Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Record-Ode to Washington

Earlier this month we broke a family record-living in one place for more than three years! (Right now I am knocking on wood, especially since I have moved when each of my previous babies were nine months old!) While we hate being so far from family, the BYU Cougars, and the west coast time zone, we truly love this city. There is so much to do and see! The architecture is amazing, the history is fascinating, and the topography is beautiful. No matter what season, each time I drive from my home to the city I am in awe at how gorgeous the river looks surrounded by trees and rough edges, the mystique of Georgetown on the river's opposite edge, the monuments jutting out of the ground, and the politicos rushing to Capital Hill in the back of their chauffeured Lincoln Town Cars. They remind me of the common saying here, that Washington D.C. is Hollywood for ugly people. So, I thought I would pay tribute to my fair city with a little picture tour. Maybe it will encourage some of you to come visit or visit more often!
This is the parkway Scott drives into the city each morning. Lovely, in the fall, winter, and spring!
Key Bridge-D.C. is a city full of majestic bridges. This bridge takes us Virginian's into the prestigious Georgetown section of the city. Georgetown is a bustling place full of yummy food, great shopping, row houses containing some of Washington's most powerful political players, and of course the University, which one blogger friend described as looking like HOGWARTS! I couldn't have picked a better description. (Thanks Allie)

Not far from Georgetown is Washington National Cathedral. This is an Episcopalian Church, mammoth in size and well worth visiting.
Closer to the National Mall is Washington's China Town district. This is right next to the Verizon Center where the Washington Wizards and the Washington Capitals play. Did I mention it is a great city for sports too?
While I am a bit of a METRO snob, my boys love riding the subway around the city. I think it is a great option if you enjoy taking risks with your life. Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a bit. It is not that there are scary people on the METRO, although there are a few, it is just the safety record of the transit system is a little sub par at best.

In case you were not aware, Washington is also home to the President of the United States. Most visitors are a little disappointed when they first see the White House in person.

Washingtonians can make a political debate, using the finest legal rhetoric that their Ivy League educations bought them, over just about anything you can imagine. This fact makes it great fun to eavesdrop on conversations all over the city. You just might hear a heated argument from two women in black business suits discussing which Victoria's Secret bra is best and why! This often flamboyant city makes it possible to also hear two men having the same argument. Another fun pastime is to watch all the angry people with their bizarre agendas protesting everything from hormonally charged hamburgers to something President Bush did 9 years ago. Either way, there is never a dull moment.
I must pay homage to the Smithsonian Museums. Above is the Smithsonian Castle but there are more than a dozen Smithsonian Museums around the city. They are all free and all equally educational an entertaining.
Just across the river from the city and back in Virginia is the Pentagon. Pictured above one can see the area of the Pentagon that received the most damage on 9/11 and the memorial gardens that were erected outside the building.

I had a great history teacher but his lessons paled in comparison to what someone can learn spending twenty minutes at Arlington National Cemetery and the Iwo Jima Memorial.

However, one of the most amazing sights was built in 1974. The Washington D.C. temple is literally a beacon of light. When you are driving around the capital beltway, the temple appears seemingly out of thin air and just hovers there for several seconds. The sight is truly inspiring and the location was truly inspired.


Eric and Justine said...

I lived in Manassas for 7 years from 3rd grade to Freshman year and I was lucky enough to have an adventurous mother (like yourself) that would take me exploring all about D.C. and neighboring cities. At the time we called it "Forced family fun" because being a teenager I would pull that attitude of "Not another art exhibit"! But I am so grateful that my Mother would drag me to the mall for a demonstration or the new display at the Natural History Smithsonian because I now have the most wonderful memories of D.C. and look forward to the day that I can share these experiences with my boys. Thank you for taking me back along memory lane with this post :) Have you experienced the Metro escalator near the zoo? I can't remember the street name but will never forget that steep climb up/down.

Tracy said...

Thanks for your post. You sure are an adventurous mother taking your family on lots of outings, good for you :) I also agree about the subways. I used to take the subways in Philly and they were pretty scary to say the least. And I've been to the DC temple, it was beautiful. I visited Fairfax, VA on a business trip probably when you were in our ward in Tucson. It is really a beautiful and crowded area!

Casey and Allie said...

YAY!!! We're so glad that Butler's live here! :D Great tribute to DC!

G&G said...

Loved your tour, makes coming to visit you twice the fun. We love seeing you and the kids and then another awesome sight of DC.