Sunday, April 4, 2010

D.C. Tour of Monuments

The tour we took on Sunday evening was Tourmobile Sightseeing's Twilight Tour. It had four planned stops for the evening but took us past many more Washington landmarks. Melvin, our tour guide was amazing. We learned a lot of interesting information about the D.C. area. It was dusk when we headed out of Union Station, itself an amazing building. We passed by the Capitol, which Melvin pointed out does stand out with an "o" in the name instead of all the other capitals.We passed by some more landmarks and museums and then headed for our first stop at the Jefferson Memorial. It was just starting to rain when we were walking around the area. The gift shop was still open so we bought Kevin and Zack a National Parks Passport book. Kevin had one from the trip to Wyoming last year, but we forgot it at home. So they were also able to get their first stamp at the Jefferson Memorial. It was sometimes hard to figure out which D.C. landmarks were National Parks and which were not. The kids did get a lot of stamps while we were there.

We boarded the bus for a quick trip to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial. It was a steady shower by the time we got to the beginning of the Memorial. Melvin came with the group on this stop to give us lots of information about FDR and the Memorial. The kids really liked Melvin's light up umbrella. This was an amazing place in the dark with the accent lighting. There is a lot of symbolism in the different areas of the monument symbolizing different landmarks of FDR's presidency. The monuments were all still packed with groups and tours despite the rain. The cherry blossoms were blooming and were pretty within the FDR Memorial but raindrops clouded my camera lens and I wasn't able to get any good shots.

Next stop was the Lincoln Memorial. This was bright and impressive in the night. The kids were reluctant to get off the bus for this one, but Chad and I encouraged them to run to the stairs. I stopped to take a picture on the way in the downpour.The building and statue were impressive. Also on this stop was the Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam War Memorial. Melvin suggested that if we were considering not walking in the rain to one to leave the Vietnam War Memorial for another day. He suggested the Korean War Memorial statues would be even more impressive in the night and rain, as rain drips off the faces of the statues. He was right, it was very powerful and impressive. Couldn't take any pictures with the rain and darkness. The kids stayed in the bus for this walk, but Chad and I were glad we went.

Our last stop was to be the WWII Memorial, but this was skipped because of the rain. They drove us past this and many more Memorials and attractions before dropping us again at Union Station. This tour helped us form an idea of the layout of D.C. and the Mall area so we could find our way easier the rest of the week. We did revisit some of the areas during the daytime and made an attempt to revisit the area at night again during the week but were hampered by weather again. More on that later.