Our final day of this trip was Monday, Memorial Day. We had established an OTD (Out the door) time of 8:30am, which didn't happen. We woke up, took our time, got ready, ate breakfast and some of us packed to leave straight from the district. We split up and drove down in to the city. A few ideas were thrown out re: parking. We could have parked at the Barlow again and walked in from Georgetown, or behind the museums (if the darn Thunder Rollers weren't still around and/or parking wasn't limited to 2hrs that day and/or the parade didn't have a need to close down major roads - you know those kinds of things), or where Jesse had found parking the day before. Eventually we wound up in the parking lot along the Potomac (real specific, eh?)
It was 3hr parking but we hoped that due to crowds, parades and speeches going on all over the district that we would be okay for however long our adventure took us. We split up early on because Katrina and Jesse were leaving earlier than the rest of us - they went off to look at some museums and we started towards the Lincoln Memorial. On our way we stopped at WWII to watch a ceremony honoring the veterans of that war. We then went to the Lincoln Memorial. I've been there many times but it never gets old to me. I also always think of this clip whenever I am there.
On our journey back towards the National Mall we saw the Vietnam Memorial, Korean War Memorial, and a few others I don't know the names of. We took a break at the Washington Monument (probably one of my top 3 favorites) and tried to plan the rest of the day. Tyler went to this place last time he was in DC in Chinatown that he said had really good Chinese food. We began walking and realizing it was going to be a bit farther of a walk we voted: walk the rest of the way or metro one way. I think everyone gave in because I kept whining about how we weren't using the metro, sorry, I've kind of got a love/hate thing going with it. Mostly I love it on days it got me to work on time and when the escalators worked (and when the Dr. Pepper truck was outside Foggy Bottom tossing out cold cans of that sweet stuff), and the hate came in when I had to walk up the escalator at Dupont or FB or L'Enfant (oh, long, horrid things) or when it made me late, or when tourists would link arms and run on to the train and therefore I couldn't make it on - enough about the metro.
We went from Fed Triangle to Gallery Place/Chinatown with a transfer at L'Enfant. We couldn't locate the same place Tyler had been to so after a few minutes he said this one place looked good and we could go there. Sara ordered fried rice thinking her celiac self would be safe - but it was loaded with soy sauce, no bueno. I can't remember what everyone else had but I know Mari had some tofu dish and I had some of the best beef and broccoli ever (though, Bro Webster's is a very close competitor). I was pretty pleased that I was able to use the chopsticks for my whole meal, it only became tricky when trying to eat rice. Food was good though. We grabbed some Rita's (yum!) and began our walk to the National Archives, which would put us along the parade route. We found a nice shaded spot and then realized we were only 6 blocks from Sara's parents so we went and joined them and Sara's sister.
The parade itself was a cool experience. The only other Memorial Day parades I've seen are the ones I marched in for band in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. There were a lot of people honoring the victims and families of the 9/11 victims. That hit home for me. As a quick background story my mom, at that time, worked for IBM in Manhattan. I don't remember how close her office building was to the towers but it was too close for comfort. They were on lock down that day after the 1st tower was hit and it took her a very long time to get home. I heard about it at first from my 7th grade Spanish teacher who got a call from her son while she was in class with us. She was talking about moving money into an account for him so he could get out, from where we didn't know at the time, and she hung up and told us all that something went very wrong. I don't remember anything from the rest of the day from after the time I got home but I do remember not knowing when Mom was coming home. That is a scary feeling for a 7th grader. Especially for one who is the oldest, with two younger brothers that I knew I had to keep a strong cover for. The memorials for 9/11 were beautiful, and reminded me how lucky I am that my mom was safe on that day.
The rest of the parade was full of marching bands from all over, re-enactors, and military groups. Oh, and Pat Sajak. After the parade we headed back to Sara's sisters' place and re-fueled on some great food, we packed and then we began our drive home. The drive wasn't bad and only in the last ten minutes did I start to get tired. We arrived home and I crashed in bed, thinking maybe this great weekend was a dream. Then I woke up to all the photos and realized nope, it was just one of the best trips I've taken with some of my favorite people.
Somewhere in this story we went to the National History Museum and the National Museum of Art... photos are included but I don't remember when we went to them in the timeline of the post... oh well.
|Presenting of the colors at the WWII Memorial|
|Tori, myself and Abe :)|
|The reflecting pool was drained, and ugly.|
|I don't remember which monument this is|
|Tori looking at the Vietnam Memorial Wall|
|Korean War Memorial|
|From the Washington Monument looking towards the White House|
|A sleepy Sara and my shirt stained by her bag. I'd complain but that bag was so good that day, and if anyone knows where I can find myself a cloth, open top, cross-body bag - I'll love you.|
|It's not that I have a thing for the Muppets, its just Kermie :) I like frogs.|
|In the Lincoln exhibit|
|Abe vs. Tyler - Abe Wins|
|Tyler: "Gosh I wish I could find that Chinese restaurant" , Sara: "I don't know it but I'm about to eat a plate full of GLUTEN!", Tori: "Storm coming?? BRING IT!!"|
|This was about the time some guy on the other side of the street screamed "Where's Vanna?!"|
|These chicks were stomping - It was probably the most involved "marching" of the whole parade and I am semi-interested to know how they did it for the entire stretch of the parade.|
|Snow in New York - Robert Henri|
|Final photo in DC - Mari and The Capitol Building|