Washington D.C. to the Shenandoah’s

We had a fantastic week with No 2, but as always, good things must come to an end. He traveled with us from Lancaster County to Washington D.C. A fun experience for him helping to pack up, move/drive and then unpack again at Washington.

We had a great couple of days in Washington D.C., and No.2’s friend came for a day in Washington and a night before they headed off down to Orlando.

Washington was a must see. The State Building and the White House, I am embarrassed to admit that in my mind I had never actually separated the two buildings. I had always thought they were all part of the same building. I suppose for us way down under, we hear stories of “the White House” when the US Government is discussed. No mention of the “State Building”.

For me, one main attraction was, of course, the Lincoln Memorial. It is awe-inspiring as I expected, the view he has to the “State Building” past the Washington Memorial (the obelisk, which was unfortunately still closed so we couldn’t go up) is really quite spectacular. I have to agree with TOH, the Americans certainly know how to do Memorials well.

We walked from the Lincoln Memorial up to the World War II Memorial. Again huge and well done and the fountain a great relief to the aching feet. I was amazed to learn that the 4048 gold stars on the memorial war and each star represents 100 Americans who died in the war. Another reminder of the futility of war, particularly when you read the message in front of the wall. “Here we mark the price of freedom”

This is a city really is a city of M’s. Memorials and Museums. We spent time in the “cool” interior of the National Art Gallery while we had No 2 with us. Seeing the Masters in real life, even for me was wow. It brought so much of my school girl art lessons back to life.

The National Art Sculpture Garden I think may have been a highlight for No.2 as we discovered a piece of art from the Japanese artists (Yayoi Kusama, Queen of Polka Dots) that he has been interested in since seeing a documentary about her some time ago. In fact, many Aucklander’s may remember her display from I think, a year ago….. the dots.

TOH got a kick out of having the “Marine 1” helicopter (presidents helicopter) fly over us one evening as he was cooking.

After saying goodbye to the boys, we headed to the Shenandoah National Park (in the mountains) with the hope that the heat might be a little nicer to us.

It is a beautiful part of the country, it reminded us a lot of the Coromandel. But again, I think we disappoint people when we don’t appear too interested in seeing waterfalls. We do have a fair few at home.

The campground was really in the middle of nowhere, so it was an enforced slow down, with just fleeting trips to Charlottesville and of course how could we not go visit “Waynesboro” where there are houses still standing that show the marks of the civil war that was fought in this area and I had the best flat white since I arrived in North America. We also drove part of the Blue Ridge Pathway. The views were spectacular, but as I have said so like New Zealand, this as well as missing No2, it did make me a tad homesick.

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