Skip to main content

A stroll along The Mall

A few weeks ago, Maggie and I headed up to Washington, DC for a fun weekend.  We met up with co-blogger Doug Kerr and Adam Froehlig for some sight seeing along The Mall.  This was really both of ours first time to Washington.  I had been there once before on a band trip in the mid-90s, but I didn't really see much, nor did I take any pictures.

For the entire photo set on flickr - head here.

After a quick lunch, we headed down Pennsylvania Avenue towards the Capitol.  One of the most impressive things about the Capitol building is its size.

IMG_3312

You really can't appreciate the size and the idea of 'Capitol Hill' until you see it in person.

IMG_3362

Another amazingly impressive view is down the Mall towards the Washington Monument.  It is one of many views along The Mall that are awe inspiring, even on a dreary overcast day.

IMG_3318

Adam had suggested that we visit the National Botanic Garden which is located right next to the Capitol.  This unplanned stop quickly became a favorite.

Pretty in Pink

IMG_3334

Hibiscus Flower - US Botanic Garden

From there, it was a walk down to the Washington Monument along The Mall.  I never realized how much of a public park The Mall is.  Picnics, pick-up soccer and ultimate frisbee games, among other activities were going on throughout the length of the walk.

IMG_3364

Even though the Cherry Blossom Festival was a few weeks away.  A few blossoms were just starting to peek out.

IMG_3373

The Washington Monument is impressive especially as a singular piece.  We were unable to get a guided tour of the monument, as they sell out fast.  You typically want to make a reservation online about a week or more in advance of your visit - they sell out that quickly.

IMG_3387

The World War II Monument is very powerful.  Dedicated in 2004, it salutes the millions of Americans that served during the war both home and abroad.  It is an amazing dedication to all of the Americans that sacrificed so much - and for many their lives - during World War II.

IMG_3401

IMG_3394

IMG_3406

IMG_3398

To me, the most powerful and touching piece of the memorial is the Freedom Wall.

IMG_3408

The wall consists of 4,048 gold stars.  Each star represents 100 Americans who lost their lives during the war.

IMG_3413

We next went to the Lincoln Memorial.  Another structure that you can't imagine the size until you see it up close and personal.

IMG_3417

IMG_3428

Also, the views of across The Mall and the Potomac from the Lincoln Memorial are just as impressive.  On the west side of the monument - the view looking across the Potomac and over the Memorial Bridge to Arlington National Cemetery is quiet yet powerful.

IMG_3435

Looking East towards the Capitol, it's breathtaking.

IMG_3424

The Reflecting Pool is under renovations.  Even though it is not there, you can see why that view from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial is one of the best in our nation's capital.

Time was starting to run short, so our final stop was at the Vietnam Memorial.  To many, the memorial is one of the most powerful and personal of all the monuments in Washington.

IMG_3439

IMG_3447

IMG_3450

Washington is an amazing place to visit.  What we saw in three to four hours is only a small piece of the experience.  However, this small visit was more than enough to make Maggie and I realize even more how amazing and special of a country we do live in.  We hope to be back soon!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Check the box: Interstate 495 to 87 conversion administratively approved

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials have recently approved North Carolina's application to remove the short-lived Interstate 495 and future I-495 from Raleigh to Rocky Mount.  This administrative move most likely will result in North Carolina signing Interstate 87 and Future I-87 on the entire corridor in the near future.

Approved in 2013, Interstate 495 was first signed in 2014 along US 64 from Interstate 440 in Raleigh to Interstate 540 in Knightdale.  The remaining segment of highway to Rocky Mount was signed as Future Interstate 495.  However, in 2016, North Carolina's congressional legislators were able to get language in the 2015 FAST ACT designating the US 64/US 13/US 17 corridor from Raleigh to Norfolk as an Interstate.  In 2016, the FHWA and AASHTO designated this entire corridor (including the existing Interstate and Future 495) as Interstate 87.  (NCDOT had applied for Interstate 89 along this route.)

It is currently unknown when t…

The story on how the unbuilt US 40 Expressway in Brownsville took 40 years to complete.

For nearly four decades, the four lane US 40 just east of Brownsville came to an abrupt end - shown in the photo above - at Grindstone Road in Redstone Township.   In the late 1960s, what was then the Pennsylvania Division of Highways (PennDOH) extended a new four lane alignment of US 40 eastwards from Broadway Street slightly over one mile to Grindstone Road where an incomplete diamond interchange was built.  Earlier in the decade, PennDOH had built a four lane US 40 in Washington County into Brownsville complete with a new crossing over the Monongahela River known as the Lane Bane Bridge.  This new highway and bridge allowed US 40 to bypass the older Intercounty Bridge and downtown Brownsville. 

After this new highway opened, nothing would happen to it for nearly forty years.  US 40 traffic would use the ramps for this planned diamond interchange and then jog on Grindstone Road briefly before continuing towards Uniontown on the original National Road. 
What is unknown (at least to…

Starrucca Viaduct

Even older than the Tunkhannock Viaduct is the Starrucca Viaduct, built in 1848. Located in the far northeastern Pennsylvania borough of Lanesboro, this impressive bridge carried the New York and Erie Railroad over a valley as well as the Starrucca Creek and is currently the oldest stone arch railroad in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (1). An engineering marvel of its time, and even in today's world, the 1080 foot length, 100 foot height and 25 foot width (2) of the viaduct is simply spectacular. Using local materials such as Pennsylvania bluestone, the Starrucca Viaduct has stood the test of time.With a price estimated at $325,000 in 1848 dollars, the bridge was one of the largest and costliest stone arch railroad bridges built in America at its time (3) . However, the very material that made it expensive to build gave the Starrucca Viaduct much durabilitycompared to other viaducts built in that era.

I've happened to check out the Starrucca Viaduct on a few occasions sin…