1D2675AE E74F 40E8 878A 337D49A1F0AC e1511182277755 - Washington DC in 24 Hours

Washington DC in 24 Hours

On our way to Virginia, we stopped to see relatives in Michigan and then visited the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, PA. There was a mindful, dog-friendly walking path from the museum (almost) to the memorial. I didn’t pose for any pictures there… my parents were pretty solemn.

Flight 93 memorial
The Flight 93 Memorial follows the final flight path through a field in a rural Pennsylvania town. Photo by Craig Fildes

It’s a thoughtful memorial. Every American should visit at least once in their lifetime. The same goes for the the Pentagon Memorial and the 9-11 Memorial in New York City. My parents visited those a few years ago and said those too, were sad yet hopeful places.

Speaking of memorials, we made our way south from Pennsylvania to the mother of all memorial cities: Washington, D.C.

Today’s blog is a basic recap of our very quick 24 hours in our nation’s capitol.

What the…?!

We were driving along the George Washington Parkway, which my dad knows very well since he supported the White House providing transportation while he was in the Army. All of a sudden, we see this bridge… with a height sign. Our COW is 13 feet tall.

Confusing signs
Our COW is 13 feet tall. Think we can make it under this bridge?

We pulled off to the side as much as a COW can (not very much), held up traffic, and dad ran out to the back of the COW and began frantically unhooking the toad (our GMC pickup). As he was doing that, two passenger buses drove by and went under the bridge. Then a nice man stopped and told my dad he was sure we could make it.

So…. mom jumped into the GMC, which is nicknamed Fabio (we’ll explain that nickname another time), and followed behind dad as he went under the bridge. It was tight. But we made it.

Here’s how: those two signs designate the height at either SIDE of the bridge. If your drive your bus through the exact center, you will clear the bridge. If you pull towards a side or try to stay in your lane (as opposed to hogging the center, which is what we did), you will NOT clear the bridge. And you’ll tick off a lot of high-strung commuters. And you’ll probably make it onto someone’s YouTube.

Whew. What an introduction for me to the capitol of the United States! I’m not sure I like the signage in DC!

After we cleared the bridge, we drove to Southwest D.C. and pulled into an empty parking lot near the Potomac River. My parents unloaded their bicycles and took off for a spin while CoCo and I took a nap in the COW.

House Renovation in DC: Want to See It? Let Me Know

My parents used to have a house in Southeast DC, just four blocks from the Capitol. They bought it for $825k in 2011. They renovated it and sold it in 2015 for $1.25M. They nicknamed it “Zydeco” because it reminded them of New Orleans. Should I write a blog about that renovation? Let me know (please leave a comment).

My parents really enjoyed living in DC and miss a lot of things about it, including: warm friends, extensive bike trails all over the city, tons of shopping and lots of good places to eat with food from all over the world. They don’t miss the frantic pace and traffic congestion.

A Short Bike Ride

My parents rode their bikes from the Southwest waterfront to the Capitol, stopping by their old house on the way.

Dc row house
This was my parents’ home in Washington, DC. It is just four blocks from the Capitol.

They met the people who bought the house and had a great time chatting about the house. They even got to see some of their old neighbors too!

From their house, they rode a few blocks to the Capitol and then around the memorials and back to Southwest.

Bicycle near capitol
My parents love to bike ride around all of Washington, D.C. but especially near the Capitol.

When they lived in DC, they used to bike ride all around the city, every quadrant. Bike cycling was their preferred mode of transportation. DC is VERY bike friendly.

Ft. McNair’s Unusual Tie To Lincoln

When they came back to the COW, we drove over to Ft. McNair, which is in Southwest DC. It’s a pretty base and is right where the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers meet. An interesting historical point: Ft. McNair is where the Lincoln Assassination conspirators were held, tried, convicted and hung.

Ft McNair
Ft. McNair is in Southwest Washington DC. It houses the National Defense University and is the headquarters for the Military District of Washington.

When it Rains…

Boy, it sure looked like it was going to rain. I begged my mom not to make me pose for pictures. I just knew it was going to pour any minute!

