We left DC behind and are making our way back home. Our next stop is Charlottesville. On the way we stopped in Madison VA. We now have been to 3 cities named Madison in our quest to visit all the Madisons in the country. We stopped for breakfast. I had eggs, fried apples, toast and scrapple at the Mountaineer Cafe. Then we stopped at Montpelier the home of James Madison. We didn’t tour the mansion but saw the grounds. The people on the horses were giving a demonstration on how horses were used during the Revolutionary War. Then we went on to our hotel in Chaottesville. Apparently there is a winery every mile in Virginia, but we are saving our wine tasting for tomorrow. We are now tucked in getting ready to tour Monticello tomorrow.
We got up early because we heard about a garden tour at the White House. We decided to go and wait in line and see if we could get tickets. It was cold, but not as cold as yesterday and even though rain is predicted for later in the day the weather held. We waited in a long line and got tickets.
Then we waited in another line to get into the garden. When we entered the garden we were given a booklet about the tour. OMG what a great tour. Volunteers pointed out specifi areas of interest. I took tons of pictures so I can’t include them all here.
The picture that shows the path is the outside of the Oval Office. We also saw the Marine Band and the kitchen garden.
By the time we left the White House the temperature had dropped and it was just cold outside. We headed to the Nationsl Mall and stopped in the DAR headquarters mostly to get warm and see if we could get something warm to drink. We had coffee and hot chocolate but we also had a tour of the DAR headquarters. There is 31 rooms decorated by 31 states in different period styles. This was really interesting, plus they had a quilt show featuring quilts from the early 1800’s. The tour was really terrific – we only went in to get warm and had a really great time. I took a picture of the library- formerly a theater.
Then on we went to the WWII memorial and then on to the Vietnam Memorial. It was very cold and damp so we headed back towards the Metro.
Yes, finally cherry blossoms! We stopped at a restaurant for cocktails and snackies. Really nice place, but they wouldn’t make happy hour start a half hour earlier so we headed back to the hotel. Beverly and Clara decided to stay in for the night. Marsha and I went to look for excitement, but we don’t think Rosslyn is a happening place. It’s now 9:00 and we are in. We leave DC tomorrow headed for home.
We got up but were in no rush. Our tour of the Capitol wasn’t until 12:30. We got on the subway towards the Capitol and then went into the Library of Congress. The artwork is amazing and we tagged along with a tour to the gallery that overlooked the main reading room. I would recommend this building to everyone who comes to Washington.
We then went to the Capitol for our tour. The dome is being restored so there is scaffolding and cloths on the inside to protect everyone and everything. I should mention that we walked all the tunnels under the Capitol and Library of Congress looking for breakfast. We finally found a Subway and a Dunkin Donuts. After we ate we continued on. The Capital tour was nice, but more like a civics lesson.
Then we went on to the Smithsonian. We went to the Air and Space Museum. Way too much stuff to take pictures. Way too much to see in a day. However; the weather was a little better- still windy- but not so cold. We decided to return to the hotel for free wine at happy hour. I have to tell you the escalator up from the subway was huge. It reminded me of London. Also we had dinner at the hotel. Tomorrow we are going to try and get tickets for a tour of the White House garden so we have to be up and out early. Will let you know how successful we are.
Another day of being a tourist, we checked the prices of the hop on hop off bud, but it was too expensive for one day. We then bought subway passes. The Metro station is only a block away from the hotel and really a pretty good way to get around. Our first stop was Arlington Cemetery We took the tour of the cemetery because it is really vast. We saw JFK’s grave and the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns. The entire Cemetery was in bloom with dogwoods, tulips, cherry blossoms and other flowers. I know I keep saying everything is beautiful, but truly the views are stunning.
After Arlington we took the subway back to go see the White House. We weren’t chosen to tour the White House, but we went to the visitor center that has displays of items that once were int the White House. There was also movies and interactive displays. The visitor center is a great place to see.
I have to mention it is very cold and windy here. It is in the 30’s when we wake up and because the wind is so strong it never seems to warm up. After the White House we took the subway back to our hotel. Free wine again! Then we took a cab to Georgetown for dinner. The concierge recommended an Italian restaurant that was good. It specialized in wood fired pizza. Then a cab back to the hotel. By this time it was late so touristing ended for the day.