Exploring D.C. in a Day!

Starting the Day
     We went to Washington, D.C. as a day trip leaving out of Richmond, Virginia. It took a couple hours to get out there. Beforehand, we made parking reservations online to find the cheapest and most convenient location to park. This really took out a lot of hassle and probably saved money as well.

   

MLK
National Mall
     The first stop was the White House. It was interesting to see the amount of security protecting the place. You'd think the president lives there or something! (Hah.) We didn't really do anything other than look at it, but it is possible to take a tour.
     Next, we went to several memorial sites within the National Mall area. We saw Lincoln, Jefferson, Vietnam War, Korean War, WWII, Martin Luther King Jr., and FDR memorials. There is also the Washington monument which can be seen from most of these areas. There are just so many memorials around here that it's hard to make sure that you see them all! We didn't see all of them, but we saw the well-known ones and then some.
     The memorials are somber and thought-provoking. The war memorials particularly spoke to me, especially since some of them include the names of veterans and people lost in these wars.
     With the lengthy and deep historical stories behind these memorials and monuments, I was thinking about how easy it would be for the meanings of these sites to be lost on visiting children. I just looked online to see if I could find a guide to the National Mall for kids, but really didn't find any good online resources. I saw a few books for sale, but nothing just to print out or pull up on your phone to show or read to your kids while you visit these places. Perhaps this means I should make one . . . I'll add it to the list of things to do.
Jefferson Memorial
Vietnam War Memorial
WWII Memorial
   
Moon rock!
Museums
     Anyway, next we headed to the museums. We visited the Air and Space Museum. National Gallery of Art, Natural History Museum, and the American History Museum. The Air and Space Museum was my favorite as a big fan of space stuff. It had many scale models of flight equipment, plus some simulators and such. With science and technology careers on the rise, this museum is sure to be a fun and interesting stop to a growing number of individuals.
     At some point during our museum hop, we went toward the Capitol building, which was unfortunately under construction. We were under a bit of a time constraint since most of the museums close around 5:30, so we quickly moved on.

     The Art Museum was nice to see. Even if you aren't a big fan of art, the architecture and beautiful features of the building make it worth seeing. Plus there's a DaVinci painting-- that's famous stuff!



     My second favorite museum was the Museum of Natural History. It was really cool to see a real mummy right there in front of me! As in many museums, some of the displays were models. There were still many that were real though, as it said in their descriptions (such as the mummy).
     The American History Museum has many exhibits about various aspects of American life and history, such as technology, military, eras, etcetera. It was worth the stop, but it was the last place that we went to. Frankly we were very tired by the time we made it there. We probably didn't enjoy it as much as we could have. The only picture that I even took in there was one of the George Washington sculpture in there.
So Many Important Things!
     I saw so many well-known and historical locations in D.C. all in one day. When I input all the locations into a Google map, it said the walking distance was about 8 miles, plus the walking we did inside the museums. Being the beginning of July, it was also hot outside. Just keep in mind that the itinerary that we followed for the day we spent in D.C. was extremely tiring for us, but very worth it. Did I mention everywhere we went was free? We saw all of these great things for the cost of gas and parking. We even brought food along to avoid having to buy in the city.
     We didn't see everything there is to see by any means, but we covered the majority of the must-dos in the National Mall. If or when I return to D.C., I would like to see the National Zoo, the African American History Museum, the Holocaust Museum, and the American Indian Museum.

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