Saved: May 18th 2013June 4th 2012
Day six brought the Spartans to our nation's capital! The day began with the usual breakfast, but this time we had sausage and pancakes :) Yum! The drive into Washington, D.C. was good, though the local authorities seemed to be mad at tour bus, so it took a little finagling to make it to our first stop of the day, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. A few of the chaperones went to secure tickets while the rest of the group went to the White House for an incredible photo opportunity and the visitor's center. To see it in person for the first time was another one of the many breathtaking moments on our trip. The group also got a chance to walk through Lafayette Park near the White House and even got a political lesson from the protestor who was nearby.
After the group finished at the White House, they made their way to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum for our conveniently timed appointment. It was a solemn reminder of the atrocities by the Nazis before and during World War II. Needless to say, it is a very well-done museum. For those who have seen the Oklahoma City Memorial
and Museum, it was modeled after the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. It told the story of the Holocaust chronologically, beginning on the top floor and slowly working its way back down to the main floor. This was another place that everyone should visit, not just Americans. It is important for everyone to see what happened so that it never happens again.
On a lighter note, there was an interesting story while some were waiting in the front lobby area. As Owens was waiting with some students, she noticed an unattended diaper bag and was questioned by security. When she explained that the bag was not hers and had been unattended for some time, the entire lobby area had to be evacuated while they determined what kind of bomb was in the diaper bag :) Turns out the bag contained normal diaper bag paraphernalia.
Next we went to lunch at the Pentagon City Mall. It had several great options and some even had a few extra minutes to spend some of your hard-earned money! George Washington's home, Mount Vernon was our next destination which was about 40 minutes outside of the city. It was an incredible experience to walk
through his actual house (not a replica) and see it as it would have been in the late 1700's. The Mount Vernon Ladies Association has done an impeccable job of restoring the facilities. Adding to the experience was the working farm all around the museum, educational center, mansion, and out buildings. Many enjoyed a walk around the property and saw the Washington tombs. To stand just a few feet from their final resting place was truly awe-inspiring.
After enjoying a few hours at Mount Vernon, we boarded the bus, and began the journey back to the city. Remember the other day when I said that thing about weather and traffic? Well, the weather was gorgeous today! Which leaves traffic. It wasn't as bad as the other day, but it still made us about an hour late to dinner. Frustrating, but again our resilient Spartans just enjoyed a little bit of relaxing before we finally made it back to the city for dinner at Vie de France and some great French and, or Italian food (we weren't really sure which).
We devoured our food in record time and then departed for Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. For those who have
never been, it is equal parts fun and creepy! There were several presidential wax statues as well as movie stars, musicians, and sports figures. The kids really had a good time with this stop! Some even got a wax molding of their hands!
Our final stop of the day was the World War II Memorial. Opened in 2004, it is a pretty new memorial built to honor those who fought in the war and our nation's greatest generation. Even though the main fountain wasn't working, it was still a beautiful sight on a night with perfect weather. We were able to take in the views of the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument on either side of the WWII Memorial as well. It was very cool to be able to see so many prominent American symbols in one place. Our tour director, Danielle, also sent us on a scavenger hunt to find the Kilroy symbol. Many of us found it, and if you ever make it to DC, we encourage you to do the same (he can be found in two places).
Throughout the day, Danielle served as our locally licensed tour guide, so as we drove in and
out of the city, she pointed out several statues, monuments, memorials, and buildings. There were far too many to list! Day six was a resounding success and we are looking forward to the next two and as always, we love to see your comments!
There are more photos below