Duane and I just got back from a lovely whirlwind trip to D.C. for the Memorial Day weekend! I don't know WHY I say "whirlwind" anymore, because ALL of our trips are like that. Flying stand-by tends to limit flight options, so, we headed out Friday night, and headed back last night (Sunday), as the return flights on Monday looked REALLY full.
This was my NINTH trip to D.C., so I'm not quite as "spazzy" about doing stuff. Our first trips there were a little frantic, as I wanted to see EVERYTHING, and had very little time to do so. Now that we've seen most of the stuff on my "To See" list, we can just focus on enjoying our time with Duane's friend Peggy, and pick and choose what we want to do.
We started out with breakfast at a cool diner near Peggy's place, and were joined by her friend Alberta, who we met on my second or third trip there, and who we always enjoy being able to spend time with. We all caught the metro after breakfast, and headed to Arlington National Cemetary...A LOVELY place to honor those that have served our country, It's very peaceful, and quiet there, and the lines of tombstones are very sobering and serene.
We were able to see the "changing of the guard", and had a chance to walk through the "old part" of the cemetary, where soldiers from the Civil War are buried. We spent a little time at the graves of the Kennedys, but it was "HIGH SEASON" for tourists, so couldn't get very close. I DID see the graves of Bobby and Ted Kennedy for the first time. It was an honor to be able to pay my respects to them.
After a few hours (and acquiring a nasty sunburn) there, we headed to the Pentagon to see the 9/11 memorial. Wow! What a sobering thing to view. They've created "benches" for each person who died in the tragedy. Each bench, arranged by birth year of the victim, has the name of the person inscribed on the bench. There is a pool of water, with a spotlight to reflect at night under each. The benches of those who died on the plane face away from the Pentagon, toward the sky. The benches of those who died in the Pentagon, face the Pentagon. The youngest vicitim was three. The oldest was 79.
After two very contemplative, hallowed, sober "tourist spots", we broke the heaviness with a trip to the mall at Pentagon City. We found a lot of great stores, and had a good time walking around. Pentagon City is a fairly new area, near the airport, and we'll need to explore it further on our next trip there.
We then took the metro back to Peggy's, regrouped, and then went to an Irish Pub for dinner. We finished the evening with a movie in Peggy's basement. A full day, but we saw some new things!
Sunday was very mellow. We got a late start, did a little shopping, stopped at a cemetary near Peggy's house so that she could pay her respects to a former boss, and then headed to Maggiano's for lunch! The Maggiano's in the twin cities closed last year, so we've been going through "lasagna withdrawal". It was DELIGHTFUL to be able to enjoy some again!
We watched a movie back at Peggy's after lunch, then headed to the airport, and caught the 6:30 flight home, snagging the last two remaining seats in first class (!). It was a BUSY weekend! I think I was in bed by 8:30!!!!
Here's hoping YOU were able to pay tribute to those who have served our country, and that you are enjoying the Memorial Day weekend with family, friends, and fun!!!!!