Remember I told you we had our kitchen redone? Remember I said I was going to post pics?
This isn’t that post.
This is the day trip we took for “vacation” – since we couldn’t afford a big budget vacation after the kitchen makeover. I’m certainly not complaining — we had two weeks off, and that’s always the main thing, right – no work! Which for Joe and I means no criminals and no jail, definitely a plus. And, we went to the beach for a few days, took a day trip to Leesport, saw a few movies, and spend the day in Washington. We took Amtrak very early in the morning (easy peasy, a little expensive – probably gas and parking would have been less, but part of vacation is also minimal driving), and then we bought Hop on Hop Off Big Bus Tickets.
Have you ever done the hopping thing? If you’re not driving, it’s a pretty decent way to get around. The stops are pretty clearly marked, and the tour is pretty good (better when you get the bus with the live tour guide as opposed to the canned audio recording). The only snafu we really had was me not anticipating D.C. traffic for our trip back to Union Station – we cut it really really really close, but we made it,
So, here’s a little round-up of our trip – in somewhat the same order as the hopping on and off.
First stop, the Capitol Building – of course, under construction. We were lucky, though. The rotunda was still open – but I think it closed on 7/29 for the rest of the summer. To tour the Capitol, you’re supposed to book tours ahead of your visit with your state rep., but there are nonreserved tours if you’re there early – and we were there early – like when the doors opened. So, we toured the Capitol, but opted not to visit our local congressmen to get passes onto the House floor. Congress wasn’t in session – and there was more history to soak up. Before we got back on the bus, we gazed at the hallowed halls of the Supreme Court.
And then we walked along the riverbank, passed the FDR Memorial and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, over to the Lincoln Memorial. Of course, more photos of the Washington Monument were taken:
And then I made a miscalculation – we got back on the bus, thinking we’d be able to go over to Arlington, and then back to the WWII Memorial – but the route was detoured because of construction on the Potomac. So while I enjoyed the ride across the river, passed the Pentagon, and into the parking lot of the Arlington National Cemetery and back again, Joe thought it was a big waste of time. I thought it was a nice ride with a nice breeze on a 90+ degree day. And then, instead of getting dropped off at the WWII memorial, we had to walk back from the Washington Monument – and we totally missed the Vietnam Memorial because that would have meant walking nearly all the way back to Lincoln. Anyway, at some point, the Hop On Hop Off becomes counter productive – you’d have to do the entire loop including the trip across the bridge to go back and see something you missed. But here’s the WWII Memorial:
And then we walked to the White House:
You can take a tour of the White House, but unlike the Capitol, there are no walk-ups – you need to schedule the tour through your state reps office ahead of time.
And then, we were beat. We had lunch outside at a fancy hotel, and then we walked way across town to the Fallen Police Officer’s Memorial. And then, we went to the fairly new International Spy Museum – which I found fascinating, but I don’t think Joe was too intrigued until we got the Bond Villain exhibit.
And then it was back to Union Station, and Philly. And, as I mentioned, don’t forget the traffic – we took the Hop on Hop Off to Union Station, and from where we got on, it was only 4 stops – but it took forever, and Joe was fuming because he had wanted to take the Metro. Shoulda listened to the hubs. Oh well.
And by the way, not only did we take a gazillion photos of the Washington Memorial, like all good tourists, we took a selfie (no stick!) at every stop:
Ta Da! A successful day trip!