170927 Washington DC

Today is history day as we take a guided tour of Washington DC and learn of its influence in the USA.

Federal Capital Cities are always interesting. It is here that we see how taxpayers’ funds are spent on making the city look good, be functional and liveable for the residents. The first fact we learned about Washington was that over a million people make their way each day from home into the capital city for work. That’s an enormous influx compared to the normal population of less than 800,000.

Two of our close friends back in Australia have become related years ago, through the marriage of their children. The kids and their family, are currently living in Washington. I sent a message to each of the parents, “We are in Washington. Who do you want me to say ‘Hi’ to?”. One of them responded, “Say Hi to my son Corey.” The other asked us to say Hi to Donald Trump, Ted Wilson, and the grandies. Interesting. One thinks of his son only; the other thinks of his grandies and his boss. The wife is not mentioned. So I said “Hi, Kellie”, just in case she felt left out. Thanks Max. Thanks Traff.

Today has been the longest city tour we have experienced. That is expected with so much history and well known buildings and landmarks to be included in the tour. Our city guide is well versed, of course, in the intricate ways of government and the many dates that need to be told in order for the story to be flowing and factual. They do a great job and appear to love it, which is a bonus for both their employers and us.

We visit the Arlington National Cemetery first. The rows and rows of short identical tombstones highlight the dominance of warfare and family losses in everyone’s life. There are over 300,000 graves with over 450,000 deceased. You can be buried here if you have served or been a spouse of a military person, or a child under the age of 18 whose parent has served. Past presidents and their family, or their close famous friends, can also be buried here. The Kennedy Family graves feature in our short one-hour tour of the cemetery.

The parklands around the capital are green and well kept, even with squirrels bouncing between the trees gathering supplies for their families. The weather was warm and sunny.

Various other landmarks are included in the tour such as The Abraham Lincoln Memorial, The Vietnam and Korean War Memorials, The Washington Tower and The Capital Building. It is difficult to get a close view of The White House so we are taken to a spot to view from the rear entrance. Mr Trump is away for the day to return later in the afternoon. All exhibits are on a “Grand” scale and become embedded in the memory even more so than a picture can do. My memory for figures and dates is rather lucid so it would be wrong of me to regurgitate what I ‘might’ have heard, so if you want to glean from Mr Google’s powerful search facilities, that information is probably similar to the information our guide provided to us.

It seems silly, but we didn’t take the option of visiting the infamous Smithsonian Institute, which is so full of magnificent displays. Instead, we returned to our hotel, took lunch, and then a nap, or two, before heading out to dinner at ‘The Irish Pub’ in Georgetown a few blocks away.

Tomorrow is another ‘travel’ day to the Big Apple, with a city tour of Philadelphia along the way.