The weather was beautiful driving from Clarksboro NJ to College Park, Maryland. The fall colours have not really started yet. It's still quite warm. The tolls were pretty steep today - $25 for the Delaware Memorial Bridge, $9 for another stretch, and $12 for another - and the mileage was not very big! We are now at Cherry Hill RV Park in College Park. This park, in some form or other, has been around for 80 years. It's a bit of a hodge-podge of sites but seems to be able to accommodate everyone. It's a good thing we made a reservation because it's pretty full. We arrived on the 8th, hoping that Larry's new cell would have been delivered by now. We had paid the shipping to have it arrive by 3 pm. Of course it didn't. He checked on line and now it says the 10th. Since that's a holiday, we hope it will be delivered. It's the only phone we have. On the 9th we boarded the Metro bus for the city ($1.70 each). The Bus Depot is right in the RV Park. It took us to the Metro Rail ($3.00 each return). We got off that at Union Station and went to the Grayline tour counter. We got a 48 hour pass. The first route we took (the Red Line), was detoured because of some closures in the city (Taste of DC and also protesters had caused the National Air and Space Museum to be closed the day before) and some of the roads were still closed. So the Red Line turned into the Yellow Line and went out to the National Cathedral and Georgetown. We got off at the harbour for lunch and to check out the river cruise line-up (we had received tickets for free cruise). The line-up was huge so we decided not to go out. We then caught the Yellow Line back in towards town and transferred to the Red Line and saw some more things. Then we took the Metro Rail and Bus back to the RV Park. Happy Thanksgiving Canada! We took a trip into Arlington National Cemetery with the Jeep on the 10th. Maureen had read on line that if you could produce your disabled pass you could actually take your own vehicle through the cemetery with special parking at the important parts. It was a great way to see the site and totally free. There are over 300,000 military personnel buried there. Among the 70 sections of the cemetery are sections specified for nurses (section #21), more than 3800 former slaves (section #27), and Confederate soldiers. The first soldier was buried in 1864. JFK is buried there in a very large area that has an eternal flame burning at his grave site and Jackie Kennedy is laid beside him. His brothers Bobby and Teddy are also buried in the same section just down the hill from JFK. The property originally belonged to Robert E. Lee and his home and gardens are still there (Arlington House). It is currently undergoing renovations to ensure that it lasts for at least another 100 years. There is a huge crack in one of the corners of the back wall caused by the recent earthquake. There is a former slave house on the property as well. We also drove by the Pentagon after. The weather continued to hold reaching about 80 deg. F. It was a bit more humid than it had been. We bbq'd the turkey breast from the Amish Market and had mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and peas, as well as the cranberry sauce we had bought at the market in St. Andrews. A very nice dinner to remind us of all we are thankful for. The 11th was mostly cloudy all day but still 72 deg. We took a drive into the city again with the Jeep. We stopped at the White House for a photo. There is lots of security everywhere. Even going into the White House Visitors' Centre, Maureen had her purse scanned. We got our photo and continued on towards Georgetown for lunch. We found a great restaurant - Tono Sushi - that had sushi for Larry and Thai curry for Maureen. Perfect combination! We drove around the National Mall and scoped out our sites for the next day. We also drove down Embassy Row and saw all the Embassys and Residences from 192 countries. The Canadian Embassy is not on Embassy Row and is the only Embassy that has a view of the Capitol Building. The 12th was a busy day. We started out about 10 am. It had rained a bit in the night and was cloudy but not cold. Here's what we covered, again with the Jeep: Smithsonian Museum of Natural History - We got a good parking spot right out front. Then it turned out that the handicapped entrance (Larry used his scooter) was around the other side so we had to go around. The Museum is two floors of an amazing collection of fossils, animals, ocean life, dinosaurs, insects, gems and minerals. We covered a lot of it but not all. It's interesting here because the specimens (such as skeletons and skulls) are mostly real, not reproductions. Smithsonian Museum of American History - This is beside the Natural History Museum and if you think it's just dull history, it's not. There's a lot of recent history here - Julia Child's kitchen set from her TV show, a collection of First Ladies Memorabilia (including many inaugural gowns), science, African American history, etc. There is a house here that was donated by the last family to live in it. It traces the lives of five different families who lived there. We only did two floors but there are three. When we came out it was raining but we didn't get too wet. We found a bag to cover the camera. Panera Bread for lunch - we found a meter with an hour already in it! Lincoln Memorial - The size of this memorial is unbelievable. It's hard to do justice to it in a photo but we tried. There is a small museum on the ground floor and an elevator available to take you up to the level of the statue. The memorial was completed in 1922. Unfortunately, the Reflecting Pool, which spans from the Lincoln Memorial to the World War II Memorial (almost to the Washington Monument) was closed for a complete remodel. It should open again next year sometime. Vietnam Veterans Memorial - This memorial consists of the statues in the photo and a very long wall of names of those who were killed. Because this and the other memorials are run by the National Park Service there are rangers at each one to answer questions. At each memorial there were busloads of veterans being brought by younger members of the military. The luggage bays of the buses were filled with wheelchairs. Korean War Veterans' Memorial - This was dedicated in 1995. It consists of 19 stainless steel statues. It's a little spooky but more than all the other memorials really brings the reality home. It's very well done. Another busload of veterans here as well. Martin Luther King - This is a brand new memorial just opened in August and due to be dedicated October 16 (delayed because of Hurrican Irene). It is very simple but very moving, situated right at the edge of the Tidal Basin looking toward the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. World War II Memorial - There were four buses of veterans here. This is a large oval memorial with a huge fountain in the middle. Each state is represented around the edges on columns. There is a Pacific arch on one side and an Atlantic arch on the other, representing the battles that took place on or near each ocean. There is a wall with over 4,000 brass stars, each one representing 1000 who died (405,000 in all). We were very fortunate at each memorial to find parking very close. It made it worth bringing the car in instead of trying to cover all this ground by bus or metrorail. Everything was free to go into and the parking was free too. A very good day. It's very important to head out of the city by 3 pm to avoid the major rush. Just after we got back to the RV the heavens opened up. It poured for a couple of hours so our timing was pretty good too. On the 13th we went out to the Steven Udvar-Hazy Center. It is part of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. It encompasses two huge airplane hangars, each sponsored by a major maker of airplanes. There is no cost to go in but parking is $15. The first thing you notice is the size of the place. We walked around all of it (Larry used his scooter). We took a fair number of pictures hopefully not of any that we've seen before. Included in this collection are the Concorde, the Enola Gay, the Space Shuttle Enterprise and a Lockheed SR71A Blackbird. There are of course the usual military planes but also a number of commercial planes as well as pre-1920 airplanes. Very interesting. Tolls today $4. We encountered the most traffic we have so far. I-495 was bumper to bumper a lot of the way in both directions. It rained quite heavily in the morning but held off pretty well all afternoon. As dusk settled the clouds rolled in again. We discovered that Washington DC and College Park MD was under a Tornado watch but thankfully it did not happen. While there was quite a bit of lightning and one really heavy downpour, there was no wind to speak of. There was no rain in the night and a couple of very heavy showers the next morning. By afternoon, the sun came out and it was beautiful. Friday was a day of rest so we did some cleanup in preparation for leaving the next day.