Monday, June 30, 2008

All the extras...

Our Saturdays are starting to dwindle in number, so we are trying to strategically plan each weekend so we make sure we don't leave here with any regrets. This Saturday we went with Ben and Kaylyn downtown and did all of the extra random stuff that was still on our "list". We got an all day metro pass and just went from destination to destination. Here's how it went:

Ford's Theatre, where Lincoln was shot.

Don't worry, it's currently closed for renovation, but this is the outside!

Across the street we went to the house where Lincoln died.

The house has been kept EXACTLY how it was when Lincoln was there, top hat on the table and everything. It was a pretty cool little tour.

On our way to our next destination, we happened to pass the National Portrait Gallery, so we figured since we were right there, we might as well go have a look.

Benjamin Franklin Cummings with THE Benjamin Franklin.

Look who else we found! Joseph Smith was right next to a very small portrait of Brigham Young "The Mormon Pope" as the title said. We thought it was way awesome! Who knew?

Next stop, The White House. We were too late for a tour, but we went to the visitor's center and did get to see police man camped out on the lawn with their giant dogs with muzzles.

This is the front yard, it's very pretty!

It's pretty incredible how many people were out in front of the White House fence protesting all kinds of crazy stuff. This lady was the most amazing. She has LIVED on this sidewalk facing the White House doors since 1981! LIVED! She pulls the tarp over her when it rains, and she loves her beloved squirrels and feeds them peanuts. She doesn't leave! (We didn't think it very nice to ask how she went to the bathroom or bathed...). When Nate first came to DC almost 10 years ago she was here, and he was SO excited to see her still here!

Nate and Concepcion-I don't think I have ever seen Nate so giddy, and with such a real smile! He was ecstatic to get to talk to her and that she agreed to have her picture taken with him. PEACE!

After the White House, we went to the Holocaust Musuem (no pics for that one). For any of you that have been, we got there too late to do the full tour upstairs and everything, but we were still able to walk around and learn from some of the other displays. It was a very sombering experience, and I don't know that I would ever go there again. According to Nate, the downstairs is like Disneyland compared to upstairs. I don't really want to take part in that. We ended our day with Arlington Cemetery again, because when we were there the first time we didn't get to see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Changing of the Gaurds. SO we booked our way over and got there just before the cemetery was to close.

This is the amazing colloseum in the center of the cemetery. This is where we tried to come to see President Bush do the laying of the wreaths on Memorial dya, but couldn't get in. It was beautiful, and again made me feel like we should be in Greece or Rome or something.

This is just a giant chair carved out of the stone in the center of the colloseum. Nate was bitter that I told him we could just take one pic and share the chair, so this was the face he pulled. Wow.Here you go, King Nate. A big chair all for yourself.

Looking up at the Tomb.A close up view of the back of the Tomb.

I am still awe struck by the reverence at Arlington. I feel so proud and greatful when I am there.These gaurds are incredible. Everything they do is timed perfectly. They do the same routine every 1 minute and 20 seconds (Nate timed it). You can see where the sidewalk and mat are worn because their feet are in the exact same place every single time they step. It's definitely something to see.The gaurds are at the tomb 24 hours a day, even when the cemetery is closed. They gaurd the tomb rain or shine, and change gaurds every half hour. They sign up to gaurd for like 6 months at a time or something and they live stricter rules than missionaries. No tv, they can't be married, etc. I can't describe how spectacular I thought this all was.This is as up close to the tomb as I could show. It reads " Here Rests In Honored Glory An American Soldier Known But To God".

We recorded the entire Changing of the Gaurds ceremony if you are interested in seeing it. It's about 10 minutes long, and there is a section of about 3 minutes where you can't really tell whats going on, but it's the Commander inspecting the Gaurd coming on to duty. It's incredible; everything is so rigid, dramatic, and perfect. At about 6 minutes is when it gets a bit more exciting. Pretty cool!

We ended our wonderful day with Nate's favorite, CiCi's. We discovered CiCi's with our friends the Banbury's and Morby's back in March on Spring Break (there aren't any in Utah), and Nate was thrilled to find there is one by our friends house. It is an all you can eat (do you already see why it's Nate's favorite?) pizza, pasta, and dessert for like $5.49. It really doesn't get better than that. And the very best part? To die for, fresh out of the oven cinnamon rolls.Yes, this was only the first plate of many.

Being the good friends we are, we even got some for our friends back home! Sorry guys, they didn't last very long.

Well, we have a really busy week coming up! Nate's parents and sister are flying in late Wednesday night and we have lots of exciting plans for the holiday weekend! I absolutely LOVE the 4th, and am really excited to celebrate it here. By the way, if anyone knows someone looking to be the manager for the Curves of Sterling, VA I am hiring! :)


Brad and Darci said...

Sounds like a crazy day! But I am glad that you guys had fun and that you topped it off with a yummy treat! Those looked so good! Mostly I am impressed that you found Jospeh Smith in the gallery- that is very cool! Well how a fun time with your fam and on the 4th!

Jenni said...

Save something for me to do while I am there!

Meesh said...

Ahhh the beloved Cicis, and where was my cinnamon pull apart??? Please come home soon, we miss you guys like CRAZY!!! We're going up to Wyoming with the Morbys for the 4th, should be a good time because we can do all the illegals! We'll light one in your honor...

Mr. & Mrs. Bell said...

Looks like a wonderful day!! What an amazing summer. Josh doesn't remember the lady living at the white house gates though. We wished we could have been rich and come to visit you!!!