Washington D.C. part 4

November 9th, 2014 by farmgirls | 6
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{click here for part one}

{click here for part two}

{click here for part three}

 

August 4th-Day 5

Monday morning we packed our bags and headed for home…which we weren’t quite ready for. :P

 

Eating breakfast with Margret and Grandpa Jerry.

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After breakfast we asked Grandpa Jerry if we could have our picture taken with him… :) He and his grandson sat right in front of us on the bus so like Margret  and Barbra, we got to know them better…and we adopted him as our Grandpa. :)
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A selfie :)
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Instead of going straight home, we  made a 4 hr. stop in Baltimore, I was so excited!!!  :) We were left to ourselves to create our own adventure with endless possibilities of things to do, and an adventure it was!
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Susannah and I saw a hill and decided to go check it out. It had to be historical or something the way it was surrounded with city, it obviously had some significance  other wise it to would be filled with buildings, not a hill.

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After getting to the hill we had to climb it! :) We counted and there were 100 steps…this is only half of them.
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Yay, we made it to the top! :)

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There was this neat really big flag up there and well, we got really confused. :)

We knew that Ft. McHenry was in Baltimore so when we saw the flag (because remember in the war of 1814 how Francis Scott Key was taken captive on ship, and how the next morning he saw “that the flag was still there” and then he wrote “The Star Spangled Banner”? :) ) So when we saw the flag we for some crazy reason thought that this hill was where Ft. McHenry use to be.

We walked around the little park that was up there just taking it all in, yet quite puzzled that such a big thing in American history was now merely a hill with next to NO information about it.

We later discovered that, that was Federal Hill, not Ft. McHenry!! And Federal Hill had something to do with the Civil War…oh well, the moment was nice while it lasted thinking we had just been to Ft. McHenry…silly us!

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While up there we decided what to do next…like I said eariler the possibilities were endless: Go explore a Civil War ship…WW2 Submarine…an Aquarium…observation tower…food…ice cream! :)We decided on the Aquarium, but in order to do that we had a lot of walking to do…the picture shows how much, too bad we can’t fly. :)
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The Civil War ship we passed on our way to the Aquarium.

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But once we got there we found out that you had to pay a lot of money to get in…we quickly changed our minds and settled for the Submarine that was way more affordable, and it was right next to the Aquarium, so didn’t have to walk far. :)

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On the USS TORSK, It sank the last enemy ships in WW2.

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This place was unbelievably tight. The amount of stuff that they crammed in this thing was crazy! :)

Here’s a video of us going down into it, might give you a small taste of what it was like. :) Sorry it’s sideways.

 

These were the “doorways”.

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This cracked me up, it’s a shower and had this note on it saying “do not use”…like anyone would…or could! It was so so tiny!

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You know how everyone does a seflie in the bathroom mirror? I am not big on those but I couldn’t pass this one up, a submarine, shower room mirror selfie! ;)

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Cozy and tight…maybe a bit claustrophobic? :)

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The kitchen…

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And dining area.
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Don’t know what this was but it looked cool with the word “Danger” on it. :)
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Some interesting information about the engine room. Man, not a place that I would want to live in its day!
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Really enjoyed this stop!
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Next we went to the observation tower…it’s actually Baltimore’s World Trade Center and the worlds tallest pentagonal buliding, but you could pay $5 to go to the 27th floor (next to highest). The elevator ride was fast! So fast you hang on to the side during your ride and feel a little woozy when you step out. :) But it was fun!

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Being the World Trade Center, it had a 9/11 memorial on the observation floor.

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Names of the nearly 3,000 people who died lined the windows…it was really sobering, yet  neat how these people were being honored.
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The view was worth every bit of the $5 we paid!!! :)  So so so neat! Oh and I saw the real Ft. McHenry from up here. Kinda cool since I’d seen the actual flag, bomb shelled holes and all back in D.C.  that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the Star Spangled Banner.

