But the first problem was getting tickets for the subway. It took us several days last year to figure out Amsterdam's tickets. Well, the Metro here advertises itself as "safe and simple to use". Like their ticket machines.
Anyway, we started our tour where you should start: The White House.
|Note the 2 dudes on the roof|
|The lights are on|
|You see this everywhere. Stay tuned for more shots|
|One side for each side|
|One tower for each state|
|One whole lot of vets|
|Tons of kids|
Then came the Lincoln Memorial.
|Perhaps the statue's perspective could have been better|
|A moving spot, though|
|Note the pool and the mall|
|The designer of the city was good|
Then came the Korean War Memorial, strangely built only in 1995, more than a few years after that war was finished.
|"Out of a mountain of despair, a stone of hope"|
|One of 4 bronze statues|
|The dog was a nice addition. Made the country a better place.|
|From across the tidal pool|
|From the other side of the pool|
|From the FDR memorial|
|From the Jefferson memorial. White House on the left|
|300' over the tidal pool|
|Note the French styled building next door, too|
We loved the Lincoln memorial. We liked the Jefferson and the Korean War one, and were split on the Washington Monument. We were puzzled by the absence of a WW1 monument (reason: it's in Kansas City). But none of the memorials touched us at all, and none came close to moving us like visiting the Menin Gate did. There's about the same number of names on the Menin Gate as on the Vietnam memorial. One brought us to tears. The other didn't move us at all. I wonder.
We were, however, touched by the endless hypocrisy of the messages. Like Mr. Jefferson writing a Declaration of Independence promising equality and justice for all (then writing a Constitution that declared slaves as 3/5th of a person). Mr. Lincoln fighting a Civil War for equality and justice for all. Mr. King, quite a few years later, fighting for equality and justice for all in the Civil Rights movement. Today, gays and lesbians fight to marry. Seems the Americans haven't figured out the concept of equality, and it's only been 250 years and 44 Presidents since they wrote it down in the first place. But I digress.
After our walking tour, we started our exploration of the various Smithsonian Museums. We started at Natural History, which turned out to be a tired, old style, very big but very boring place. In 1904, the then director of the Smithsonian "discovered" the Burgess Shales in Canada and over the space of 5 years, took tons of one of a kind fossils out. This is all that there is to see:
|3 small display cases|
About the only display of note was the artifacts from the Chilean mine rescue of 2010.
|The actual rescue capsule|