I was determined to spend my time outdoors today. So my first visit was to the White House. I didn't get a glimpse of the Obama family (sorry) but saw the Kitchen Garden that Michelle Obama started a few years ago. It is literally at the back of the White House, walking distance from their kitchen I suppose.
Right across the road is the famous Christmas Tree which has been cordoned off. Due to the summer season, it is not decorated but you can imagine it being all festively decorated in the cold winter.
There were so many tourists hanging out at the best spots to take photos so I had to contend with whatever view I could get. If only there were no other tourists! Yes girl, that will surely happen!!!! Not!
To get to the front of the white house, you have to walk around the very, very large compound. Along the way I saw the Eisenhower Building, which is where the President's Executive Office staff work. Heavily guarded, it is located literally next door to the White House.
The front of the White House is located in Lafayette Square. No authorised vehicles are allowed to enter this area and it is literally catered for pedestrians. Amidst all the tourists, I tried to stand still for a few minutes and fully absorb that I am literally metres away from the White House, the official residence of one of the most powerful man in the world.
Then it was on to walking for miles through the National Mall, which consists of a group of memorials open to the public. It was lovely walking through Constitution Gardens. The cloudy day made the walk very pleasant and today's humidity was a lot less than yesterday's.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
There are literally thousands of names written on the reflecting walls. I saw some families who were looking for specific names on the walls, most likely a brother, father or grandfather who had served in the war. I felt a sense of grief as I walked through the memorial. It was very poignant.
This is the most visited memorial amongst all the memorials in DC. There were people everywhere and once again I wished the tourists would all disappear so I could absorb everything I was seeing and reading. I know I am being a little selfish with my wishes here, but there is nothing wrong with wishful thinking is there? :-)
The views from the top of the memorial looking down to the Reflecting Pool was spectacular. The whole memorial was quite awe inspiring.
Korean War Veterans Memorial
Absolutely eye catching and unique. How clever to depict exhausted soldiers marching stealthily in the war grounds.
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
Very eye catching. The sculpture is so tall and large. I depict it as a sculpture rather than a statue because the figure is still hewn within the stone. But that is my interpretation, not necessarily the official description.
Franklin D Roosevelt Memorial
This president served 4 terms (in those days when you could serve more than 2 terms). Each room represents one of his terms as president. I wish I knew all the symbolisms of the waterfalls. I only know the first waterfall is meant to reflect one large teardrop (I overheard one of the local guides speaking to his group).
By the time I got here, I was about to lose any stamina I had left. Amazing things to see and read about along the way but miles of walking. Thank goodness it was basically flat roads.
To get to this memorial from the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial, I walked along the Tidal Basin and walked under a whole length of cherry blossom trees. Unfortunately they had finished flowering or I would have been able to take some very pretty pictures.
Another inspiring memorial commemorating the life of Thomas Jefferson. Words of the Declaration of Independence are engraved on the walls.
I could have gone on to another museum but I didn't have any legs left. So I headed back to the hotel and on the way stopped to have some frozen yoghurt. I chose Cherry and Raspberry with blueberries and strawberries for the topping. It was a very berry frozen yoghurt - nice and refreshing!
The past 2 days activities have helped strike a few 'to dos' off my list. They are:
- Visit Washington DC
- Visit The White House
- Visit The Lincoln Memorial
- Visit The Smithsonian
Happy times! :-)