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Washington DC – Day 2

July 3, 2015

Happy Friday amazing readers! Just two days after July 1, and a day before July Fourth – here in the Capital City of the USA.

What a day it was! No sleeping in for this traveling family. No sirree! Everyone was up and at ’em and we were outta here before 8:30 this morning!

First stop – Lincoln Memorial. This place is huge! There are a lot of steps, and inside you see his inauguration speeches on the walls, and a statue of the man himself. It is awe inspiring. Around the top of the building are the names of the states who were part of the union. It is an incredible structure and pictures do not do it justice.

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On our way out, I took a panoramic picture from just outside the memorial, you can see the National Mall up to the Monument. Gorgeous day, incredible view!

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We made our way over to the Korean War memorial. This is a really interesting, very authentic and somewhat disturbing place. Soldiers are made of stainless steel, and are designed as if they were moving as a group through a field. You can see the expressions on their faces, and along one side is a wall with faces inside and images depicting various events, and with a bit of a mirror effect you can see the soldiers and yourself.

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We crossed back over the mall, and headed this time to the Vietnam War Memorial. Again, words cannot describe how amazing this is. All of the names of those who died are listed here, in order of how they died. The walls have a mirror effect so you can see yourself and those around you. It is very sombre and people are very respectful as they are walking by. Some look in giant books to find out where the names they are looking for are at. Some bring paper and etch the names from the wall onto the paper. I took a picture (below), but it’s hard to see the grandeur without being there.

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The next memorial we went to was the World War II Memorial. This one is HUGE. There are fountains and water effects everywhere, and each state is listed, as well as many locations of battles, and some quotes from various people. I’ll have more pictures to post later. We spent a bit of time here taking pictures, reading inscriptions, and learning a little bit more history.

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Kept walking (yes, did some serious walking today). Stopped by the Monument, and then headed over to the Smithsonian National American History Museum. Just a quick note, the National Mall is flanked by a number of Smithsonian Institutions – and all of them are free to the public. Yep. Free. And they are incredible! We were thinking we might get to three of them today, and still have the evening free, but we were wrong. We were in the National American History Museum for almost four hours, and we did not go to all of the exhibits. We finally decided it was time to move to another one, and it was getting crazy busy. This pictures is of really old 3D picture viewing. You put the picture in the end of the goggles, and it’s a bit of a 3D effect. They had the really old BIG wheel bicycles that we could sit on. There was an amazing exhibit of American Enterprise, a Money exhibit. We also saw one on transportation, the American Presidency, the First Ladies, and host of other things. Unbelievable. Just amazing. And exceedingly well done. The transportation exhibit had a couple of full size steam engines, lots of boats, streetcars, and plenty of vehicles. The original Chrysler Mini-van made the exhibit too, as the mini-van revolutionized family travel. We could easily have spent all day here.

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Next stop, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. This place is massive! I’ve just put a couple of pictures here, of just a very small part of it, I’d say like 1/25th of the building, and you can see they have FULL SIZE REAL AIRPLANES here! Yes! It’s amazing! We got to see exhibits about exploring space, exhibits about how the Wright brothers built their first heavier than air flying machine. Exhibits about jet engines, exhibits about airplanes launched from aircraft carriers. It keeps going and going and going. Incredible exhibits. Incredibly busy. You can easily spend another whole day here.

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We decided we needed a bit of a break, and fortunately the largest McDonalds I have ever seen is attached to this museum! We stopped for milkshakes and some fries. I ordered a McFlurry with M&M’s and apparently must have been the guy’s first day or something. Didn’t even crush the M&M’s, just mixed them in with the ice cream!;) Still tasted great and really hit the spot!

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Well, by about 5:30 we’d had enough of walking, so we went to Uber and got a ride over to Georgetown Cupcakes! Wahoo! Our kids were so excited (so were we) to go to the place where they made the TV Show DC Cupcakes! We waited outside in line for about 45 minutes for the chance to go in and spend money on fancy cupcakes! We picked out a dozen to take back to our place! Boy was that fun – and the most money I’ve ever spent on cupcakes at one time….

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By now we’re coming on close to 7 PM, so we walked a few blocks down through Georgetown to Johnny Rockets, and finished our day with supper. They had the Calgary / Montreal CFL football game on! Yep, all the way down here in Georgetown, in Washington, DC, we got to watch Calgary get throttled by Montreal 28-11. A good night for sure!

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After supper, back to our place to have a cupcake and plan tomorrow, and off to bed. Over 14,000 steps today, and a lot of standing and looking / interacting with exhibits and people. Thanks for reading everyone and sharing part of our holiday with us! Tomorrow it’s Fourth of July, and it looks like it will be an awesome (although rainy) day here in Washington, DC

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