Monday, December 12, 2011

Day Seven

 After a week in our nation's capitol we still had a long list of things to do. I allowed a few hours for shopping before moving on to our more intellectual endeavors. Jack found a super sharp blazer and dress scarf at Zara. At one point he said to me "Oooh, I like shopping when it's a four star experience." He was over it a few seconds later. Anyway, after shopping we saw the house where Abe Lincoln died across the street from Ford's Theatre.

 See - there is the bed, Yep, it's the actual bed - super macabre.

 And, there is the theatre - not historically accurate on the outside.

 We perused the Smithsonian portrait gallery near Ford's.

 Liliana likes Ike.

  Then we went to the Supreme Court. Photos were only allowed in the main foyer.

 After the Court we walked to the Library of Congress. We arrived a few minutes early for our tour so we browsed the children's section.

 After the library we went to dinner at Ben's Chili Bowl. The owner (Ben's wife) bussed our table and chatted us up for a few minutes. She was thrilled to hear that we came via referral by way of Uncle Ryan in Cambridge.

 Ella seized the opportunity to sit where the President had sat before. Doesn't she look positively presidential?

Only one more day to go!

Day Six

 On Monday we took a taxi to The National Cathedral. Out tour guide was excellent and took us on a wonderful adventure through the amazing building. We saw each little chapel and learned interesting facts about the cathedral. Since we were on a senator's tour, we arrived before the building opened to the public and had time to enjoy it by ourselves.

 It was breath taking.

 He also gave us time to explore on our own and privately enjoy the Cathedral. We went to the basement, the top of the bell tower, and everywhere in between.

Early in our tour the kiddos stopped to say a prayer in the children's chapel.

By day six we realized walking shoes were necessary so our outfits suffered a bit.

 At the top of the Cathedral, near the bell towers, there are lookout windows that gave us another perspective on the city.

 Astronaut Michael Polk, one of the Apollo 11 astronauts who landed on the moon was an alumni of the all boys school affiliated with the Cathedral. Upon his return to earth, he donated a lunar rock to the school which was incorporated into one of the church's stained glass windows. Ella, Liliana, Jack, and I said a prayer for my dad - who was a space enthusiast - beneath that window. It was a wonderful moment to reflect on our faith and love.

After the Cathedral we pulled out our trusty map and walked toward the nearest metro station to make our way to the Pentagon. Before boarding we stopped for a treat and almost missed our Pentagon tour, but . . . we made it!

 Photos were only allowed in one place.

After the Pentagon we went to Arlington National Cemetery.

We toured Robert E. Lee's estate - it's located at the top of a hill on Arlington Cemetary.

We saw the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

As the sun set we were off to tour the John F. Kennedy Center For Performing Arts.

The Center's chandaliers were what we found most captivating there. {See photos above and below)

We learned that the Center was gifted nearly every part from countries around the world in honor of JFK after his assasination.

This is Jack looking into a mirrored table admiring the ceiling gifted by Israel. This tour was the one we probably would have cut. It was a long tour after a long day. I found it to be interesting but the children were bored out of their minds.

A self-portrait.