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Monumental

Washington Monument
Washington Monument

Washington, D.C. is a city filled with people who believe they are important.

~ David Brinkley

Gloomy morning.
Gloomy morning.

We got an early start on our first full day in Washington, D.C.  As you can tell from the photo above, it was gray and gloomy.  The picture was taken around 8:30 AM.  Fortunately, the rains came overnight and we didn’t have to deal with wet as well as cloudy.

On the Points of Light Volunteer Pathway.
On The Extra Mile — Points of Light Volunteer Pathway.

We walked along some of The Extra Mile the night before, and finished it in the morning.  The Extra Mile/Points of Light Volunteer Pathway is a national monument that honors volunteers and those who “selflessly championed causes to help others realize a better America.”  (From The Extra Mile website.)  So far, 33 individuals have been recognized and honored with medallions, with plans to stretch the monument one mile and include 70 champions of good causes.  You can read more about it, and more about the people honored, at the link I provided.

According to Wikipedia, the expression “to go the extra mile” is probably from a passage in the Bible in which Jesus, during his Sermon on the Mount, exhorts, “Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.”  For those unfamiliar with the idiom, it means to go above and beyond what is expected or required.

Random building because I like the architectural details.  There are a lot of interesting buildings in D.C.
Random building because I like the architectural details. There are a lot of interesting buildings in D.C.

Our first stop was the ticket office for the Washington Monument.  You must have a ticket to tour the inside of the monument and to go up in it.  The ticket line was long, and M and I decided not to go up because we’ve been up several times in the past, and it would be easier to get four tickets rather than six.  As it turns out, that was true.  Oldest Son got the last four tickets available for the day.

Another view of the the Washington Monument.
Another view of the the Washington Monument and the cloudy sky.

Since their tour time wasn’t until 2:30 PM, we decided to go on to the Bureau of Engraving.  It was on the list of things to do because the girls wanted to see how money is made.

Bureau of Engraving
Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

I love to go to Washington — if only to be near my money.

~ Bob Hope

We should have done more research regarding the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.  They were closed as part of “efficiency measures” from December 23, 2014 through January 2, 2015.  Dang and phooey.

On the streets of D.C.
On the streets of D.C.

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing is located near the Tidal Basin, a reservoir between the Potomac River and the Washington Channel.  If you go to D.C. to see the cherry blossoms in the spring, the Tidal Basin is the place to be.  Many of the monuments are located along the Tidal Basin.  We could see the Jefferson Memorial from the Bureau of Engraving, and decided to go on and tour the monuments, some of which I’ve never seen (and didn’t know existed).

The Jefferson Memorial.
The Jefferson Memorial.

An important thing to keep in mind is that things are not as close as they appear when you’re walking around the Mall and Tidal Basin.  The monument you’re aiming for might appear close, but there’s a lot of walking involved.  We walked over 10 miles by the end of the day.

The trees along the walkway to the left are cherry trees.  The original plantings in 1912 were a gift from the people of Japan to the people of the United States.
The trees along the walkway to the left are cherry trees. The original plantings in 1912 were a gift from the people of Japan to the people of the United States.

Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it.

~ Thomas Jefferson

The Jefferson Memorial is one of my favorite sites in Washington, D.C.  The first time I saw it I was a teenager visiting D.C. with my parents and siblings.  It was springtime and the cherry trees were in bloom, and perhaps that influences me when I say that I think the Jefferson Memorial is one of the most beautiful memorials in D.C.  Do a search for images showing the Tidal Basin when the cherry blossoms are blooming, and you’ll find some gorgeous photographs.  I hope to someday take my own photographs of Washington, D.C. in the spring.

Walking up the stairs to see the inside of the Jefferson Memorial.
Walking up the stairs to see the inside of the Jefferson Memorial.

Time for me to wrap this up.  My to-do list is long, and my want-to-do list is even longer.  There’s no pressure from either list, although it will be good to get caught up on the household chores so I can have stress-free play time (and most of the want-to-do list involves what I think of as play).  I’ll be back soon with more from our visit to the monuments.

On a couple of personal notes:  The little one (Miss Maddy) broke her arm last night.  Last night I was wishing I lived closer as I would like to have been there for Maddy, her sister, and her parents.  It’s sometimes frustrating to be so far away.  However, things are brighter this morning.  Maddy has a big, pink cast on her arm, and her father tells me that she’s not in any pain.  I’m hoping to talk with her on the phone this evening.

In addition, I got a message from my doctor’s office last night that they have to reschedule my surgery.  This has given me time to do more research and think things through.  Hopefully I will hear from the doctor sometime today so we can discuss the situation.  My Be Well challenge continues, and I expect it will become a lifestyle for me eventually.

"Quiet.  Respect Please."
“Quiet. Respect Please.”

Thank you for visiting on this cold and blustery day.  I saw on the news that Washington, D.C. got 5 inches of snow yesterday.  We didn’t have so much as a flurry here.  We are under a wind chill advisory so I think I’ll watch the sunset from indoors today.  I don’t mind the cold as much as I mind the wind.  It is howling out there, and the wind has a way of cutting right through a person when it’s this cold.

Looking up at the rotunda.
Looking up at the rotunda.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

Statue of Thomas Jefferson.
Statue of Thomas Jefferson.

Today’s joys:  Shelter from the cold and wind; seeing the cats snuggled up together (I haven’t seen them do that in years!); lunch with M; listening to the songs and shouts of the wind; hearing that Miss Maddy is not in pain.

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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

22 thoughts on “Monumental

  1. Maybe one day I will get to go to D.C. again. That was always my dream trip as I’m somewhat of a U.S. history buff. I want to see all the monuments and walk the streets that our forefathers walked. One day. Sigh.

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  2. Your adventures are always a treat! I love that you got ten vigorous miles in while trekking around the capital. Some day…..my husband has been there often. I have yet to, but plan to, get there. Best wishes to Miss Maddy!

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  3. Good old TJ to round things out — Charlottesville’s pride and joy! I wish today’s politicians thought like Thomas Jefferson did, back in the day when he had a hand in founding our Great Nation.

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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