Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A beautiful day in the Capitol / Capital

This morning it was ABSOLUTELY gorgeous in D.C. Everything was blooming!

We were lucky enough to hit the cherry blossoms just past peak-- happily the recent rain didn't spoil them.

Aren't they pretty???

The FDR Memorial is one of my favorites...

it has four different sections, is very interactive, and has lots of water features.

The Tidal Basin was simply gorgeous-- perfect for photos!

We had the kids line up for another group shot-- which was difficult because there was a very rowdy group of kids running every which way around us.

Here Ron was praising our kids for being such good listeners (high expectations always lead to amazing behavior!)

This is one of my more artistic shots, which I am very proud of :)

The pillars of the Jefferson Memorial on a crisp Spring day.

I just love the memorials!!!!

Next it was off to the White House...

for a photo op.

Ron wasn't sure what I was doing, but this is one of his favorite photos of the trip :)

After lunch at Union Station we took a walk towards the Capitol building. We passed the Supreme Court and I snapped a quick photo.

Inside the building I took some kick butt photos-- if I do say so myself!!

This mural shows all of American history in a nutshell. On the far left you can see the Gold Rush followed by the Civil War.

Washington inside the dome and I was able to hold my magnificent lens steady enough to get this really amazing close-up.

We had the wackiest tour guide but he gave us the most incredible tour.

One of the huge portraits has this patriotic rainbow-- all red, white and blue.

Ron constantly kept the parents informed of our progress with his iPhone-- posting videos, Twitter and FB feeds.

We quickly paused for some exterior shots...

I love this one because you can see that both houses are in session (note the flags flying over both wings of the building.) You see, we visited during budget crunch time-- if a compromise wasn't reached in the days we were visiting many government departments were going to shut down.

Random photo-- but I love it!!! This was just an old man sitting out on the mall-- very American!

Next we took a short bus ride to Arlington National Cemetery.

We watched the changing of the guard...

a must for every tourist in D.C.

But the most exciting part of the day was that our school was selected to lay a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Ron selected four darling kids to do it based on an essay explaining why they wanted to participate.

Our wreath (purchased by the tour company) was gorgeous and had Rio Norte on it!

The kids were so worried that they would do things wrong...

but they were impeccable!!! All of the kids found it to be such an honor-- especially when they looked over and saw about a dozen veterans in wheel chairs watching them.

Our final stop for the night was some memorial hopping.

We walked the Vietnam Memorial...

the kids are always amazed to see the sheer number of names on the wall.

We spent a great deal of time at the Lincoln Memorial-- wonder why????

I never noticed the typo on the wall before (notice "Future" was carved "Euture"). The poor carver must have been really mad at himself. Whoops!!!

Finally we went to the Korean War Memorial.

It is super hard to photograph this at night, but I kind of like the eerie photos!

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