Generation Z. Cruising in an RV.: Washington DC...Making Me Tired and Sick! OLA

Monday, April 23, 2012

Washington DC...Making Me Tired and Sick! OLA

a different view of the US Capitol...in bloom with azaleas!
the reflecting pool in front of the Washington Monument
is undergoing repairs...
Not politically, that is, and only half-sick in fact! Bill and I spent 2 days at the nation’s capital but I apparently got so tired the first day that the next  day I had to stay at the RV, down with the proverbial hives again (lupus has been eliminated, further tests will be conducted to unravel this chronic condition!)  Thus, half of the story and photos here are Bill’s.  We both agree: a trip to the nation’s capital is an intellectual, political, and spiritual journey.

Day 1, Carol’s Day
the Smithsonian Castle
the Museum of Natural History
The intellectual part is always satisfied by a visit to the Smithsonian Institutes. This trip, however, we focused on the Smithsonian Castle, the headquarters of all the 19 museums, and the premier museum, the Museum of Natural History. The two face each other and, eerily, when you look to the right facing the Cathedral, you will see the Washington Monument and to the left is the Capitol Building.
the Coelacanth, ancient fish back from the dead in African waters
tentacles of the 36-ft preserved giant squid
Some of the new things we saw at the Museum are a replica of the titanoboa, the world's largest ever snake whose fossils were found in Colombia between 2007-2010, the Ocean’s View with a 36-ft. giant squid, the bones of giant whales, and the rare ancient fish, the Coelacanth, and the Egyptian mummies exhibit. But I also could not resist another visit to the Hope Diamond and all the other giant gems, secretly hoping that Bill would notice that my jewelry collection needs upgrading! The largest polished topaz in the world (my birthstone), the American Golden Topaz, is also one of the largest gems period. Hint! Hint!
the only thing Bill needs to get for me
the American Golden Topaz, almost 23,000 carats!
the White House on the right; its veggie garden on the left
Then we went right on to the political aspect of the trip with a visit to the Capitol Building, the Supreme Court and the White House. For the first time I am visiting the grand buildings where the seat of American governance resides…as a US citizen. Did I feel patriotic? Undoubtedly…this and a lot of other  changes that I am starting to feel and whisper to Bill…why and how I think I am becoming an American!

where Lincoln was assassinated...the Ford Theatre
our fave...the Lincoln Memorial!
The spiritual aspect comes from the inspiration that wells when one visits the few great men who led the birth and growth of this great United States of America.  First we went to the Ford Theatre where Lincoln was assassinated and the house across the street where he was taken and died.  I was speechless at the Lincoln Memorial but I was also so tired and so disappointed.The cab driver said it rained the very first day of the Annual Cherry Blossoms Spring Festival and they were slowly went away the following days. Sigh.
and then she got tired...and the following day, sick...
the Basilica of the National Shrine of Immaculate Conception
Day 2, Bill’s Day                                                                                  
The following day, I woke up to another flare-up of hives (the days have turned too cold even for a spring day). So I asked Bill to go on with the visits scheduled for the day so that this post may be complete! And the nice guy that he is, he did!  The next two paragraphs then are courtesy of my co-photographer, traveling companion, now co-writer, and co-conspirator in all things big and small!

the Washington National Cathedral
‘The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is one of the top ten Basilicas in the world.  Tour groups arrive throughout the day, admiring the sacred art as well as the magnificent architecture.  I visited the many side chapels, and the holy rooms below, many places to spend time in meditation and prayer.  The Washington National Cathedral, the sixth largest in the world, also has a number of chapels and rooms for prayer. An observation tower on the 7th floor allows visitors a view of the area for miles around. The gothic style cathedral is also where Woodrow Wilson is buried.

the Jefferson Memorial
After these wonderful places of worship, I went on to the memorials we missed the day before. I am a big fan of Thomas Jefferson, and was glad for the opportunity to visit it again. This time I found the area downstairs where more information about the man and his times are on display.  But I still found Jefferson’s masterpiece of a home in Monticello, Virginia to be more interesting. Finding a place to park to visit Grant’s memorial was challenging.  But the view was worth it, looking across the reflecting pool to the Memorial and then to the Capitol Building beyond.’

the Grant Memorial
I surely missed the pilgrimages of the second day…and Bill…whom I thank for writing half this post. I got instantly cured upon reaching the Hershey Campground in Pennsylvania, noticing the fine aroma all around!  But I also enjoyed the Greenbelt Park, a NPS campground in Maryland, which is just 12 miles from Washington DC. What a hidden gem. We will feature more of it in the next post on Baltimore!
the Titanoboa, world's largest ever snake