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VISITING OUR NATION'S CAPITOL

A night with FL neighbors and a day in DC

sunny 85 °F

Hi;

Fortunately for RV'ers there is a campground in College Park, MD just north of and closest to DC. It is one of the nicest that we have experienced thus far. Located just 2 miles from the Metro Station it is convenient to travel into the city without enduring the terrible vehicular traffic here. After arriving at Cherry Hill RV Park we got set up and decided to do our laundry. Afterwards we drove to a nearby shopping plaza to get a few grocery items. It was 'Happy Hour' so we went into a neighborhood establishment and sat at the bar, watching the cooks preparing the food orders. It was amusing and also impressive at how the cooks kept the busy grill producing food orders in an efficient fashion.

The next day, Friday, we took a walk through the large RV park, Pat walking 5 miles, me somewhat less! We promised our FL neighbors that we would stop to see them on this trip when in the DC area. They moved into their new condo in Bethesda, MD in the Spring after leaving Estero for the season. It was about a half hour drive from the campground. Located in a new high-rise building shared with a Hilton Hotel occupying half of the building on the lower 10 floors, we found it to be very nice. Their 3,000 sq.ft. apartment is on the 11th floor of the 16 floor building, & has an outdoor balcony. Stepping outside, it offers a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside. They took us to the rooftop garden for drinks and appetizers before we left for dinner at a local Italian restaurant. The area in which they now live is up-scale with dozens of restaurants & shops within a 2-3 block area. Just beautiful!

Before arriving at the campground we purchased tickets on-line for a bus tour to Mt. Vernon and Arlington National Cemetery. It required an early up (0530), the short drive to the Metro station, and a ride into Union Station in DC. We boarded the bus at 0900 and enjoyed a narrated partial tour of DC & Georgetown on the way to Mt. Vernon. It was a beautiful day to enjoy George Washington's piece of paradise. We walked the grounds, toured the mansion amid the scaffolding for restoration work is in progress. The view overlooking the Potomac River is spectacular. Lunch was very civilized in the Mt. Vernon Inn. We enjoyed a cup of butternut squash soup and a Waldorf salad. We learned that George Washington, the Father of our country, was truly an outstanding man. Without his leadership and vision for a new nation our lives would be very different.

We left Mt. Vernon for Arlington National Cemetery and stopped enroute to view the Marine Corps Iowa Jima Memorial. It is the largest bronze statue in the world and is very moving to observe, thinking of all the bloodshed and death our Marines endured in capturing this island from the Japanese army during WWII. Arlington National Cemetery is visited by 2 million people annually. Trams take visitors on tours & point out the graves of famous soldiers buried in these hallowed grounds. We stopped to view to pay respects to JFK, his wife, Jackie and their children buried there & to observe the Eternal Flame at their gravesite. The Changing of the Guard ceremony was sobering and impressive as we watched members of the US Army's 'Old Guard' ceremoniously protecting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. They do this around-the-clock, 365 days a year regardless of weather. Their 'Changing of the Guard Ceremony' was viewed in silence by all in attendance.

Returning to Union Station tired, we decided to have dinner at one of the dozens of eateries there. The seafood restaurant we chose didn't disappoint us. The Metro ride back to our car was uneventful. Our return to the motor home at 8:30 pm was welcomed for it had been a long day. Tomorrow we move on to Charlottesville, VA to visit Thomas Jefferson's estate named 'Monticello'. Sunday is also my friend, Pat's birthday.

Posted by dixter 06:30 Archived in USA Tagged the enjoying dc area

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