Saturday, October 8, 2011

Washington - the "I'm lazy, so here's a bunch of pictures" edition

By our third day in Washington, we were kind of museumed out. Scandalous, I know. Although to be fair, we'd done most of the fun ones anyway (oh, I totally forgot to mention that we went to the Castle on our first Smithsonian day). So we decided to devote the third day to seeing all the monuments. We started off with the big one - the White House. The last time I was there, you could stand across the road from it behind a big concrete barrier. These days? You walk about 200 metres from the road across a grassy park thing to stand in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE and look at a tiny house. And God forbid you deviate even slightly from the path (which is marked by traffic cones at the points where you should turn corners. SO obvious!) - that earns you a blown whistle and a sternly pointed finger from a nearby police officer.


Anyway. Here's the wonderful view you get of the White House from the middle of nowhere. So glad we bothered to go...

We quickly bored of that, and wandered down to the Washington Monument, which was closed following the great east coast earthquake. On the way there, we found this sign:

The German-American friendship garden. Aww. Isn't that nice? 300 years of friendship (DON'T MENTION THE WAR!!). And here's the garden:

I don't know about you, but that pretty much looks like weeds to me! 

I had written a whole post about us going to all the different monuments, but it was quite dull and they're pretty self explanatory. So let's just do it pictorially and save all of our sanities, shall we?

Washington Monument:

World War II Memorial: 

OMG. Acknowledgement of other countries!
Vietnam Nurses' Memorial:

Vietnam War Memorial:

Lincoln Memorial:

Korean War Memorial:

Martin Luther King Jr Memorial:

Okay, this one actually warrants talking about. When I caught up with Hello Wisconsin and her husband G-Man in Chicago (speaking of which, congratulations on your new arrival guys!! xx), G-Man was telling me about this, which has only just opened. The story goes (and I have no idea how accurate it is...) that the people who were in charge of the construction and whatnot wanted the central statue of Martin Luther King to be made of granite. Only they couldn't a) find anyone in America to carve it, and b) find any suitable quality granite in America. So they went wider. They ended up with Chinese granite and a Chinese sculptor. Said Chinese sculptor is known for his statues of Mao Zedong. And apparently he basically carved a statue of Mao, and then put Martin Luther King's head on the top of it. I kind of question the accuracy of this, because statues of Mao seem to frequently have one arm raised in the air, but whatever. Why spoil a good story with facts?! 

The other controversy with the new memorial is this quote:

The actual quote was: "If you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter." 

It's understandable that they shortened it, because something that long would be kind of hard to cram on the side of a statue. But you have to admit, that makes him sound pretty arrogant...

Anyway, it was interesting to see the new memorial, especially after hearing about it from G-Man. We didn't really spend that long there, because it was a really sunny day, and the granite is REALLY white, and it was kind of blinding us a little bit... 

Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial:

Thomas Jefferson Memorial:

By the time we were done at the Jefferson Memorial (incidentally, you can buy Michelle Obama fridge magnets there... #WHY), it was about 3pm and we were starving and exhausted. We finished the walk around the basin, and headed to the Air and Space Museum for a delicious nutritious about what you'd expect meal from the McDonald's there, solely because it was the closest thing to where we were. I'm pretty sure we sat there for about an hour, just marvelling at the novelty of air conditioning and chairs. 

Eventually, we reached a point where we looked weird, sitting there doing nothing. So we wandered past Ford's Theatre, solely because we'd been seeing signs to the bloody thing all over the city. When we got there, a massive school group was standing around outside. And it looked like it had been built about two years ago, thanks to external renovations. So instead, we decided it was time for liquid refreshment. We found a microbrewery that was in the midst of happy hour (score!) and settled in for the long haul. I had some kind of cider that had a rhino on the bottle. I can't remember what the hell it was called, but it was vastly superior to the Magner's everywhere else had, which I think tastes rather like alcoholic plastic. We were provided with free just-out-of-the-oven preztels, and a dipping sauce that appeared to be ranch dressing. Kat quickly discovered that it was horseradish. (Kat - thanks for discovering that so that I didn't have to!! <3)

After a couple of hours of watching one of the bartenders make highly intriguing cocktails, we decided that we needed to partake before leaving. I had a passionfruit mojito. It was pretty awesome. But not as awesome as what Kat had. I can't remember what it was called, and don't have any photos of it. But it was some kind of peach martini, and it tasted EXACTLY like the bag of gummy peach rings we'd devoured genteelly eaten like ladies the night before. Somewhere in there, we decided we should probably wash down all the booze with some food, and had salads for dinner. 

Once our cocktails were finished, we wandered back to the hotel to pack. On the way, we heard a rustling noise in a nearby rubbish bin, and turned around just in time to see a massive rat stroll out of the bin. I took that as a sign that it was officially time to bid farewell to Washington.

Next up, "oh God, I hope this is a taxi", subways are not suitcase friendly, and I navigate using Broadway tunes (yes, seriously).

K xx


  1. Great pictures, I can imagine how exhausted you must have been at the end of that day

  2. Great photos. You know, I live in Maryland but I don't think I've seen half of those things in person. Weird how things just don't seem as cool when you live so close to it.

  3. Love the photos! When I last did a trip to the white house I actually got a tour of the inside! That was pretty awesome :)

  4. For being "lazy here's some pictures" there are an awful lot of words :)

  5. I went on a DC trip in 8th grade, this post brought me back!


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