Friday.....the day I dreaded because after noon I would be homeless.
All alone and nowhere to light for 5 hours.
This was a problem for me.
So we were up early, bathed, dressed, and packed so we could leave our bags in the lobby bag check before Hubs left for the day's conference activities.
I returned to the room and lounged around until 9ish and then walked up to Union Station for my tour.
I was about 30 minutes early for my tour so I cooled my heels inside the building.
Pretty soon it was time to line up by the DUCK.
Do you see the name of our Duck?
Very fitting for a Washington DC boat, no? lolz
Here's our vehicle before we were fully loaded.
The DC DUCKS, unlike some of the other Ducks around the country are not replicas but authentic WW2 tested DUKW vehicles. Captain Bob, our driver said our vehicle was actually used at the invasion of Normandy and has bullet holes in the hull(which have been patched so we don't sink of course).
Observing the activity around Union Station while waiting to begin the tour.....
Our driver, Captain Bob.....
They had retrofitted the Duck with 2 bench seats in the rear that were higher and not shaded by the awning. Since it wasn't sunny and higher(offered better views)I sat in the back.
Then it was finally time to GO!
Initially I had some trepidation about being in an open vehicle in all that traffic and without seat belts either!
But as Captain Bob explained, we are out in this vehicular melee in a vehicle that weighs several TONS. We are "top of the food chain" among vehicles. It may be slow and grind gears but if anything collides with us, it will be worse for the other vehicle.
Oh goody......my fears are quelled.....not. lolz
Here are shots on the fly I took along the way as we motored and then floated around Washington. I hope I remember what everything is. lolz
Gee, seems to be a theme with many groups of citizens, not just Southerners.
This photo is for Frances.
A close up......
A passing shot of the Capital building from the north side I think.....
The flags may give it away that this is the Canadian Embassy building. It's the only embassy building on the mall....I think.
The News Museum.
Let me say now for the record that if you take a SEGWAY TOUR of DC, you definitely have a death wish or a bit of Evel Knievel in you!
There were bike-sized lanes in the middle of the streets in DC with all sorts of vehicles whizzing by.
No WAY you'd get me on one of those wearing just a tiny bike helmet and no ARMOUR! lolz
The National Archives. I need to get back there some day to see if the family history my grandfather wrote is actually in there like he said it was......
A Department of the Navy building....
No clue what this one was.
Many of the government buildings were put up in the early part of the 20th century and look similar. After awhile you get tired of looking at the same old, same old.
Hey! I was on Pennsylvania Ave. This was taken near the White House. I won't show you the crazy man walking near here with a cardboard sign. All kinds of not quite all there folks around here......and I'm not talking about the current occupant of the White House. hehehe
An FBI building. Of course this one was low key and unassuming. The Men in Black don't want attention......
This is the Old Post Office Pavilion & Clock Tower. It served as DC's PO from it's construction in 1899 until 1914. It has avoided the wrecking ball many times and is now leased to Donald Trump for the next 60 years.
The Donald is renovation and refurbishing it into a luxury hotel.
I can't wait to make a reservation for a way overpriced hotel stay!
The Ronald Reagan International Trade Building....
The National Theater.
This shot is the intersection where we came as close to the White House as we got. There is a security checkpoint here(that little shack in the background). There is a park to the right of it where all the protestors are kept, at a distance from the WH and out of sight.
So if you come to DC wearing an aluminum foil hat and are carrying cardboard signs, you will see a lot of this place. Ignore the
George's monument. I wanted to go inside but it recently reopened and there is something like a 3 month wait for a reservation.
My shot sort of makes it look like the leaning Tower of George, doesn't it? 8-)
Another monument to somebody or other....yawn......
Don't remember what this building was for either......
Behind the trees, off in the distance, was the Vietnam Memorial. You can see all the people walking toward it. It was very crowded that day.
Here's the Lincoln Memorial and a stoplight. lol
That's the only shot I took of Abe's place.
Not a fan.....
A golden statue right before we went over the Arlington Memorial Bridge.
The Washington Monument in the distance as viewed from Arlington Virginia, across the Potomac River.
We finally entered the water over in the Pentagon Lagoon Yacht Basin......
The Pentagon, the east side, opposite the side where American Airlines Flight 77 hit the complex, as seen from the Potomac River.....
We passed slips of yachts on the way to the Potomac River. This one shot is for Wayne .....
Another shot of George's monument, this time with construction crane.......
We passed under the 14th St. Bridge......
I was visiting my then boyfriend in Charlottesville, VA on Jan. 13, 1982, the afternoon Florida Air Flight 90 crashed into the 14th St. bridge between DC and Arlington, VA.
I was waiting for the BF to return from class and watching tv when they broke into programming to carry live coverage of the aftermath and the attempted rescue operation of the survivors. This was back before cable so one of the local tv news stations for that area originated out of one of the VA suburbs of DC.
I remember this like it was yesterday......
While out on the water Capt. Bob passed out duck calls.
Yah, I did this........
Reagan Airport in the distance.
And here we are emerging from the river at Gravely Point. What made this video perfect was the plane that flew over as we emerged from the Potomac. Notice how low the plane that flies over is and how LOUD.......
