Need to catch up?
Day Four – Tuesday
I’m a big walker, but I have to admit that by day four, I was getting just a BIT tired of doing it. And I can’t imagine how the guys were holding up. I routinely walk six miles about four times a week, so I was semi-prepared for this “walking” vacation. But the guys …the hubs is an accountant, therefore, he has a sit-down job. He’s in pretty good shape, he works out on the Total Gym, but I don’t think his endurance was where it needed to be for this trip. In addition, he wore his sandals the whole trip, the man doesn’t own a pair of sneakers, so I can only imagine how his shins were holding up by this time.
Even though I walked the boys on the treadmill, (yes, sort of like dogs – what, you don’t treat your children as pets? *grin*), they should have walked, i.e. conditioned, more. GD has flat feet and wears arch supports. This helps him whenever he has to walk/run short distances, but not so much whenever he walks long distances. I worried how his legs and back were holding up.
However, my guys were/are tough. None of them ever complained, (though MK reached his endurance on days four and five and would just plop down in the middle of the street or a crowded aisle just to rest his legs for long seconds. One time, I freaked out because I couldn’t find him in the Air & Space Museum – he ended up being in an astronaut’s bed.) And they were real troopers about keeping a stiff upper lip about their discomfort.
But then again, they knew that complaining would only irritate me so really, what’s worse? Complaining or enduring my snappy coldness. Exactly. 😀
The day dawned bright and beautiful. We had shuffled our touring schedule around so that the day we went to Arlington Cemetery would be nice.
It was. In fact, the weather the whole time we were there was just perfect (thank you, God).
We hopped onto the Metro, yet again, and headed to the Metro Center station. There, we planned on transferring from the blue/orange line to the yellow/green line. Only, when we got there, we didn’t see the Arlington Cemetery station on the lists of stops. We were a bit dumbfounded for a bit until the hubs figured out that we would have to go down to L’Enfant Station and make the transfer – apparently, the Metro Center station only transferred to the red line.
Sound confusing? It was. But we figured it out and arrived at Arlington Cemetery in one piece.
We walked to the visitor’s center to get our bearings. The cemetery was HUGE and quite frankly? We were getting sick of walking everywhere. Plus, we had planned on going back to the Air & Space Museum in the afternoon (thereby escaping the hottest part of the day – we’re so freaking smart) and walk through the second floor. We swallowed our cheap gene and checked out the tram tours. We could ride the basic tram to JFK’s gravesite, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers and Arlington House for $7.50 a person.
It was a small price to pay to conserve our energy.
There were a lot of people there, but not so many that we had to wait an insane amount of time before we caught the train. It was SO NICE to be able to sit down and enjoy the cool breeze.
We rode up to JFK’s Eternal Flame gravesite and spent a few precious minutes soaking in the humbling experience.
In fact, the whole Arlington Cemetery experience was humbling. We talked, at length, about the importance of appreciating, and maintaining our freedoms. It was awe-inspiring to see the thousands of gravestones of men and women who sacrificed their lives for our country. And we talked, at length, about how important it was to honor their memories and their endeavors to insure that no one tried to take those freedoms away from us – either foreign OR domestic.
After the JFK gravesite, we rode to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. We were fortunate to witness the changing of the guards and I admit, I teared up at the sheer beauty and respect everyone displayed for these soldiers.
We also walked over to look at the (original) mast of the USS Maine
from the ship that began the Spanish/American War. The Americans thought the Spanish sunk it when it fact, it had been an accident. The boys thought that was pretty interesting.
We also saw the memorials of the astronauts who died in the name of science.
Do you remember when the Challenger exploded? I’ll never forget that day. I had tears running down my face as I looked upon their memorial.
We then visited the Arlington House …
… which unfortunately, was being renovated and was bare. All of the furnishings had been removed to be restored so we walked through an empty house. However, it was still interesting to read about the history and to enjoy the spectacular view.
We rode the Metro back to Foggy Bottom and ate lunch at Wendy’s on the George Washington University campus. The hubs actually found the restaurant quite by accident when he was searching for the campus bookstore to buy some t-shirts and hats. It was the only fast food restaurant we ever saw in D.C.
After lunch, we rode the Metro back to the Air & Space Museum and paid to visit the Albert Einstein Planetarium. We watched a NOVA special about black holes and I think the boys really enjoyed experiencing the whole 3D effects.
By the time we neared the end of seeing everything on the second floor (complete with walking through a simulation of the space station, which was interesting), we were beat. We ended our fourth day at our hotel room, with our feet up, eating organic pizza for dinner.
We saw so many interesting things that day, but what really stuck out in my mind was the fact that the kids finally understood what it meant to be an American citizen and it was evident, by their questions and interest, that they developed a very real and passionate devotion to our great country. It was amazing, and satisfying, to witness their patriotic maturity.
(To be continued …)