Liberty Park 2018

Our journey to the Statue of Liberty both begins and ends at Liberty Park where an old train station is used for tickets to the boats that take you to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. We had a long walk to get here as the place was very busy and we figure we parked about a mile away. We caught the 3:30 ferry from here (after going through security) and returned around 6pm. On exiting we visited the 911 memorial which has two parallel walls with the names of all those souls lost that horrible day. When looking directly at the memorial it creates an illusion of hose the NY skyline must have looked from that location before 911. At the front are twisted metal from the fallen towers on display which really brings the reality of the tragedy home. Read more »

Posted: August 12th, 2018 under Museums, Parks, USA - No Comments.

Jefferson Memorial Washington DC 2018

There were many places we did not get to see as we only had a finite amount of time in Washington before we had to drive to New York. One place we saw at a distance everytime we took a cab was the Jefferson Memorial which was located on the other side of the Potomac. This was as close as we got to the monument, although we did try driving there later, only to make a wrong turn and end up heading back toward the hotel (and NY so we kept on driving). The driving is not easy in Washington DC and we did not take the car out of the parking garage until we left for NY. Our apologies to Thomas Jefferson but we tried. Read more »

Posted: August 12th, 2018 under Museums, Parks, USA - No Comments.

Smithsonian Natural History Museum 2018

With rain in the afternoon on Saturday we spent the time exploring a couple of the Smithsonian museums. The Natural History Museum was very crowded and we had to wait in a 20 minute line to get in (they do security scans in all the museums). Dad visited the Smithsonian decades ago and wanted to see the dinosaurs, but that part of the museum was being renovated and he never got to see it, so this visit we made it up to Dad. The museum also hosted the Hope Diamond which was stored in the gem area of the museum. Awesome displays of animals and man were on display over several floors and they even had a butterfly exhibit with live butterflies, but we did not visit it since we see this on our Macinac visits and it had a long line. The ocean exhibit was fantastic with everything from whales to skeletons of whales which were hanging down from the ceiling. The mammal exhibit was like going to a zoo and we were thinking that probably is where many of the animals came from after they passed on. The dinosaur exhibit had a T Rex and Triceratop skeletons on display along with many smaller dinosaurs. You could also peer into the lab and watch the people work on fossils which was reminded us of a scene in Jurassic park. All in all it was very much worth the wait. Read more »

Posted: August 11th, 2018 under Museums, USA - No Comments.

Smithsonian American History Museum 2018

The forecast called for rain Saturday afternoon so we planned on visiting the Smithsonian during this time frame. The first museum was the American History Museum which had a variety of artifacts including the First Lady exhibit, Julia Childs exhibit, and even Archie Bunkers chair. Without a doubt the highlight was the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to compose the National Anthem. It was in a special area and photography was not allowed to help preserve it so the only pictures we got are from the outside of the exhibit. So much to see and so little time while visiting the Smithsonian. Read more »

Posted: August 11th, 2018 under Museums, USA - No Comments.

Trump Hotel Washington DC 2018

While walking down the streets of washington DC we came across this beautiful building and we could not resist taking pictures since we heard so much about it during the 2016 election (it opened the same year after being renovated). This is the old post office building and is just gorgeous with the clock tower and fairy tale castle looks. Its 315-foot (96 m) high Clock Tower houses the “Bells of Congress” and is the third tallest building in Washington at the time of this visit. Read more »

Posted: August 11th, 2018 under USA - No Comments.

Washington DC 2018

While the monuments and three branches of Government were all impressive, one of the funnest and most interesting things to do was just walk the streets of Washington DC. Almost every building is “something” such as a dept of agriculture, FBI building, Library of Congress, Hubert Humphrey building, FEMA, etc. Mary even found a Marshall store (which is one of her favorites) in one of these buildings. We tried to keep these pics in order as we saw them, so we started with a picture of where our adventure began, in the park, and our day ended with James taking a much needed dip in the pool. Read more »

Posted: August 11th, 2018 under Museums, Parks, USA - No Comments.

Supreme Court Washington DC 2018

Right behind the Capitol is the Supreme Court. The Capitol pretty much hides the Supreme court from the park or monument strip so it would be very easy to be missed. We put special interest on this building for James because at the current time the Senate is in the process of approving a ninth judge. Justice Kennedy retired earlier in the year and the current nominee is Brett Kavanaugh and the interview process is getting ready to begin. We told James he would probably be seeing a lot more of the Supreme Court in the near future because of these developments so he will be monitoring the hearings on TV to see what happens. Read more »

Posted: August 10th, 2018 under Museums, USA - No Comments.

Capitol Washington DC 2018

Probably the prettiest architecture in Washington, the Capitol was the final leg of our walk through the park, although behind it were the National Archives and Supreme Court. The Capitol was very close to our hotel room so we took a couple pictures from the roof of the hotel of the Capitol building at night (the roof of our hotel also hosted the swimming pool, which made it a real fun place to visit). Part of the Capitol was under construction while we were there, making for some interesting pictures of a work in progress. Like many of the other huge structures in Washington the closer we got to the structure, the worse the pictures looked because the buildings and monuments are so big. Read more »

Posted: August 10th, 2018 under Museums, Parks, USA - No Comments.

Washington Monument Washington DC 2018

Right in the middle of the monument strips is probably the most recognizable one of all, the Washington Monument. Surrounded by flags and flanked with the World War 2 Memorials (Atlantic and Pacific) it towers above everything else in the area. In fact, the closer we got to the monument the harder it was to take pictures as it was so big. We thought it was really cool when a full rainbow peeked out for us right over the monument and we got several pictures of this. While rain was always a threat, we were very fortunate to miss it as we were indoors when the worst of it hit, fortunately we were able to enjoy the bi-product of the rain (the rainbow) and also the remainder of the wonderful summer day. Read more »

Posted: August 10th, 2018 under Museums, USA - No Comments.

World War Two Memorial Washington DC 2018

As we made our way from the Vietnam Memorial to the Washington monuments, there were two beautiful monuments flanking each side of the monument. Both were World War 2 Memorials, one for the Pacific and one for the Atlantic. In between the two memorials there is a beautiful fountain. The pillars of the memorial contain the names of the states and territories of the United States in 1945, James was quick to find Michigan as you would expect. This monument is relatively recent, opening in 2004 during the Bush administration. Supposedly the words Kilroy Was Here are inscribed in two places on the memorial, although we did not notice them. Read more »

Posted: August 10th, 2018 under Museums, Parks - No Comments.