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.
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.
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.
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 youâll tick off a lot of high-strung commuters. And youâll probably make it onto someoneâs 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.
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.
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.
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.
From the Washington memorial, we crossed the street to the World World II memorial.
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!
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 someÂ boshintang.
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 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.
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.
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.
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)!