DC Trip: National Mall

Saturday, July 21, 2012

After having some down time in Fredricksburg, we decided it was time to go see the National Mall. I cannot begin to explain how exciting this was for me. I mean- all of those monuments I had only seen in textbooks and on TV! I was pretty much giddy.
Mandy came with us that day, and can I just say- those extra 2 hands were a godsend. I had no idea what a huge difference one more person makes while you're on vacation! I kept calling Mandy our nanny because while Scott and I got distracted and stared at a monument, Mandy dumped water on Georgia's head to keep her cool. Of course, the fact that we loved having Mandy with us was less about her help and more about her company. I sure do miss that girl.  

Our first stop (super close to our killer parking spot) was the Washington monument.

And ok. So America pretty much built a giant phallic symbol to represent how awesome we are. I always made fun of this, but being there- I forgot all about my jokes. Every other monument made you feel reverent and grateful, but this one... this one made you feel PROUD. We couldn't go inside of it because of the earthquake a couple of years ago- but it was awesome none the less. 

Miss Georgia was pretty much set for a packed day with her sippy cup, cookies, and Raggedy Ann.  

Then we headed to the WWII monument which was gigantic. I loved seeing all of the symbolism. I don't know if it was the spread out size of the whole thing, or the huge water fountain, or how everything was spaced out, but to be honest- this monument was where I felt the most "free." 

Georgia just about had a heart attack in the water- she LOVED it

Next we headed to the Vietnam Memorial. I had read a lot about the controversy with this memorial, and, being completely honest here, when I first saw it I was kind of like: "that's it?" But then I started walking through it. It was so reverent there. There were no flashy statues or distracting foilage. Just your reflection, and rows and rows of names. This was the memorial where I truly felt the... tragedy or war. I won't go into details, but this memorial stayed with me stronger than any other we saw that day. There was also a statue there that was memorializing the SURVIVING soldiers and I probably felt more emotion looking at that statue than any other one in the national mall. 

We then headed to the Lincoln Memorial- which I was most excited about. Sadly, the reflection pool is apparently under construction so the majestic view from affar was not so majestic. We also pretty much started to melt so we got some cool-down treats and Georgia discovered ducks (keep watching to see what she does when the ducks leave). 

The Lincoln Memorial was crowded and hot. We were all a bit grumpy, and in trying to take a picture, Georgia fell from her feet to her bum to her head which freaked me right on out. 
I wish I could say that my experience there was as spiritual as I had hoped, but I was kind of desperate to get out of there. 
The statue was cool though and I have had time to reflect on my feelings about it- something I would not have really been able to do without seeing it so I am grateful. 

About sums it up... tired, cranky and sweaty at the feet of Abe.

Onward we went to the Korean War memorial, which I'm sad to say I had never really heard of before we started planning out our trip. Pretty ironic right? I had never heard of the memorial memorializing the "forgotton war?" I felt like an idiot.
This one was pretty incredible though.

The last memorial we trekked to was the MLK Jr.one. If you read my journal from middle school, I wrote like a mini essay on how much I admire Dr. King and his way of taking the rights he knew were his. I loved this monument! 

The rest of the afternoon was spent in the holocaust museum, but we didn't have tickets and realized that we weren't even in the main part of the museum! We spent 2 hours in about 20% of it! You are not allowed to take pictures, but I really wish we had some. This might sound ignorant, but when you study so much about the holocaust in school, you start to think that you couldn't possibly learn anymore about it. But I walked away from there learning quite a few new aspects and I am so humbled by the new information. 

All in all, it was a perfect way to spend the day before the 4th of July. I was feeling patriotic and reverent and grateful. I love this country.


  1. fun pictures! That MLK monument is huge!

  2. Loved the pics! Couldn't agree more with your sentiments about the Vietnam Memorial.

  3. I like Georgia's belligerence when the ducks don't stick around for her to look at.

    I love DC so so so much. My favorite memory of the city was when I was there for my Dad's embassy post assignment ceremony, and one Sunday, everyone took a nap and I set out with the intention to go on a walk in the residential neighborhood, but ended up at the National Mall and spent all afternoon wandering by myself to the Ford Theatre where Lincoln was assassinated and through the National Gallery and among monuments. I am, at times, a disillusioned liberal, and tea party USA zealousy (is that a word?) scares me, but going to DC filled me with a love for our country that I can't forget.

    On a lighter note, the Whittaker family is the most inappropriate family ever. We were reverent at the Washington monument for about five minutes, and then one of us pointed out that it's a phallic symbol and spent the rest of the time making penis jokes. "When was this ERECTed?" Etc. I won't even put the other jokes in the comments, but just imagine how much giggling was going on as we rode the elevator quickly to the tip of the monument...yeah.

  4. Iris has the same white and navy striped dress as Georgia! But much much smaller. I still fell bad about not seeing you guys when you were out here :(

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