Day 6 – Monday
By day six, my feet are killing, my head is hurting, and my stomach is feeling very taken advantage of. But I feel a large sense of accomplishment. Today will be the last day we will see sites, so we are trying to polish off as much as we possibly can.
Museum of Natural History
The museum of Natural History was a waste of time. It is old and needs to be redone terribly! There are placards in most of the exhibits, most notably the one on evolution, which read, “This exhibit was done in 1974, and science has changed a lot since then… so basically disregard everything you saw.”
The rotunda of this museum was beautiful, and the architecture was cool. The best exhibit was on gems and minerals… and of course, the hope diamond:
There’s not much to the Washington Monument. Really, there is only room inside for an elevator and an observation deck. That’s it. They had to add a temporary structure to the outside for security screenings.
So here are the photos from atop the mighty obelisk: (click to enlarge)
West, toward the Lincoln Memorial
South, toward the Jefferson Memorial
West, toward the Capitol
North, toward the White House
The Renwick Gallery was just across the street from the White House, and it had some incredible artwork in it. These smaller galleries should not be passed over for just the large and famous museums. There was an amazing exhibit of glass work, as well as this piece:
You might be thinking, “well that’s just a clock covered by an old sheet, silly.” Well, it’s not. The whole thing is carved out of a solid block of wood! When I passed it the first time, I just thought it was covered up, only after reading the placard did I realize that there was no sheet there at all!
Just a small sampling of the many discoveries that one can make in a gallery…
Arlington National Cemetery / JFK Grave and Tomb of the Unknowns
This was a HIKE! The cemetery is built on a hill, and they did NOT conveniently locate the more popular destinations closely together. It was a warm Sunday afternoon, and my feet were killing by now… but we made the trek to see these important national landmarks.
The matching white gravestones went on forever! It is astounding to see this fractional representation of the many precious lives given in defense of our nation and our ideals.
John F Kennedy’s grave site. Very beautifully situated!
Entrance to the amphitheater by the tomb of the unknowns.
The Tomb of “An American Soldier Known Only to God”
The beautiful and elaborate ‘changing of the guard’ ceremony occurs every hour on the hour. You can easily see discolorations on the stone where years of Army personnel have tread the same ground, keeping watch on the tomb.
This was definitely worth the hike. The cemetery is so beautiful and peaceful. The trees there are absolutely enormous, and the serene atmosphere gives you pause for reflection after a LONG and TIRING vacation.