Back on land and crossing the 14th St. bridge back to DC......
Nice shot of the Jefferson memorial with a George Washington Monument "stiffie".
I posted this shot on Facebook and can you believe only ONE person "liked" it?!?
Gee, I thought I had friends with good senses of humor until then. lolz
Another shot of both memorials/monuments from another perspective without sexual innuendoes....
Let's make a quick stop at the Department of the Treasury, the printing and engraving offices to pick up some more cash.....this city is Expensive!
The Holocaust Museum....
Smokey the Bear huh? Must be guarding the Forestry Dept. building....
I look like I am having so much fun in this shot, huh?
Must be the wind in my face or something.
How could I possibly not be having fun looking at old buildings and breathing in gas fumes?
It's the "Castle". The original Smithsonian Building erected in 1855, making what is left of it(after a fire in 1865 and various renovations)one of the older edifices in DC still standing.
When built it was cut off from DC by a canal on an isolated piece of land. It became an anchor building around which the National Mall was created, as other museums and governmental buildings sprung up.
It was designed by architect James Renwick Jr. in a Romanesque style with late Gothic elements.
The Castle houses the administrative office of the Smithsonian today.
An outdoor piece of modern sculpture......
Another museum AND piece of outdoor sculpture.....
a something or other Garden amidst all the buildings....
Yet one more museum....
The Native American one......see the totally realistic teepee?
A hoard of middle schoolers on field trips next to Somebody on a Horse Sculpture....it's US Grant(NOT a fan!) next to the Capital reflecting pool.....
I call this "the Money Shot of the Capital with Tour Buses".....
The statue/sculpture is of James Garfield, our 20th president.
What is that on his head?
How fitting that a bird is crapping on Garfield. It's serendipity since he was cut down by an assassin's bullet after 4 months in office.
He was a Federal officer in the War of Northern Aggression so I can't be a fan of him either.
And as we drove around the Capitol building I got shots from various angles.....
The main steps as the sun finally decided to come out to play that day.....
THE money shot.....in more ways than one.
The clowns in this building here pick your pocket every year and redistribute it to other people-their constituents and their corporate chums.
Term limits! Term limits!!
And then it was back toward Union Station, back by the Japanese-American Memorial.....
You can see the crane sculpture better now from my seat on the Duck.....
It's Union Station again.
Lots of people waiting to cross the street too.
And then it was over.
Captain Bob consented to having his picture took with me.
I learned on the ride that he is originally from Virginia Beach too so we had some friendly local high school rivalry thang going on.
At around noon I was back on my own again so I wandered down to the food court in Union Station to look at the food choices.
It was loud down there, full of people(not a fan) and gave me the heebie jeebies.
But I did stay long enough to get a cup of gelato........
All I can say is it was "meh".
If this is what gelato is then I don't know what all the hype is about.
Not wanting to spend a moment longer than necessary in that claustrophobic snake pit of humans I wandered down a couple of blocks to find a proper lunch.
There were two Irish pubs right next to each other and a block over from there a line of food trucks on Massachusetts Ave. Since I wanted to sit down as much as eat, I chose the pub over the food truck heaven.
And here is my lunch......
Oh wait, I had food too!
A soft pretzel and a bowl of Irish Stew made with Guinness of course.
Unfortunately the broccoli was undercooked so I left a good bit of that on the plate and I was too full to eat the bread either.
$26+ for a small bowl of stew and a beer.
Welcome to DC......
I think I picked the wrong pub to eat at.
This place was dark(that's fine)but nasty dirty and dusty. Hanging old posters and firefighter memorabilia does NOT make it an Irish pub......I'm just sayin'!
I just hope the kitchen was clean because the pub was a pit of filth and very unwelcoming.
And they just had 3, count 'em 3 choices of stouts or porters.
And you call yourself an Irish pub......
Then I cut through the alley which led me directly back to Hotel George.
Oh, the underbelly of DC is quite lovely. lolz
Speaking of underbellies and cleanliness--I was only in the "touristy" parts of DC, but still, I was quite impressed by the lack of LITTER everywhere I went/looked. By comparison Manhattan, even just the touristy areas, is a Cesspool of garbage. DC spends quite the nickel to keep their tourists areas clean unlike NYC.
And after waddling through the alley, I parked my carcass in the lobby for the duration and read the book I had brought with me.....a collection of stories of "Amazing Women of the C***l W*r".
Sorry I can't bring myself to type that phrase.
It seemed fitting to read this book in DC, after all, DC is an homage to all things Federal/Yankee.
A part of me never felt comfortable there and it wasn't because of the toney furnishings and the boutique hotel.
After 3 hours of reading, interspersed with dozing off after that heavy lunch, Hubs returned and we redeemed our luggage and rental car and headed for home.
Even though we left right around 5 pm we hit little traffic and no backups. The traffic gods were with us.....and it helped that we stayed off the interstate for much of it until we were clear of DC.
And thus ends my adventure in DC.
I was so nervous about being alone for much of this trip but I am glad I conquered my fears. I really didn't do much while there but it was enough for this old lady.