Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Washington D.C. in the Summer

Alex had some personal business to conduct with the Russian Consulate in Washington DC and we decided to make a vacation of the trip. Alex hates to fly so the drive there became and adventure in itself.

We experienced over 200 miles of road sign teasing to stop at what Alex described as the poor man's Universal Studios at the border between North and South Carolina. No joke, these guys have spent a small fortune on road signs to catch some of the traffic up and down the I-95 corridor from Florida to Canada.

Finally upon our arrival in the Nation's Capital we ran into this sight. We never were able to find out the name of the building, but it was truly a sight as it suddenly appeared like a magical castle on the skyline. If anyone from that area knows what it is please comment and tell me because it is beautiful!

Our bicycles came in handy as we set out to do a little sightseeing. There is a good deal of distance between things and the bikes made covering that distance a snap. First stop was the Lincoln Memorial. Just outside was a policeman checking anyone with bags of bulky equipment. what should have been frightening became exciting to watch as the officer offered encouragement to the sniffer dog (that was huge I might add) who seemed more than eager to perform his mission.

After that excitement came the actual Memorial. What struck me was that people from every nation you could imagine seemed to be drawn to the monument. There was a cacophony of languages that seemed to rise through the air.

And then simply turn around and there before you is the Washington Monument and behind that the Capital! It truly is an amazing sight.

Further down The Mall, as this section is called, is the World War II Memorial which lists the dead from the Atlantic and Pacific campaigns. It is a very solemn kind of place that gently forces one to stop and reflect.

We could not resist the American History Museum of the Smithsonian. But I will admit that getting across the street was a major undertaking. And, we barely escaped getting a huge parking ticket after we abandoned our bikes and tried to park near the location. There was so much to see and I had my heart set on seeing Indiana Jones' hat, whip and jacket. But, it was not meant to be on this trip.

Oh yes, I almost forgot... the Russian Consulate. I wonder if Putin is behind those walls?