Celebrations in Washington DC

Friday 16 to Monday 19 June

It was Evan & Steph’s 2nd wedding anniversary and they were more than happy to share the occasion with us in Washington DC. It was great to share this special event with them.

They had found an interesting Chinese French fusion restaurant for a celebratory dinner. We went to a bar afterwards where Evan & Steph were asked for ID but not us. We are old!

After breakfast at a trendy cafe that Ev had tracked down, we walked the National Mall from Congress to the Lincoln Memorial. We took a train ride to Central Rail Station, then to the iconic Congress building. We crossed the grass to the Library of Congress which is a lovely building. The books were considered so important that their home had to be lavishly decorated.

We continued our walk down the National Mall, always looking back to ‘see the sights’. 

I was overwhelmed by the size of the Washington Monument, the needle, it is  enormous with fifty flags around it, representing the states. From there you can see Congress, the White House and the Lincoln Memorial. 

We crossed the gardens to peer at the White House. A huge crowd was in front – just looking across the lawn to the building. 

We continued to the WWII memorial. The fountain in the pond was a good place to soak weary feet. Of course USA only acknowledge their years in the war, and their claim to have won it, one could believe no one else of importance was involved. 

Unfortunately the Pool of Reflection made famous in Forrest Gump and other movies, was empty and smelly. It was Spring clean day. 

We continued the walk down to the Lincoln Memorial. It is a popular stop off, there seemed to be more people there than anywhere. 

Exhaustion got the better of us, so we booked an Uber back to our apartment, but we had to get out as the driver got a call that his wife was in labour. Now that was a new experience for us!

We had a simpler dinner at a brew pub. Once again we were not asked for ID but Evan & Steph were. 

After Sunday breakfast back at the trendy cafe we were back on the train. This time to the back of the White House then to the Smithsonian American Art Museum, where we saw an interesting photographic exhibition of Hispanic poor in deprived urban areas of the USA. Everywhere there is so much evidence of the great social divide in this country. There are limited opportunities to rise out of your birth place. You might call it the invisible caste system. 

Evan & Steph took the bus back to New York City. We continued on to visit Arlington Cemetery, particularly JFK and unknown soldier tombs. 

There were the inevitable rows of gravestones. Some had a partner’s name on the front of the stone or the back of the stone or on a nearby stone. 

We watched the six o’clock changing of the guard in front of the unknown soldiers grave. It was a long and complicated ceremony with lots of gun manoeuvres, marching with heals clicking and saluting. Perhaps it was made longer and with greater ceremony because it was Father’s Day. 

As a city of monuments, Washington DC is certainly an interesting place to visit. I was impressed at the number of parents who were making it their business to show their families around their capital.

So it was back to New York City for our last stop on this part of our journey.