Duke and I spent the month of May traveling in the American south east. We have been back for more than a month and I am just getting around to finishing my blogs about our trip. We started in New Orleans and drove to Washington D.C. where we turned in our car. This blog post is about the days we spent in D.C. and our train trip home to Reno.
On Thursday, May 16 we drove in to Washington and left our bags at the Mayflower hotel where we would be staying. Then we drove out to Reagan Airport, turned in the car, and took the Metro to Grand Central Station. Our first sight seeing stop was the Library of Congress.
The inside of the library was stunningly beautiful. As my friend Linda said, how can you not love a temple to books!! They had two fascinating small exhibits. One was of documents from the Civil War including a draft of the Emancipation Proclamation. The second exhibit that we spent time exploring was of maps and documents related to the exploring of early America.
Before we left on our trip Duke contacted the office of our congressman, Mark Amodei. The people in his office set up three things for us. One was a 45 minute docent lecture at the Supreme Court. The second was a tour of the Capital and the third was a tour of The Library of Congress. Our first scheduled event was the docent lecture in the Supreme Court chambers. The docent gave a fascinating lecture and then answered questions. I loved it!
On the lower level of the Supreme Court there we saw a display case containing the original filing documents for the Gideon vs Wainwright case. In Gideon vs Wainright the Supreme Court ruled that all defendant are entitled to an attorney whether they can afford one or not. You can see in the picture below that the original petition was hand written by Gideon from prison.
On our second day in Washington we went on the arranged tour of the Library of Congress. What the tour covered was very different from what we saw when we were exploring on our own the day before. We learned about the building and how it was restored and about the history of the Library.
After the Library of Congress tour we visited the National Museum of the American Indian.
Then the U.S. Boranical Garden
Friday afternoon we went into the House of Representative office building to find Congressman Amodei's office and to meet our tour guide for the capital.
One of Amodei's staff members gave us a wonderful personal tour of the capital.
Each state is permitted to have two statues in the capital. The picture below is taken in Statuary Hall in the capital.
After our tour we took the Metro to a station near the White House and then walked around the White House. Barak and Michelle did not invite us in.
On Saturday we toured the National Air and Space Museum,
the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden,
The Smithsonian Castle – the origianl Smithsonian Museum,
and the museums of Asian and African art. Obviously we didn't see everything but what we saw was wonderful.
On Sunday the 19th we explored parts of the Museums of American and Natural History.
We saw Dorothy's Ruby Slippers form the Wizard of Oz.
By the time we got to the Museum of Natural HIstory we were getting tired and a bit museumed out. I know that is one of the museums I really want to visit again.
On Monday hte 20th we took the metro out to Arlington Cemetary. I had never been there before. It is difficult to describe how moving and beautiful it is.
From Arlington we took the Metro back to our hotel, checked out and took a Taxi to Grand Central Station to catch our train to Chicago. We had coach seats so we slept in our seats for the over night ride. The scenery was beautiful and very rural.
We spent just one day and night in Chicago but we made the most of it. We toured the money museum at the Federal Reserve Building,
saw the Picasso Horse statue in front of City Hall,
and the largest Tiffany glass dome in the world in the old library building.
We had a sleeping compartment for our two day train trip from Chicago to Reno. As we were pulling out of Chicago we had a great view of the Chicago skyline.
I loved the train ride. It was beautiful and relaxing. The whole trip was a great adventure with many fantastic memories. I'm ready to go again.