May 3, 2019

Eight States in Nine Days - Part 2

The second part of my vacation involved driving three hours to Washington D.C. 

Ford's Theatre/Petersen House
Parking is at a premium in Washington D.C.  Thankfully, there is a parking garage under Ford's Theatre.  Ford's Theatre is where Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president, was shot by John Wilkes Booth.  It is still a working theatre.

From looking at the outside, one would not think it's filled with so much history.  Before entering the actual theatre, you enter a museum that details politics during Lincoln's era, the timeline of the day he was shot (both Lincoln's and Booth's).  I am from Illinois as was Lincoln so it's fascinating history for me. 

The theatre itself is very ornate and is a step back in time.

The box where President Lincoln was shot.

Across the street from Ford's Theatre is Petersen House where Lincoln died from his gunshot wound.

Only the downstairs is accessible to the public.  It contains: Front Parlor where Mary Todd Lincoln sat while the President was dying.  Back Parlor where politicians stayed in the aftermath. The room where Lincoln died.  Even though there is a bed in the room, the actual bed Lincoln was on is in Chicago History Museum.

Next to Petersen House is an education center with history and artifacts of the assassination and funeral of Lincoln.

At the end of the Petersen House/Ford's Theatre Education Center tour, there is a 34ft tall a Tower of Books... all about Lincoln.

National Mall
The plan was to park at Union Station and take the DC Circulator to the National Mall.  As they say, best laid plans...  After going around and around and around and around (I'm not kidding) the street in front of Union Station, we realized the parking garage was closed.  I scrambled to find a parking garage (Thank goodness for smartphones!) that was a 20 minute walk from Union Station.  Luckily, the weather was nice.  It did curtail how late site seeing at the Mall was going to be.  For the months of March and April, the DC Circulator bus was free to ride.  Normally, it's just $1 to ride.  Just hop on and hop off at whatever spot you wanted to see.  All of the monuments and museums have free admission!  It definitely takes more than one day to see everything.

National Museum of American History
The only reason I wanted to go here was to see the First Lady dresses. It was so awesome!  I did think of Vickie at Reading and Stitching... she loves 'fancy lady' dresses.
Caroline Harrison 1889-1892
Frances Cleveland 1893-1897
Lucy Hayes 1877-1881
Mary Todd Lincoln
Mamie Eisenhower 1953-1961
Michelle Obama 2009

There were many, many more as well as several sets of White House china used during different presidencies.

Also in this museum were the ruby red slippers from the movie, Wizard of Oz.  One of my favorite movies after Gone With The Wind.

There is lots more in the museum, but since there was a time crunch I set out to see the things that really interested me.

While in Washington, D.C., I had to see the presidential memorials. 

The Washington Monument was closed due to renovations so I didn't get to go inside.  My two favorite photos:

Washington Monument and Infinity Sculpture
located in front of Museum of American History
View from the top of Lincoln Memorial

Both the Jefferson Memorial and Lincoln Memorial are very awe inspiring.  When standing at the foot of the stairs, these monuments are so massive!  Of course, I climbed the stairs of each one.

Jefferson Memorial
Thomas Jefferson's words are etched in marble
on the inside walls of the memorial
Also in the interior is a 19ft bronze statue of
Thomas Jefferson
Lincoln Memorial.  It was spring break so there were lots of kids everywhere!
Inside the memorial is also 19ft tall. With the pedestal, it weights 175 tons!
Walking to the bus stop, I noticed that all the state names are carved into the stone around the top perimeter of the memorial.  I found Illinois... how cool is that?

Also while in D.C., I saw the Capitol Building and the U.S. Court House.

As dusk set in, it was time to head to Tennessee.  If you can't tell, traffic is horrendous in Washington D.C., daylight or dusk.

See that car directly in front?  Not sure what the problem was, but it stopped right in the middle of the interstate and put it's flashers on.  Because it was bumper to bumper and side to side traffic, it was quite the trick trying to get out from behind it in order to go around.  Ugh.

Until next time...


Pam in IL said...

Your trip looks wonderful and I'm so happy you got to get away! That traffic around DC is something, isn't it! I thought it was even worse than driving in Chicago during rush hour. Thanks for sharing all your photos too.

Rachel S-H said...

The dresses are my favorite thing at the museum!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip, Meari. Washington DC is on my travel wishlist ....... one day 😉


Carol said...

We just got back from DC last night, Meari (had been visiting our youngest son for the weekend). I love going there (outside of the traffic!) and always love visiting the monuments. This time we went to see them at night which was a totally different experience :)

Happy May to you!

Faith... said...

Thanks for sharing these sites! Love the TOwer of Books!

Robin in Virginia said...

Meari, your trip to DC looked great. I enjoyed seeing it through your lens. I liked the photos of the dresses you shared and the tower of books. Traffic is always horrendous in that area; I am glad that it was decent weather though as it would have been much more of a nightmare. Enjoy your weekend!

Katie said...

I really want to go visit DC but will be taking a bus trip or something. No driving for us there. I've heard nothing but horrible things about driving there haha. Great photos. Thanks for sharing.