But, we made it to the Washington Memorial, which looks like a giant pencil. I enjoyed watching the people walk by and cars zoom past.

Dog in front of Washington Monument
The Washington Monument is 555 feet tall!

From the Washington memorial, we crossed the street to the World World II memorial.

Dog in front of world war 2 monument
Look at me! I have a fountain coming out of my head! I’m next to the World World II Memorial’s Freedom Wall, which has 4,048 gold stars, each representing 100 Americans who died in the War.

I swear it looked like rain! “Mom,” I said, “Let’s skip the pictures!” She thought we could squeeze in a few more…

So, we made our way to the Lincoln Memorial. There were tons of school kids! I loved it!

Dog in front of Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial was the busiest of all the memorials I visited. It honors America’s 16th President.

And then, wouldn’t you know it? It rained! It didn’t just rain… it poured! We were almost to the Korean Memorial. Mom decided we’d go ahead and do it anyway because we were already drenched.

It turned out to be a nice picture. It kind of looks like I’m with the guys as they’re trudging through the rain in Korea. I’m glad I wasn’t actually in Korea though… I might have wound up in some boshintang.

Dog in front of Korean memorial
I’m in front of the Korean War Veterans Memorial, which has 19 stainless steel figures representing each branch of our armed forces. They are in front of a 164-foot long wall. When the figures are reflected on the wall, it appears there are 38 figures. The 38th parallel was the dividing line between North and South Korea during the conflict.

I was so glad when the pictures were over! I think I should start charging a modeling fee.

Over the 14th Street Bridge and into Virginia

From DC, in the rain, we drove the COW 20 miles into Virginia and to our campsite at Ft. Belvoir.

Ft Belvoir campground
Ft. Belvoir is a large Army base in Fairfax County, VA. It has a nice campground.

Ft. Belvoir is a HUUUGE base. It is 2,000 acres and is located on prime real estate in Northern Virginia. The National Museum of the U.S. Army, which is scheduled to be completed in 2019, is being built on 84 acres on Ft. Belvoir.

Ft. Belvoir has a very nice campground for active duty and retired military members. The campground is on the banks of the Potomac River.

Dog at ft Belvoir
Belvoir means “beautiful view” in French and the area is beautiful to see!

I enjoyed relaxing for a day. We had a full hook up and the campground was quiet. It was almost full but it was still very quiet… probably because the weather wasn’t the greatest (cold and wet). I sat inside and watched people and dogs walk by outside while my parents did some grocery shopping at the commissary.

Dog in camper
I enjoyed relaxing on the couch and looking outside the window at Ft. Belvoir’s campground.

Traffic. Ugh.

That evening, my parents braved the infamous Northern Virginia traffic on I-95 to have dinner with friends. They said they are glad they don’t have to live in an area that has so much traffic at all hours of the day and night. It was a mess to drive in with the rain. Yech.

This is Northern Virginia traffic… in the rain. Yech.

But dinner was delicious and they enjoyed seeing their friends.

Now We’re On Our Way To…

Oh my. What an adventure DC was! We might go back again before we leave the Maryland/Virginia/DC area in December. Or, we might not. It depends on weather and schedules. I’ll keep you posted!

Now, we’re on our way to Charlottesville, VA to visit family!

Leave Me A Comment

Should I charge a modeling fee? And what do you think of DC-area traffic? We didn’t think it was much fun (especially in a COW)!

Woof Out!

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  1. Happy “Woof” back to you. You are such a patient dog sitting for all those pictures. What a terrific trip to all those places. I have many memories of the times I drove in the D.C. and Maryland areas..they weren’t calm moments. So please give my love to your parents for taking you to all those neat places.

    1. Thank you Cousin Charlotte! My parents loved seeing you and the family in Wixom, MI (and it was our first snow flurries this season!). 😍

  2. Glad to know that you got to see many of the wonderful memorials in D. C. And some of your favorite places/people. Austin, you are going to be in for some fantastic adventures with your parents! Lucky you!

Can’t wait to see what you say! Woof!