Washington DC - We were there!
Sep 16, 2007
|Washington DC has been so exciting I can hardly remember what happened before we got here. Everything seems to pale in comparison.
As with all big cities, the energy is palpable. As we drove in there were people out riding bycicles, running, walking their dogs and even kayaking. The highways and off ramps are terrifyingly busy and rushed. Everyone seems to know where they're going and how to get there.
We had spent the previous week quietly enjoying a state park in Virginia next to Lake Ann. A really lovely park which we basically had to ourselves as it seems it's only popular on the weekends.
As we left Virginia and on our way stopped in at a gas station to fill up and were pleasantly surprised to meet an ex-south african running it. Originally from Germiston he now lives in this small town on the outskirts of Fredricksburg, Virginia.
It was early evening when we arrived in Maryland and found a whole foods market to stock up our organic foods. Then the kids did some shopping at Toys-R-Us and by that time it was quite late. We decided to stay at a Walmart for the night and then head into Washington DC the next morning. (A note for those who might not know: Washington DC is not in any state. It is a district unto itself made out of land donated by Maryland and Virginia. George Washington decided to keep the capitol seperate from any state to avoid and jealousy between the states. Washington itself is an area of 68 square miles and has a population of 525 000 people. It has been the capital since 1791 before that the capital had been in Philidelphia.)
Staying at Walmart is not a great option but it is free and when you only need a place over night it makes more sense to stay there than pay $40-50 to stay at a campground. To us any way.
So yesterday we arrived in the capital very excited to see the White House. We were even more excited when we realised that we would have an opportunity to join protest against the war in Iraq.(Elton was almost beside himself with excitement.) The boys got placards and stickers and shouted and cheered along with the rest of the protestors. We listened to speeches and the boys were even taped asking President Bush to end the war by a freelance journalist. Shannon was not as enthralled by all the fuss and i think she thought it was all rather an undignified way to make a point. She certainly had no sympathy for the man who was on a hunger strike. She thought that was very silly and that he was probably sneaking food at night. Most upsetting to her was that the protestors used the bad F word when they were talking and on their posters. The boys did not want to leave and had to be firmly presuaded to surrender the placards. Eventually we compromised by bringing one of the placards with us. When we were driving past a very frightening bunch of pro War protestors Tristin decided to yell his anti-war slogans and wave his banner at them which attracted their attention sufficiently to curse at us and make threatening gestures. So added to our interior decorating which is already garishly eclectic we now have an huge black and yellow poster with END THE WAR NOW printed on it.
We spent the rest of the day looking through the National Museum of Natural history which was very interesting. Shan had just recently done a project for me on mammals and was thrilled to see the various mammals from all around the world in the Hall of Mammals. Trev was excited to see the Hope Diamind. It is a 45.5 carat diamond which is blue,very rare, set in a necklace of diamonds. We also watched a 3D Imax movie on Sharks which was fun. Shan and Trist kept reaching out to touch the various sharks and fish.
By the time we had finished up at the Museum we were ready to sit down so we thought we would spend some time just driving around DC and then head back to the RV.
Today we are catching up on our housework and laundry and we'll go on a tour tomorrow with an official company to see some of the other sights. The bonus of the tours is that someone else gets to be the teacher and driver for a while and we can relax and learn our selves.
The weather has noticeably become much cooler and we have pulled out our woolies and blankets. It's only going to get colder as we head north.