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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Back From Washington, D.C.

Last week, my hubby and I visited our nation's capitol.  It was my first time there and we planned a full week of touring.  It was one of the best vacations we've ever enjoyed.  I wanted to go in September because I was hoping the weather wouldn't be hot, and it wouldn't be too crowded as all the kids were back in school.  Boy, we were blessed in every way!  

We had perfect weather...in the 70's all week.  No rain, no crowds, no waiting in line...it was as if we had DC all to ourselves!  We heard, a bit too late, that we should have dropped a note to our representatives for tickets to tour the Capitol, etc., and we just didn't get around to doing that in time, so we figured we'd have to take our chances and wait in line.  Not so in September!  We were able to book a tour of the Capitol building the day before, and we never needed another ticket, or waited in any line at all for any of the things we wanted to see in D.C.

We flew into Baltimore (better fares) and drove to see Annapolis, MD on our way to Washington.  Not only did it save us some money, but it served another purpose for me in visiting another state, and crossing that one off my bucket list.  We had a wonderful dinner at The Severn Inn across the river from the Naval Academy.  What a great town Annapolis is!  I also visited the one and only quilt shop on this vacation, Cottonseed Glory.  After dinner, we headed to Old Alexandria, VA to our hotel.  

For the next three days, we walked, and walked, and walked, and took cabs, rode the Metro, and saw as much as we could see.  We visited The White House, The Mall and all of the memorials, Ford Theater, and the house across the street where President Lincoln died, and Arlington National Cemetery.  The National Archives were just awesome, where you can view the Declaration, Constitution, and Bill of Rights...quite humbling.  We toured the Capitol, and were able to sit in the gallery of the House of Representatives.  We could have done the same with the Congress, but it wasn't until later in the day, and we didn't want to hang around.

We ate great food, visiting Old Ebbits Grill twice (Ed's favorite for their raw bar), and were serendipitously treated to a visit to the rooftop penthouse where we got an extraordinary view of all of DC, as well as the White House as it was only one block away.

Our last two days were spent visiting Presidents Monroe, Jefferson and Washington's homes.   We did book tours ahead of time there, and highly recommend taking the "Behind the Scenes" tour of Jefferson's Monticello.  They don't allow you to take photos except for the out-buildings, which in most cases were the kitchen houses.  

For this Prairie Girl...I was intrigued to see the kitchens!

This was fancy living for the eighteenth century!  Still....you can't help but imagine cooking in these kitchens.  Just looking at the ironware in the fireplace leaves me scratching my head.  Add to that wearing those dresses with all those layers.  Those were some hearty, hard working people!

We spent our entire last day at the Smithsonian American History museum, spending the morning with the docent of the quilt collection.  I'll tell you all about that in my next post!


  1. Really enjoyed hearing about your trip and seeing those marvelous kitchens.Sounds like a fabulous trip. While you were having fun touring, I was having fun making blocks for Nabby's Dowry! Thanks so much for another freebie QAL!

  2. It's a good thing you went in September and not October! Now everything is shut down! It was fun following along with you on facebook.

  3. What a wonderful trip. I love history and this is all stuff I would love to see one day. I missed my best opportunity when my sister lived in Alexandria. I was too busy as a college student to take time out to visit. Oh, if I had only known how hard it would be for me to get back there at a later date. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  4. I love the look of colonial kitchens. They really make me appreciate our modern conveniences though. Can't wait to hear about the quilts you saw.

  5. It was so fun to see all your facebook posts while you were on your trip. I have been to all those places, and I knew how much you would love it.I'm glad you got to see all of those President's homes. I really liked the kitchen houses, too. It's interesting to know that they put the kitchens in their own separate structures, so if the kitchen caught on fire, the whole house wouldn't burn down! I guess when you use a huge fireplace to cook in, fires were not that uncommon! I'm looking forward to hearing more about your trip! Welcome home!

  6. You just can't match the history of the Washington DC area. Love to visit working museums and farms where there are re-enactors and people who do presentations in period costume. There's more than can be seen in one vacation. Sure am glad you finished your trip before all the government shut downs.

  7. So glad you both had a great time. I love Monticello!

  8. You were so lucky to go to Washington and justy in time too! I have been there twice, years ago, and loved it! Can't wait to come back some day. Such a beautiful city, I went in the spring both times, blue skies, white building, green grass and colorful tulips everywhere, not to mention the trees were in bloom. Loved the Smithsonian, American History museum, Air and Space museum, National Zoo, Capitol, war memorials, Arlington and Georgetown. You were lucky to visit just before the government shutdown! Can't wait to see your other pictures!

  9. Pam, you look so pretty! what a cute couple you are.
    I enjoyed your photos, especially the kitchen pics.