Washington, DC

9/23/16 to 9/29/16

Friday 9/23/16     We were on the road this morning around 9 AM and headed to Washington DC. Arrived at Cherry Hill Campgrounds around 4:00 PM. I made reservations here for 6 nights. My cousin’s wedding and reception were Saturday night, my uncle’s birthday Sunday afternoon and we planned on doing some sightseeing in Washington DC for 3 days. Although expensive (because of location) this is a very nice place. Not exactly our kind of place but it’s the closest to DC. It’s a big campground with 400 sites and it’s like a little city on its own. They have everything you could want. Pools, laundry, putt putt, movie rooms, playgrounds, water play area, nice clean restrooms and showers, an event center and even a small cafe that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The laundry room and cafe were in the same building so we ended up washing clothes and eating dinner. Then back to the trailer to rest from 2 days of driving.

Saturday 9/24/16      2 MONTHS ON THE ROAD!

We just relaxed most of the morning catching up on the blog and doing a little cleaning. Later in the day, we headed to The Immanuel Church on the Hill in AlexandriaVA for my cousin’s wedding. Elizabeth (my cousin) and her partner Karen have been together for 34 years and today they got married. It was a beautiful ceremony with about 40 guests attending. A small reception followed in the church hall. Congratulations Elizabeth and Karen!

Sunday 9/25/16     Again, we didn’t do much in the morning, but later in the day, we went to celebrate my Uncle Dave’s 100th birthday. Family and friends gathered in one of the rooms at the care facility where he lives. Happy 100th Birthday Uncle Dave!

Monday 9/26/26     Today we did some sightseeing in Washington DC. I didn’t want to drive in DC so we took the bus and Metrorail. We can catch the bus right at the campgrounds and take it to the subway station. Then take the subway into town. We spent an hour traveling to downtown.

Once we got our bearings we headed to The US Capital Building. They recently removed the scaffolding and are still cleaning up from a 60 million dollar restoration project. Just in time for the next presidential inauguration which is held here. We took an organized tour of the building and got to see everything. The inside of the rotunda is amazing.

From the US Capital Building, we traveled by underground tunnel to the Library of Congress.

We also stopped at the Supreme Court Building, the Smithsonian Visitors Center, and the Washington Monument.

It was cold and cloudy that day and started getting dark early so we walked back to the subway station and headed back to the campground. A busy day in DC but we didn’t get to see everything. Just walking around the National Mall area we put 9 miles on Rose’s Fitbit.

Wednesday 9/28/16     Back into Washington today. We felt pretty good about negotiating the buses and subway so we took a bus, rode the subway, transferred to another subway and after about an hour, got off at Arlington National Cemetery. We walked around here for a while visiting John F. Kennedy’s gravesite and watching the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The first burial in Arlington took place on May 13, 1864, and continues today with more than 3000 a year. The cemetery is the final resting place for more than 400,000 service members.

From the cemetery, we walked across The Arlington Memorial Bridge to the Lincoln Memorial. This memorial is huge. When you sit on the steps you have a beautiful view of the Washington Monument and the Reflecting Pool. It was a nice sunny day so we sat there for a while to enjoy it. I read that this memorial is visited by 6 million people a year and it was crowded when we were there.

From the Lincoln Memorial we walked to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, The Vietnam Woman’s Memorial, The National WWII Memorial, The Washington Monument (again), and finally The White House.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The Vietnam Woman’s Memorial

National World War II Memorial

Washington Monument

The White House

After The White House, we walked to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and spent a couple hours there until they closed at 5:30. Lots to see and read in here. They have more than 12,750 artifacts, 49 million pages of archival documents, 80,000 historical photographs, 200,000 registered survivors, 1,000 hours of archival footage, 84,000 library items, and 9,000 oral history testimonies. Another 9 1/2 miles walking around DC.

The last thing we did was to ride the subway and bus back to the campground. 5:30 pm is still considered rush hour so it was an interesting ride back.

Wednesday 9/28/16   It was raining when we woke up and the weather forecast called for rain all day so we decided to visit a museum today. The Smithsonian has a National Air and Space Museum near the National Mall in DC but the problem is they are running out of space. They have a companion museum located near the Dulles Airport in Chantilly, Virginia that is housed in two gigantic hangers. It’s called the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center and was opened in 2003. It has lots of room and has thousands of aviation and space artifacts, including a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, a Concorde, the Enola Gay and the Space Shuttle Discovery. It’s 37 miles from the campground but with the Washington DC traffic, it took us an hour to get there. This place is unbelievable! We got there around 11 am and left at 5:30 pm when they closed and didn’t get to see everything. This museum has full-size airplanes, jets, helicopters and rockets with descriptions and information about each one. We took a tour with a small group for about two hours guided by a retired Vietnam pilot. We learned a lot more listening to him than we would have on our own. Free admission but they do charge $15.00 to park.

We left the museum and headed back to the campground. Since it was around 5:30 pm we really got stuck in the Washington DC traffic. It took us an hour and a half to travel the 37 miles back. 

Washington DC is a great place to visit. There is so much to see. You can spend a full day in most of the museums. A lot of walking!

Thursday 9/29/16 to Saturday 10/01/16   Thursday morning we packed up and drove to Spotsylvania, VA. My sister Nancy lives in Spotsylvania which is only 67 miles from Washington DC.  Since we were so close we wanted to stop and see her. She had plenty of room for us to park our trailer in her driveway for two nights.

For the last week or so I could feel that something was wrong with the transmission in the truck. It wasn't shifting right and when I started moving from a stop it would slip. Once I got on a freeway and kept it between 60 to 65 mph it seemed fine. While in Spotsylvania I took the truck to a mechanic that Karl knew. He checked it out and suggested I get it rebuilt. I asked him if he thought I could make it back to Youngstown and he said he wouldn't recommend it.  But I couldn't hang around Spotsylvania waiting for it because Nancy and Karl were leaving for a vacation the same day we were leaving. So Saturday morning we took a chance and drove it home. I babied the truck until we got on the freeway and only stopped one time in the 350 miles home. We made it without breaking down! Our 2016 trip was over. Once home I did take the truck to Redlich transmission and they replaced the transmission. $$$$!

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