Since we lived here a few years back we did not need to do DC like a tourist. Basically, I wanted to see the memorials that were new since we left. The WWII memorial was tops on my list followed closely by the Air Force memorial. Neither disappointed. I was awed by them both in very different ways.
The WWII is much larger then I realized and had so much symbolism, taking it in was taxing in a good way and sobering too. It was striking to walk through it and see all the states on the pillars; to be reminded what a great nation we have. I really enjoyed the 3D bronze reliefs on the walls leading into the memorial fountain as well. The gold stars representing the many lives sacrificed for our great nation are very much a mental picture that makes you take pause. Over 400,000 lives lost..sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, nieces, nephews...all sacrificed for our freedom.
Since we were in the area we also walked down to the Pentagon memorial. I was a bit irked that there is no parking available in close proximity to this memorial especially on a weekend when there were empty parking lots adjacent to it. I know they would be full on a workday but on a weekend I think parking should be allowed. Maybe that set the tone for my visit and gave me a bad taste in my mouth but I also did not care for this memorial. I am not certain there is one absolute reason maybe there are several. For one the memorial seems careless. People, mainly teens and children were standing and sitting on the memorial benches that represent each life lost. I don't know it seemed disrespectful to me that they were doing that. I also thought the gravel throughout the memorial was messy, it was scattered on the stone walkway, it was in the water feature of each and every bench and it just made the memorial look messy to me. I didn't like the fact that kids were walking on the low walls that surround the memorial. There was a guard on the premises but he did not seem to be bothered by the behavior of the guests so I guess it was acceptable to do what they were doing. I, however, was and still am not happy that this was the way it was. I'm sure it's just me but I left feeling that I was at a play park rather than a national memorial.
Sprinkles cupcakes. Yes, I know, not exactly what I need, but I loved them both! Yep, I had two! I enjoyed a carrot cake cupcake upon purchase with coffee and then enjoyed a yummy coconut one later for a snack that afternoon. They did not disappoint! I do think they were sweeter than I ever remember. I am already secretly hoping we make it to the one in NYC too. Lemon will be my choice. I know I am terrible for already thinking about this!!!
And I must mention that we also made a stop at Theodore Roosevelt Island, nice peaceful area that would be perfect for a relaxing afternoon with a blanket, picnic lunch and a good book! This memorial was here when we lived in the area but I had not been to it and a friend recommended that we stop if we were close, we were and we did!
Oh, and having lunch with JJJ and C was a HIGHLIGHT for sure!!! The afternoon spent chatting and catching up was wonderful. Good people for sure!
Since we were not on full throttle due to the sinus saga there were things we would have done that we just didn't. Like Arlington and the zoo. I was glad we got a glimpse of Arlington when we walked to the Pentagon memorial. There is just something about Arlington that makes me proud. The flags were at each grave since it was Memorial Day weekend. I never tire of seeing or going to this cemetery. I also would have liked to have popped into the zoo to see the pandas that were born while we were here but that's okay too that we didn't. We also skipped revisiting some of our favorite Smithsonian buildings. We did what we could under the circumstances.
Next up N.Y.C. I'm beyond excited about this since it's a place I have never been!!! However, getting there has me a bit on edge, there are many factors to consider as we make that trip, mainly the bridges and tunnels we need to avoid and toll roads, heavens there are so many of those here and we are trying to avoid them!