Thursday started bright and early with me stepping on the zipper pull from my day bag – a miniature Eiffel tower; more about that later. I went downstairs for toast and coffee takeout from the restaurant. I had to make my own toast and pour my own coffee but since every morning they charged a different price, it was quite funny waiting for the bill.
Today we had a few more things down on the Mall to see. We started by wanting to see the front of the White House up a little closer, as we had only seen it from the other side of the Ellipse. We walked across Pennsylvania Avenue and continued on, only to be stopped by Security as Marine 1 (the President’s Helicopter) was landing on the lawn to pick him up. We got some pictures of it taking off after a long wait. We then walked to a central area where we could take pictures of the typical White House you see on the postcards. Hurried to make sure we got there before the hundreds of school kids we had surrounding us.
Washington has more helicopters flying overhead then I have seen anywhere else. Even Southern Ontario OPP in marijuana season doesn’t compare. Every time you turn around another helicopter is flying overhead. When we flew into Ronald Reagan Airport our flight path was right over the Pentagon and we couldn’t distinguish a no-fly zone anywhere.
We took pictures of the Jefferson Memorial from there but we never visited it. Peggy kept looking for the Jeffersonian, Bones and Booth but we never found them either. Next we followed the Tidal Basin around to the FDR Memorial. It is huge and spread out. Each Presidential term was set out in a new area. Since he had four terms, it was pretty massive. There were lots of waterfalls and statues depicting him, bread lines, fireside chats, Tennessee Valley Authority and radio programs etc. Only one statue was of Eleanor and one was of his favorite dog. Lots of information and even his wheel chair (inside the building that had the bookstore).
We headed off for a midmorning coffee and found a couple of ducks that were begging Oreos and other treats from the school children. By then my foot was starting to act up and I was having trouble walking. Turned out it was a slight sprain but I wasn’t letting it stop me. We took a taxi back into the downtown area and went to the Old Post Office building for lunch. Haha. I thought we had seen lots of kids before but the food court was wall to wall students. We opted to go up in the tower first in hopes that some of the children would have left by the time we came back down. The view from the top is city-wide. There are no high rises in the city or surrounding area. I think that ten floors is about the top and many buildings are six to eight floors high. Therefore the view is unobstructed. There are bells in the tower and on the sixth floor there is an area for a bell ringing society to do their thing. Visiting bell ringers can evidently join in if they get an appointment. There were people repelling off the Tower when we were there. Everyone outside was sitting watching as they did different acrobatics on the way from the top to a balcony about halfway down.
We ate at a Deli downstairs. Peggy asked for an iced tea – thinking a can or fountain drink – she got a real one with tea poured over ice. Not a lot of taste in that iced tea. We browsed all the shops and had our picture taken with the President – It was a good fake I put it on Facebook and people asked how I got to see him. Bought a few souvenirs and decided to go the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for the afternoon. It is on the property of the Catholic University of America on the opposite end of the Red Line Metro. This is the largest Catholic Church in the Americas and it is huge. Not only is the main part of the church huge there is another level known as the Crypt down below which is where daily mass is said. It also has numerous side altars and chapels. One interesting one was dedicated to Our Lady of La Vang from Viet Nam and included a statue brought from Viet Nam to keep it from being destroyed. Peggy did more exploring on this one then I did as my foot was very sore.
We went back to the Elephant and Castle for supper. We wandered back to the hotel for TV, soaked my foot in cold water and off to bed.