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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Monuments and Memorials: A trip to Washington D.C.

This week I am having my wisdom teeth brutally yanked out of my head. So there haven’t been any amazing new hikes or sites to share with you all. However, I have some trips I have not posted on this blog and I am so excited to share my trip to Washington D.C. with you all. 

One of my best friends was living in Arlington, Virginia when I visited, with her now husband Mike. I have always wanted to see D.C. and missed this girl miserably, so with the help of her husband Mike, Christine and I planned a surprise visit to D.C. We got a great deal on flights, and showed up outside her apartment door to the most happy and surprised Liz ever. Even though she didn’t know we were coming, she quickly planned an amazing weekend for us, sightseeing, brunching and exploring some of D.C’s highlights.

A Long Weekend in Washington, D.C. 
Visiting the Memorials and Monuments.

 I was never a city person, so I was shocked when I fell in love with the adorable areas around D.C.  How clean the city was.  How absolutely stunning this city was from the monuments, statues, museums and art.  There is absolutely no way you can get bored in this city.  I loved D.C. way more than I thought I ever would (again, never a city person).  While in D.C. Liz took us to some of the cutest D.C. neighborhoods. From her Arlington neighborhood (only a few miles from the steps of the Lincoln Monument) to the adorable Georgetown and Alexandria.  Lets talk about all of the beautiful monuments and memorials we saw. 

Lincoln Memorial 
The Lincoln Memorial stands at the west end of the National Mall as a neoclassical monument to the 16th President. The memorial, designed by Henry Bacon, after ancient Greek temples, stands 190 feet long, 119 feet wide, and almost 100 feet high. It is surrounded by a peristyle of 36 fluted Doric columns, one for each of the thirty six states in the Union at the time of Lincoln's death, and two columns in-antis at the entrance behind the colonnade. The Lincoln Memorial, administered by the National Park Service, is on the west end of National Mall, located in West Potomac Park, in line with the US Capitol and the Washington Monument, bordered by Constitution, Independence Aves. and the Reflecting Pool. The memorial is open 8:00 am to 11:45 pm everyday except Christmas. Metro stop: Smithsonian.   Source

Reflecting Pool
The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool is the largest of the many reflecting pools in Washington, D.C., United States. It is a long and large rectangular pool located on the National Mall, directly east of the Lincoln Memorial, with the Washington Monument to the east of the reflecting pool. Part of the iconic image of Washington, the reflecting pool hosts many of the 24 million visitors a year who visit the National Mall Source

Washington Monument 
Built to honor George Washington, the United States' first president, the 555-foot marble obelisk towers over Washington, D.C. Tickets are required to visit the interior of the Washington Monument. Source

National World War II Memorial 
Through stone architecture and bronze sculptures, the World War II Memorial recognizes the ways Americans served, honors those who fell, and recognizes the victory they achieved to restore freedom and end tyranny around the globe. Source

In between visiting monuments, we spent some time taking pictures around the city. We rented D.C. greenbikes to get around and act like good ole fashion obnoxious tourists. This was such a fun way to see the city for just a few bucks. You pick up a bike at one location, and drop it off at another. There are a ton of great apps to show you where all the bikes are, and they are conveniently set outside all of the super touristy spots. 

One of my favorite things about this city was how clean and absolutely beautiful it was. I have never been a fan of NYC and I am glad to report, D.C. is nothing like NYC.  I loved everything form the iconic monuments, to the beautiful sculptures that adorned the bridges. I loved the Arlington Memorial Bridge and the sculptures. D.C. might be as pretty as a city can get.  

Another highlight of the trip was a visit to Arlington Cemetary. Visiting the cemetary is a beautiful and somber trip when in D.C. The wreaths on all of the graves, and the sheer number of graves.

Arlington Cemetery 
Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place of more than 400,000 fallen heroes from the fronts of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the veterans of World Wars I and II, the Korean conflict, Vietnam, the Cold War and America’s Civil War. Established in 1864, the cemetery is still fully operational today, conducting an average of 27 funerals each day throughout its 624 developed acres. You can visit Arlington National Cemetery to see the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Source

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: 
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a white sarcophagus in the plaza of the Memorial Amphitheatre which pays tribute to an unidentified American soldier from World War I. On Memorial Day in 1921, four unknowns were exhumed from four American cemeteries in France. One soldier was chosen at random to be interred at Arlington National Cemetery. In front of the sarcophagus are also crypts for unknown soldiers from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. The Vietnam soldier has since been identified through DNA testing and was returned to his family for proper burial. The Vietnam unknown grave now remains vacant.

Changing of the Guard Ritual: 
The Tomb of the Unknowns is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and in any weather by Tomb Guard sentinels. Sentinels, all volunteers, are considered to be the best of the elite 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment headquartered at Fort Myer, Virginia. This is the oldest active-duty infantry unit in the Army, since 1784. The guard is changed every hour on the hour from Oct. 1 to March 31 in an elaborate ritual. From April 1 to September 30, the guard is changed every half hour.  Source

Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial) 
The United States Marine Corps War Memorial, better known as the Iwo Jima Memorial depicts one of the most historic battles of World War II, the battle of Iwo Jima. The memorial is dedicated to all marines who have given their lives in battle.Source

On our last day in the city, Christine and I visited the Holocaust Museum.  The museum is put together so well, and though it is somber and sad, it is an amazing experience and a must-see on on my D.C. to do list.  We also visited the Smithsonian Natural History museum, home to the famous Hope Diamond from the Titanic and many more amazing pieces of history.  There are so many museums in D.C and some of them are even free. 

D.C. is an amazing city and there is so much to see.  I had such a great time seeing the amazing monuments and memorials in D.C with these amazing friends.  Thanks for a great time D.C. 


  1. It always blows my mind that I don't visit DC more often. I can be there in less than three hours for goodness sake. Love these pictures you snapped! Did you get a chance to visit any cool museums? I hear that there are some freaking awesome ones there but I've never been!

    1. I did go to a few museums! Holocaust Museum and a Smithsonian I believe! They were so great. And yes girl, that is way too close head to DC!

  2. Ah! Good luck with your teeth! Hope it's easy and you recover quickly!
    If it helps, I may need to have a tooth pulled THE MONDAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING! What kind of cruel torture is that?!


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