brief snapshots in time. memories and thoughts. disorganized and random.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

planes, trains, and automobiles (Part 3)

East Coast Trip (Part 3) - the Mall (Washington, D.C.)

After lunch we walked to the mall. This mall has many interesting things to buy, if you're looking for cheap FBI t-shirts, or a hotdog.

But we weren't there to shop, so we walked past the vendors, past the White House and on toward the Washington monument.

The last time I was in DC visiting T and her husband, the Washington monument had scaffolding surrounding it. This visit, the stark contrast between the monument's crisp stone fa├žade and the clear blue sky was stunning.

After beginning my annoyance of my friends by stopping too frequently to take pictures, we wandered to the World War II monument.

It had not yet been constructed the last time I was here. We walked around the memorial, reading, observing, quietly discussing whether we thought the site lines of the mall were compromised by this new memorial.

I thought it was extremely well done. The fountains in the center, with Atlantic and Pacific "theaters" on each side, surrounded by pillars bearing wreathes honoring each state and territory. Powerful, yet reverent at the same time.

Walking along the reflection pool looking back at the Washington monument, I decided the site lines were not at all destroyed by the WWII Memorial, as some think, but rather enhanced.

The fountains on either side of the Washington monument add interest, and don't detract from the line stretching from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol.

On the far end of the reflection pool, we veered left and walked among the statues of the soldiers of the Korean Memorial. We silently read about the number killed and missing. Still.

The reflections in the pool and along the wall lent themselves well to quiet contemplation. It seems as if your walking among those being honored.

Towards the end of the mall I decided my ankle needed a rest, so we sat on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for a while, talking and enjoying the beautiful weather.

Then using my limping gait and cane as excuses we took the elevator up to see Mr. Lincoln. Even more stately than I remember, he sits peering out at all in front of him.

We walked slowly along the Vietnam Memorial, pausing to look at the notes and messages left to honor some personally. I don't know why, but for some reason this memorial, more than others, always brings a tear to my eye. Perhaps it is because my dad could easily have been there.

We continued our wandering toward the Capitol. By the time we get there, both J and T were slightly annoyed with me.

Between my overall slowness because of my ankle and my stopping to take pictures, I lagged behind, causing them to stop. Many times. But being the great friends they are, they assured me they weren't annoyed.

By this time, the sun was beginning to set and we were all tired, so we made our way towards Union Station. And headed towards T's place and dinner. After dinner, we relaxed and talked for a while. Beginning plans for our next get together.

After breakfast the next morning with T, J and I headed to get our rental car.

Our first stop was the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. My favorite. And we had to stop (in my opinion) because J had never seen it.

I love the quotes. I love the water. I love the statues. And the reflective space.

Maybe it's the sound of the waterfalls, or the adorable statue of Fala (FDR's dog), or that the first time I visited, the water was completely frozen, and incredibly beautiful.

Whatever it is, the FDR memorial makes me feel safe. Strolling through FDR's four terms, I feel proud of our nation's history, and certain that if we stand together, we can get through the tough times.

We wanted to stop by the Jefferson Memorial, but the close-in parking was closed, and my swollen ankle wasn't quite up to the walk around the tidal pool. The view across the water would have to suffice for this trip.

We eventually found our way to the highway, and headed north.


You can see larger versions of the images by clicking on them.

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

You have such a great eye. Your pictures are quite captivating.

I hope the ankle is ok... the snow will be upon us soon, so be careful!

Take care,