We had a wonderful time in Washington, DC, for Spring Break. We were there just in time for the Cherry Blossoms, which were at their peak. We had a condo in National Harbor, MD, with enough space for Steve's brother Jim, his friend Sally, and our nieces Stephanie and Jamie. We got to know the Metro really well as we traveled around, and appreciated the benefits of public transportation in a busy, traffic-congested city!
We visited the Holocaust Memorial and spent more time there than we expected. It is an incredibly moving and powerful exhibit that everyone should see. While we appreciated the memorials in Europe a bit more because of their proximity to the actual events, the US Holocaust Memorial is as much a testament to what we didn't do earlier that could have prevented so much of the tragedy. We intentionally stayed out of the European conflict for years, only getting involved when the threats turned toward us on from both the east and the west. The US definitely made some mistakes, and the museum makes a strong point of that.
We toured Arlington National Cemetery, where I found the grave of my granduncle Richard Perry O'Keefe (my dad's mother's brother) who died in a training accident in 1932. He had graduated from West Point but never got the chance to serve. I have some of his records on Ancestry.com, and was grateful to see his gravesite in person.
We also visited the United States Marines Memorial (aka Iwo Jima). I was blown away by how HUGE the statue is - so much bigger than I realized. The memorial is updated every time we are involved in a military conflict - all the way up to the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Really powerful.
On our last day we toured the National Archives, where we had an unexpected treat of watching a chat between Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post columnist, and Susan Page, the Washington Bureau Chief for USA Today, about Susan's new biography of Barbara Bush. They chatted for an hour, and it was incredibly insightful and enjoyable. Seeing one of those events in person was such a great addition to our memories of the trip. The book was on sale at the Archives book shop, and Susan had a book signing after the chat. Of course, we now have a signed copy of the book, which we both look forward to reading. Here is a link to the video of the conversation:
We also visited the Air & Space Museum, Mount Vernon, the Museum of American History, the African American History & Culture Museum, the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, the World War II and Vietnam War Memorials, and got a tour of the Capitol thanks to Congressman James Comer (R-KY 1), who represents Jim's district in Henderson, Kentucky. We visited with friends who used to live in our neighborhood in Sacramento. We walked around the White House. We walked and walked and walked - about 8 miles each day. It was a wonderful vacation, but we are glad to be back home again.
Here are the links to the photo archives: