Sunday, August 31, 2014

Highlights Washington DC Day 2

August 2014 - Washington DC

DC Day 1
More highlights from our second day. I will show more details of these amazing sights in other posts.

Another HOT HOT HOT day. We partake of the complimentary breakfast at the hotel.
Then head out to catch the Hop On Hop Off (HOHO) bus with our 48 hour tickets. As we start walking down to the Mall we notice that there is a bus stop right at Washington Circle.

We board and ride the yellow line to Union Station to activate our tickets.

Some photos along Constitution. Constitution Avenue NW is bordered by a number of important buildings and attractions. Beginning in the west are several independent federal agencies and institutes, as well as the headquarters of several large associations. These buildings include the United States Institute of Peace, the American Institute of Pharmacy, the National Academy of Sciences, the Federal Reserve, the Department of the Interior, and the Organization of American States.

There will be many photos of Washington Memorial as we were often very close to it.

 The Ellipse, part of the grounds of the President's Park (which includes the White House), also borders the north side of Constitution Avenue NW and forms the boundary between the western and eastern segments of this part of the street. To the east on the north side is Federal Triangle, which contains the headquarters of a number of federal agencies. These include the Department of Commerce, Department of Justice, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Trade Commission,Internal Revenue Service, and National Archives.
This was John's first shot of the back of the White House when the bus stopped for a photo opportunity. Little did we know until we downloaded it that the helicopter was on the lawn and there were sharpshooters on the roof!

Union Station - magnificent!
It opened in 1907 and at its height during World War II some 200,000 people passed through it every day. It is also the headquarters for Amtrak

Columbus Fountain by American sculptor Lorado Taft, is a semicircular double-basin fountain with a shaft (h. 45 ft.) in the center. The front of the shaft bears a full-length portrait of Christopher Columbus (approx. h. 15 ft.) wearing a mantle, staring forward with his hands folded in front of him. Beneath him is a ship prow that features a winged figurehead that represents the observation of discovery. A globe, representing theWestern hemisphere, is on top of the shaft with four eagles on each corner connected by garland. The left and right sides of the shaft have two male figures decorating them. The right side figure is an elderly man, representing the Old World, and on the let side is a figure of a Native American, representing the New World. The back of the shaft has a low-relief medallion (approx. d. 3 ft.) with images of Ferdinand & Isabella. Two lions (approx. h. 5 ft.), placed away from the base, guard the left and right side of the fountain.

Architect Daniel H. Burnham, assisted by Pierce Anderson, was inspired by a number of different architectural styles. Classical elements included the Arch of Constantine (exterior, main faƧade) and the great vaulted spaces of the Baths of Diocletian(interior).

 We activated our HOHO Big Bus tickets and hopped on the red line back to the Washington Monument to catch the blue bus to Arlington.
Some sights along the red line.

 A drive by the Capital.

Along Independence.

 Smithsonian Castle.

Our first, but not last, frustration with Big Bus service. We waited over thirty minutes for the blue bus.
Crossing into Arlington, across the bridge from Lincoln Memorial. you can see the bridge in the photo below taken from the top at Arlington.

Entrance to Arlington.
The Robert E. Lee Memorial is the pinkish building at the top of the hill. The residence of Robert E. Lee and his family before the Civil War, Arlington House has a unique and interesting story, with connections to many important figures, issues and events in American History. Built by George Washington Parke Custis and his slaves between 1802 and 1818, the house and grounds have served many purposes over the last two hundred years: a family home for the Lees and Custises, a plantation estate and home to 63 slaves, a monument honoring George Washington, a military headquarters, a community for emancipated slaves and a national cemetery.

 Eternal flame at JFK's grave.

The view looking towards the Lincoln Memorial from Arlington.

 Another interminable wait for the HOHO bus. Very aggravating.

John snapped these photos of the Pentagon despite warnings that no photos were allowed.

The Air Force Memorial itself is 270 feet high and appears to be soaring. Its array of arcs against the sky evokes a modern image of flight by jet and space vehicles.

Another ten minute wait outside Pentagon City shopping mall.

 The bus crossed the 14th St bridge back into DC. Air Florida Flight 90 was a scheduled U.S. domestic passenger flight from Washington National Airport to Fort Lauderdale. On January 13, 1982, the Boeing 737-200 crashed into the 14th Street Bridge over the Potomac River. The crash occurred less than two miles (3 km) from the White House and within view of both the Jefferson Memorial and The Pentagon. The aircraft was carrying 74 passengers and five crewmembers. Four passengers and one flight attendant survived the crash. Four motorists from the bridge were killed. The survivors were rescued from the icy river by civilians and professionals.

We get a quick photo of the Jefferson Memorial.

Finally back for lunch and it is gone 2 PM. 
 Lunch at the famous Willard Hotel, a historic luxury Beaux-Arts hotel located at 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue NW It is two blocks east of the White House. As of May 2014, rooms at the Willard Hotel start at $489 per night, with suites starting at $900 per night.

The present 12-story structure, designed by famed hotel architect Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, opened in 1901. It suffered a major fire in 1922 which caused $250,000 ($3,522,366 as of 2014), in damages. Among those who had to be evacuated from the hotel were Vice President Calvin Coolidge, several U.S. senators, composer John Philip Sousa, motion picture producer Adolph Zukor, newspaper publisher Harry Chandler, and numerous other media, corporate, and political leaders who were present for the annual Gridiron Dinner. For many years the Willard was the only hotel from which one could easily visit all of downtown Washington, and consequently it has housed many dignitaries during its history.

The legend that you hear countless times in the District is that the term ‘lobbyist’ originated at the Willard Hotel when Ulysses S. Grant was in office (1869-1877). Apparently President Grant would frequent the Willard Hotel to enjoy brandy and a cigar, and while he was there, he’d be hounded by petitioners asking for legislative favors or jobs. It is said that President Grant coined the term by referring to the petitioners as “those damn lobbyists.”

Crab and salmon cake.

After lunch we walked over to the White House.

Then we decide we would walk to the Mall and visit the American History Museum. All Smithsonian museums are free even the zoo!! So it makes it easy to pop in for a while, use the bathrooms and have a bite. It is also great when it is so hot out!

There is a display about transportation currently taking place and it was fun to  visit.

Imagine - all these free museums!!

We head towards the Information Centre shown above.

 You can stand in the middle of the mall and in one direction you face the Capital and the other the Washington Monument, and you can't get tired of taking photos.

Around the Information Cetnre are gardens and sculptures.

By now we were dragging a little so we hopped on the first HOHO bus which happened to be the red line which went around the tidal basin past the Jefferson Memorial.

Even managed to get a shot of him inside! Debated getting off but too hot and too late in the day. The bus also went by the Martin Luther King Memorial but you can't get a good view from the bus.

We get off the bus at the Lincoln Memorial, and troopers that we are, decided that we would visit the Vietnam Memorial. 

 Time to climb back up the side of the bowl, in the heat, that is DC and stopped for a beer at District Commons where we had dinner last night. We sat at the bar and decided we didn't want dinner after that late lunch so we ordered one of their pretzel breads.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful captures! I don't recall seeing statues as part of the Vietnam Memorial in pictures of the place before... I guess everyone tends to focus in on the names of the wall.


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