We used the Old Town Trolleys for two days there as we went through the actual city and to Arlington. The guides are knowledgeable, friendly and interesting. The price I thought was reasonable. You can get on and off at any stop. You really get to know the town well.
We also used the Viatour buses. Again, the guides were friendly and knowledgeable. The buses were comfortable. The first tour was to Gettysburg. We were able to see and learn a lot. The only downside was the lack of time to sightsee the shops in the town itself. Oh well. Didn't need more souvenirs anyways! The other Viatour was to Mt. Vernon and Arlington. The only downside again was the lack of time at Mt. Vernon. Three hours was not enough! If you go, make it at least five hours.
|The side of the building is marked with bullet holes, even 160 years later.|
|Devil's Den at Gettysburg|
My wife and I were impressed by the simplicity and character of the Washington family, especially in contrast with many of today's leaders who seem eager to live like kings at public expense.
I really liked the Mall. At one end is the Lincoln Memorial, at the other the Capitol. They speak together of sacrifice, unity, and freedom in the Lincoln Memorial and the power invested in the people of the country in the Capitol Building. Off to the side is the White House, speaking of the power of the Presidency but also the fact that presidents come and go, and that they are secondary to the people and the history of the nation. They should serve with humility, not with arrogance.
In the center of the Mall is the Washington Memorial, drawing attention to the founding of the country and its leader at that time. In between the two ends are many memorials to the men and women who fought and died, and to those who helped lead the country through difficult times to better times.
|WW II memorial|
Washington DC is a sobering place to go, a place for respect, thought, and reflection. We have strayed far from the ideals of our founders, and are far from liberty and justice for all. Yet we continue to strive for those ideals, and hope to leave the country in good shape to our children.
On a lighter note, I saw the insect below at Mt. Vernon. It was as big as my thumb! Lots of beautiful trees as well - Cedar of Lebanon, Cypress, and others I don't know.
In light of some of today's controversies such as the Hobby Lobby birth control mandate and the redefinition of marriage, I found the following quotes by our founders enlightening. How far we have come! Notice how the recent attempts by Obama and the LBGT community to force their views clearly go against what the founders intended.
"Almighty God hath created the mind free. All attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens...are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion...No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship or ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion. I know but one code of morality for men whether acting singly or collectively." Thomas Jefferson memorial