherever you stood in the memorial there was always one of the soldiers looking at you which I thought was neat.
This was only our first full day of three days in D.C. Stay tuned for more posts coming soon! 🙂