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Day 1590 - Spring Break Vacation 2019

Sunday, April 07, 2019

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!

Brief highlights:

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, 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:
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  • JUNEAU2010
    All places I want to see. My brother's roommate in Afghanistan is buried at Arlington, so I will pay my respects when I get there.
    624 days ago
    Yeah. I was kind of blown away by the size of that statue as well. It's been a while since I saw it. Your photo album gives a couple of shots that help put it in perspective too. I think the figures are 32 ft tall... 'I think"...

    ps... my neighbor and I have payback all the time.. lol... we're old friends... :-)
    649 days ago
    I've never been to D.C. but have always wanted to go. It sounds like you had an amazing trip and I'll be the cherry blossoms were beautiful. TBH, I didn't know we had a Holocaust memorial here in the states. The pictures and the video you took were great. I can only imagine how sad it must have been to go through the museum. emoticon emoticon
    670 days ago
    I love reading and rereading your blogs.
    Thank you for your enthusiasm and positivity
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    676 days ago
  • FITNIK2020
    a running group in Montreal that had about 200 members - they swept the memories that haunt them from their minds by running together in all kinds of weather, 50 to 60 miles a week. Now their kids run...and anyone can join.
    679 days ago
  • FITNIK2020
    I have yet to visit the Holocaust museum. In Montreal snd Toronto we know many people eho were in the camps, who escaped, were liberated, and many visit schools to tell their stories. The man who was a runner in the camps, delivering messages founded
    679 days ago
  • PICKIE98
    I am not on facebook, but I bet the pics are great!
    680 days ago
    I love Washington D.C. went there years back with a girlfriend as we were traveling together to Cape Cod to see her sis. SO much to see and appreciate in the history of our great country. I will check out your links and thanks so much for sharing! emoticon
    683 days ago
    We went to Washington a few years ago, and were there for the cherry blossom parade. It reminded us of our earlier trip to Japan, also this time of year, and the beautiful blossoms there. We had only 3 days in the city, and spent most of our time visiting the large monuments. I was most impressed by the monument to the Korean war... the size of the soldiers, slogging through the mud... perhaps because the older brother of a friend of mine enlisted in the Canadian army at that time, and never returned from Korea. I remember him as the older brother who was always ready to play ball if we needed an extra person, or to help us learn to ride our bicycles.

    So much sadness represented there. We didn't see the holocaust museum, but have seen several in Europe. Canada has just created its own holocaust memorial, but it hadn't yet opened when we were in Ottawa in 2018. I agree that we in North America could have done more to help.

    I'd like to go back to Washington. There is much to see, and it's a beautiful city.


    686 days ago
    I have friends who visited Washington and enjoyed the blossoms.
    687 days ago
    Oh wow! What a wonderful Spring Break. Thank you so much for sharing. I'm off to gaze at your vacation snaps!
    691 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/8/2019 8:05:49 PM
    Cherry blossoms would be the highlight for me. I love them. It sounded like a wonderful trip and you took lots of great pictures. I would have enjoyed traveling with your group as I like to see a lot of things. My hubby is more laid back. In other words, I'm a terrier and he's a Bassett Hound. LOL.
    692 days ago
  • PICKIE98
    What a wonderful trip. I would need at least two weeks there.. I have not been there since 1965.
    692 days ago
    What an awesome trip! I have also been to the Holocaust Museum in DC and NYC. I also went to several in Poland. Thank you so much for your blog!
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    692 days ago
    Awesome! I enjoyed your Facebook posting. Thank you for sharing your vacation with us. We're overdue a trip to DC. The last I was there a peanut farmer was in the White House.
    692 days ago
    love all the pics.

    As I told you while you were on your trip, I really want to go to DC when I have at least a week. Maybe sis & I can take her youngest on one of his college breaks.

    692 days ago
    Good for you. So glad you had a great spring break. emoticon
    692 days ago
    Awesome. I loved the pictures. What a great trip. emoticon
    692 days ago
    I am ready to go back. The cherry blossoms are unique
    692 days ago
    What a great trip. I went to DC with my daughter for her 8th grade class trip back in 1998 and it moved me more than I expected. As the tour bus pulled up to the Iwo Jima memorial, I was struck with how large it was and I got a little teary as we got close. There was a whole lotta walkin for sure!


    Thanks for sharing your trip!
    693 days ago
    Sounds like an amazing trip. And the cherry blossoms!
    693 days ago
    Wow, that sounds like an awesome trip!
    693 days ago
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