Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Vacation Day Four

On Tuesday the first thing we did was take a DUKW (Duck) tour. The DUKW is a WWII era amphibious truck. So the tour started at Union Station in DC. We drove through the streets of the city looking at sights.
Here's the DUKW reflected in a building's mirror glass. It's long, slow and loud but was a really unique tour. If you look closely in the reflection you might see some of us in the picture. Toby and Abby are sitting at the front, while Thomas is on the other side and is not visible. Amy and Molly are toward the back and might also be visible.

After driving around DC (and annoying the drivers) we reached the marina. The driver now became our captain. He just engaged the propeller and we drove down into the water.
Boating through the marina
Here's Thomas behind our Captain.
Here's the pentagon from the river. The tour took us through the river and around Reagan International Airport. We got to watch planes take off over our heads and hope that none of the planes sucked a bird into the engine on takeoff.

After driving out of the water on the Pentagon side of the river, we headed back to Union Station. Here's a few of the statues on the front of the Station.

The interior of the Station was really interesting. The roof held a number of pounds of gold leaf.
As well as statues. In our guidebook it said that the architect modeled it after a Roman bath house, hence all the Roman statues!

After the tour, we headed down the Mall. It's about 2 miles long, but we started about half way down, at the Smithsonian.
Here's the family walking down the Mall toward the Washington Monument
At the base of the Monument, there's a plaza. Since we hadn't registered for tickets months in advance, we didn't get to go up in the Monument.
Abby had really, really, REALLY wanted to see the Lincoln Memorial, since they learned about it in school. So, we took a picture of her and the Memorial, to prove that she'd gone there (in case the kids got tired of walking). It's a little hard to see here, but it's behind her. Of course the kids made the walk to the Lincoln Memorial, it was just walking back where they got whiny.
On the DUWK tour, everyone got a duck call. Here's Abby trying out her call. The kids were only allowed to play with them outside (for obvious reasons...)
After the Washington Monument, we crossed the street and went to the new WWII memorial. It was a nice monument, though it didn't stand out. Thomas is really into WWII right now, so he really liked it. Throughout the memorial the major campaigns of the War are listed, which Thomas was able to tell me a little about each one.

Around the outside of the Memorial, there are 56 pillars which list each state or territory from the US that send troops to the War. We wanted to get a picture of each kid in front of their state.
Here's Thomas in front of Mississippi. But since the 51st state (Canada) doesn't have a pillar, Molly didn't have one to stand if front of. So, she decided to stand with Thomas (even though we tried to get her out of the picture)
Here's Abby in front her state. The purse that she's wearing is one that we bought her at Union Station. She was so excited to carry a purse.
Here we are walking down the tree-shaded path along the reflecting pool. Since it was in the high 80's and humid, it was nice to get into shade.
The kids walking along the Vietnam memorial. I hadn't realized how reflective the stone is.
The Washington Monument reflected in the Vietnam memorial
Finally, we made it to Abby's goal, the Lincoln Memorial.
The statue in the Memorial. It didn't come to life like in the movie (Night at the Museum 2). Hollywood has let us down again...
The Washington monument and the reflecting pool from the Lincoln memorial
The Korean war memorial. It was an odd combination of traditional statues with modern reflective stone and abstract pools. By this time we were all tired and the kids "couldn't walk aaaannnnny farther" so they weren't too interested in the memorial.
Here's one of the statues with the wall in the background.

After the Korean war memorial, we walked back about a mile to the metro station and headed back to the hotel.

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