Day 1: On March 29, Mom, Ben, and I boarded our plane at Salt Lake International Airport early in the morning. We were headed to the east coast for spring break. We flew to Denver, where we had a two hour layover, then to Washington Dulles Airport. The flights were smooth, though I had some sickness due to air pressure at the end of the second flight, but it felt good to be travelling again. I had never been to this side of the country so I was looking forward to the trip.
After getting a rental car and loading up our bags we set off. We drove downtown and got burgers at Shake Shack before heading to the national mall. We took our time driving around so we could really see the city, which was gorgeous this time of year. We were so lucky to come when we did since the cherry blossoms had bloomed. We planned to go together to see some of the landmarks but the traffic was insane and there was no where to park so mom let Ben and I out at the Jefferson Memorial so we could look around. From there we also had a really nice view of the Washington Monument.
By the time Mom came to pick us up the sun was going down. We drove to the Lincoln Memorial and though it was too dark to get any good pictures but we still had a lovely time admiring the stunning landmark.
It had been a long day and the time difference was kind of throwing us off so we decided to drive to where we were lodging. We were staying with some of our old friends from southern California who lived outside the city in Virginia. We had a wonderful evening at dinner with them while we caught up before heading to bed.
Day 2: The following day we decided to do hit a couple of the museums on the mall, specifically the Smithsonian’s. Ben is really interested in aviation so we went to the National Air and Space Museum first.
Though I’m not as interested in this kind of stuff as Ben is, it was still pretty fascinating. I also really admired the way they set up their exhibits. I took an amazing shot from the second floor balcony where all the planes were hanging down, giving the effect that they were in flight.
I also really enjoyed the exhibits dealing with the part aviation had to both of the world wars, since history is more in my interest.
After spending a couple hours there and eating lunch we went over to the National Museum of Natural History. This museum was really captivating since it contained such a broad collection of exhibits on many varying subjects. The most memorable for me was an exhibit dealing with the evolution of homo sapiens and the other human species that lived on the earth.
We also spent time visiting the National Museum of American History and the National Archives Museum. These were both really interesting but we did have to wait in a massive forty-five minute line to see most of the historic american documents at the National Archives Museum. Though it was a really cool experience and those documents have a very symbolic meaning, we were only allowed to look at them for about fifteen minutes. Just a warning if you planning to visit that museum , it’s one of the biggest attractions and is often very crowded.
*There are one main things that I think people should understand: if you visit the national mall you will be doing a lot of walking. And I mean a lot. By the last day in D.C. we all had trouble standing and our feet were aching, which wasn’t good because we had three more big cities to visit. Beside that it was all very interesting and totally worth it.
Day 3: On our third and last day we spent in D.C. we started our day by going to the Nation’s Capitol where we took a tour. Though parts of the building were under construction, it was still a beautiful building and a really interesting experience. After that we went to the Library of Congress. This was one of my favorite places to visit just due it’s amazing architecture and art inside of it. We ate lunch at We The Pizza, which was a lot better than we expected(but then again I love pizza no matter what so I guess my opinion doesn’t matter).
We spent the rest of the day biking around the mall. We saw the Washington Monument up close and visited most of the war memorials along the way. This was one of the more difficult parts of the trip(until the 9/11 museum in NYC but I will talk about that in another post). Though the memorials are beautiful I always feel like these heroes deserved more than just their name engraved into some wall and tourists should spend more time paying their respects.
We spent that night at our friend house before heading on to Philadelphia the next day.
*Note*I am not the most patriotic person and I’m sure, despite political beliefs, most Americans can agree that this nation has many flaws especially during in chaotic time. But to see our country in it’s finest and to learn about the foundation this nation was built upon was humbling. I received a newfound respect for our freedom and became more gracious towards the system(though I did lose some of this respect as 2016 went on). I am sure I am not the only one who has had a similar experience while visiting this beautiful city, and that is why I recommend it so highly. Especially for teenagers. We live in an age where we get so caught up in what everyone is saying on Instagram or other forms of social media, that it is refreshing to see that this state was built on wonderful ideals even if those are not being held up to in our society and government today. It was really an amazing experience and I think everyone should have the opportunity to visit their countries capital at one point in their lives, just to be properly educated and receive the respect that the experience lays upon us.