Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Brief Visit to Washington DC

As I said in the first post of this series, I was heading to Washington DC to catch the cherry blossoms.  I sort of caught them one year and I've been meaning to catch them since.  I read about them in the Washington Post on Thursday and decided a really spur of the moment thing.  I think if I do this next year, I'm going to plan a three day weekend to do it.  I just didn't have enough time.
 You know you're in Washington DC when you see a helicopter that looks like this.  This was flying by when I was taking pictures of the canal.  I think this was being used by someone of importance.
 I decided to park by the Lincoln Memorial because I remembered seeing some cherry blossoms near it but apparently the bigger group is on the other side.  This still looked pretty cool.
 An Alaskan Air 737 taking off from Reagan Airport.
 It was actually a pretty nice day for wandering around Washington DC.  I probably would have spent more time but I wasn't parked in the best of spots and I didn't want to have to deal with getting my car towed.
 Sadly, the lawn didn't look quite as nice as it did.
 I did manage to get some closeups of the blossoms.  Honestly, I can't wait to get a chance to get some pictures of the blossoms on Belle Isle.  I think that will be coming up pretty soon.
 The Lincoln Memorial through the blossoms.
 Another close up shot.
 Another shot.
 And why not.
 A trio of cherry blossoms.
 I decided to wander up to the monument itself.  I don't remember the last time I was this close but it's been a while.
 I will have to say that the light was cooperating with me.
 Although a bunch of other people must have had the same idea as I did because the place was swarming with people.  I think if I do this next year, I might do it so that I'm there on a weekday.
 I think this an Embrear aircraft.
 Looking towards the Washington Memorial.  It's a shame that the reflecting pond wasn't filled because I think I would have had a perfect picture because it was fairly calm.
 The Lincoln statue.  This is pretty impressive.
 From another angle.
 From a better angle.
 Looking up the columns.
 Another shot from the front.
 Another angle of the Washington Memorial.  Sadly, they were doing work on the Capitol Building, so it didn't look quite as nice.  Also, I was shooting into the sun for these.
 Another angle.  I couldn't escape the throngs of people.
 This is the second time I saw the Korean Memorial.  The other time was shortly after it was built.  I think it looks much cooler now.  I kind of like the idea of the statues of individual soldiers because you can almost feel like you are a part of this patrol.
 I kind of like the wall in the background because it almost makes the statues look like ghosts.
 These are all pretty typical for soldiers serving in the Korean War.
 The thousand yard stare.
 A shot from the rear.
 the Lincoln Memorial with a Southwest 737 flying over it.
 Since I parked fairly close to the Vietnam Memorial, I decided to get some pictures of it as well.  These statues were added to give it a more traditional look but judging by the look on his face, there is nothing traditional about these statues.  Another thousand yard stare.
 Again, these are pretty typical of soldiers that served in the Vietnam War.
 He definitely looks like he's seen too much.  That is the reason why I say this doesn't look very traditional.  Usually a statue like this doesn't depict the horrors of war.
 One more shot of the statue.
 The Vietnam Memorial was started with a great deal of controversy.  Many of the traditional veteran groups didn't like it and it was derisively called "The Ditch".  But I think over the years, people have really connected with it.  I've seen momentos like this every time I've visited.
 Given that it has the names of every US soldier that died in the war, it's kind of hard to hide the cost of war.  Usually, you will see a memorial like this in a town or county and there are only a few names from that locality.  You never see the total cost.
 The highly reflective surface makes you feel like you are a part of the memorial.  I think that is the point because it shows that you could be on here as well.  I think that is one of the reasons why many of the Vietnam Veterans connect with this memorial.
 Another shot of the memorial.
 Every so often, new names are added as they find more remains.
 I would have to say that the shape is very symbolic of the water.  It starts out small and grows and then starts to taper off again.  That's how our involvement in the War was.
 I got back to my car and I was going to try to go to the other side.  Somehow I ended up at Arlington and I decided to head back.  I will have to try this view again some day.
 Sadly, there were a ton of people and at this point I was frustrated and just wanted to start on my trek home.
However, I did get one picture of the Washington Memorial with cherry blossoms around it.

Even though I didn't spend a lot of time there, I did have fun.  Next year, I will have to plan this trip a little better and make sure that I have at least one full day in DC.  If I do that, I can just take the train into town and I wont have to worry about parking.

Anyway, I hope that you enjoy the pictures I did take.

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