Tag Archives: Washington Monument

Night Walk in Washington DC

I started a new job and they flew me out to Fairfax, VA for two weeks for orientation and to meet the team. I am not one to just stay in the hotel when I travel so I headed to DC one night to walk around. I am use to walking around my neighborhood and missed it so I took Metro into DC one Friday evening to enjoy the city night lights.

Jefferson Memorial

The weather was finally starting to cool and the humidity start to drop by the time I arrived in downtown. Metro dumps you right at the Smithsonian’s so from there it is only a short walk down to the US Capitol. From there I looped back up towards the White House down Constitution Ave. but here I ran into a slight detour.

As I was getting closer to the Capitol I noticed a bunch of stopped cars and police lights. Come to find out it was a bunch of BBQ pit masters getting setup for the weekends annual BBQ battle in downtown. I saw dozens of trucks waiting to get in and those inside setting up tents and their trailers. It was a shame I couldn’t make it back the following day to enjoy some smoked meet.

That night I spent most of my time walking around the World War II memorial. There was just something about that place with the lights and water fountains. All the monuments that night where great to look at. The temperatures had cooled and the humidity dropped which made being out even more enjoyable being out among the granite.

I spent hours walking around The Mall with a bunch of other tourists. It was pretty amazing to see so many people out enjoying the sights. Living on the west coast I have a greater appreciation for what DC has to offer now that I can’t just visit whenever I want. I will continue to make it to the city on my return trips for work.

Spring has Arrived with the Cherry Blossoms

cherry blossoms growing on the tree trunk
Blossoms blooming on the side of the trunk.

Photo Gallery

It took a little arm twisting but I convinced Nancy to head into the city to see the cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin.  She knew it would be crowded and that driving would have been useless.  Fortunately perfect weather over the weekend lessened the blow of the large crowds and taking metro.  As we pulled up to the Vienna Metro I could see a line of people crossing the bridge over the highway.  When we arrived at the parking garage you would have thought it was a work day with how crowded it was.  After a quick survey everyone was waiting to get tickets, but there was no line at the SmarTrip machines.  Go to the head of the line, I got her a Metro pass and we were off to the city.

The route I planned for us had us getting off at Arlington National Cemetery and walking across the Memorial Bridge.  The Smithsonian stop is the closest to the Tidal Basin and would have been the most crowded.  I was hoping to avoid a large portion of the people and to just do something different.  We walked across the bridge and stopped off at the Lincoln Memorial.  It has been a long time since I had been here and it was great to see it up close again.  The steps where filled with people hanging out and relaxing, inside you could hardly turn around it was so crowded.  As we looked across the reflecting pool towards the Washington Monument, people mingled and strolled along the wide paths on either side.

looking from Lincoln to Washington

The crowd was a bit much for Nancy so we headed to the Potomac to get our first glimpse of the cherry blossom trees.  This far from the Tidal Basin not many people where out and about which was rather nice.  As we got closers, the crowds started to thicken.  By the time we hit the FDR Memorial there was no hope of peace and quite.  The crowds where thick with tourists and I was loving.  Nancy generally doesn’t like huge crowds, but she kept her wits about her and drudged forward like a real trooper.  Along the basin the trees where numerous and thick with blossoms providing some exquisite views and picture opportunities.  One tree I spotted was quite popular because as I am setting up my shot I heard a bevy of SLR camera snaps.  I was really digging the blossoms and all the people.

We had enough of the blossoms and where getting hungry so we headed over to the Washington Monument to setup for a picnic.  We walked passed the World War II Memorial and stood in amazement at all the traffic, all these morons driving around looking for parking.  This was not the time to be driving, Metro was bad enough, but there was no hope if you where in a car.  Laughing at everyone we sat down for a some snakes and a quick nap.  We must have laid there for 30 minutes just soaking up the sun.  It was an gorgeous weekend after such a long hard winter, the warmth of the sun felt so good.

Once it was time to leave we headed to the Smithsonian station and back to Vienna.  This is when we realized just how busy the Metro was.  It took longer than usually for the Orange line to arrive and whisk us away down the tunnel.  When we finally arrived back at the Jeep it had been a long day but a well deserved break.  The weather was perfect and the blossoms were beautiful to see.