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See the big brown building? It’s John’s Hopkins Hospital! I was pretty excited since I’ve read Ben Carson’s book “Gifted Hands”. :)

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By this time we were getting pretty hungry. All the restaurants on the water looked expensive and we weren’t in the mood for expensive. :) So we asked the lady at the information desk about a McDonalds. There was one several blocks away so we got directions, put on our walking shoes (well, figuratively :) ) and set out to go get us some lunch. Following her directions and trying to make sense out of all the craziness along the way, we crossed over several intersections that had tons of people and tons of traffic, they even had 2 policeman at each corner to help keep things running smoothly. It struck me  funny because we definitely  do not have policemen helping us cross the road here in the cornfields. :)

Coming up on our destination we were a bit puzzled because we did not see it anywhere, not even the big yellow “M”. Instead of driving ourselves nuts on trying to make sense of maps  and such I just went over and asked the policeman that was on our corner. He was very helpful and told us that we don’t want that one because it’s under construction, and told us of another one that was close by. Guess where it was, about a block away that we back tracked to, it was in a Mall. Once we reached the mall we realized that we had walked right past it on our way to the other McDonalds. :P Oh well, we were having fun! :)

Right before we crossed over the street where the Mall was, I had my camera up and ready to take a picture when we heard “you guys twins?” I turned around and it was a policeman. We talked for a bit while waiting for the light to change and then I said “hey, can I have my picture taken with you?” to which he replied “sure, why not?” :)  I was pretty excited, to which Susannah did not hear the end of it for a couple of days. :)

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Inside the Mall, pretty interesting. We’re used to malls that are one floor and spread out, this one was just stacked on top of each other with lots of escalators to ride. :)

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Finally found McDonalds!!!  I told Susannah that eating at McDonalds would never be the same again! Technically I/we don’t eat at McDonalds except once in a blue moon because it’s not the greatest/healthiest place to eat, but at that point we both didn’t care, we just wanted something to eat and something that wasn’t tons of money. :)

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After resting and  getting a bite to eat, it was time to head back to the bus pick-up location. Once we made it back to the bay we made a quick stop at the ice cream stand. ;)

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A picture someone got of us while we were taking our picture ^ :) Like I said, we got pretty good at the selfie thing since it’s kind of inconvenient to constantly ask people to take your picture. :)
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We then loaded up on the bus and were quite happy to sit down for awhile after the crazy amount of walking we had done.

Several hours down the road we stopped at Cracker Barrell for supper which was quite delicious! We got a strange combination of pancakes and macaroni and cheese, but hey, it’s what sounded good. And we ended up not eating very much because we were still a bit full from lunch.

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Sitting out on the rockers afterwards…

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With Grandpa Jerry and his grandson…we had lots of fun with them!

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Everyone just relaxing and visiting.

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And a game of checkers. :)
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Back on the road we had a fun time of singing and a “variety show” :) Anyone who wanted to tell a joke, sing a song or read a poem or advertise for their business could…we did that for a little over an hour. :) Susannah and I joined in and sang our Fast Food Fugue for them. :)

 

Our last night before arriving at home. It had been quite the day and we gladly welcomed the sight of our beds, and I had to make the picture a little more exciting than just a picture of the room . :)

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August 5th- Day 6

This day was just filled with lots of driving.

At a rest area getting a treat.

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Getting  ready to load back up on the bus…Iris, me, Susannah and Agnus. She and her husband were the ones who put the whole trip together. :) They’re some very nice people that I am glad we got to know. Her hair was so cool all cornrowed, I was admiring it through out the whole trip so I finally asked her  “can I touch your hair?” :) She was nice and let me, it’s very fascinating!

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Back in the bus and ready to conquer another section of the road. :)

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This picture if fun because there is so much going on in it. We’re back at our original location where the bus picked us all up…time to unload all the luggage and for us to go our separate ways.  :( We said our goodbyes and lots of hugs went around… :) It was really sad, I wanted to cry. All  50 of these people who were total strangers 6 days ago were now like family and we had to leave each other. :( But until next time, we have the memories to remind us of the wonderful time we had together!

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We had a 1 1/2 hr. drive home and the bus driver had a 2 hr. drive back to the bus rental place. Our route was exactly the same so she so kindly let us ride with her and dropped us off 10 min. from our house where Mommy picked us up, it was really nice for Mommy as it saved her a trip.

It was strange being on the bus without everyone else…really quiet too! ;)

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A picture with our bus driver, Juilie. (And it looks like the eagle  is photo bombing us. :) ) Let me tell you, she was one amazing driver! :) Like, really amazing!

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Shortly after the picture was taken Mommy picked us up, and we began the 10 min. drive home where we told a TON of stories!

And thus was the end of an incredible trip!!!!!!!

 

This was by far one of the best birthdays I’ve had! Definitely what I had hoped for, for my 21st birthday doing something crazy! I’m so thankful how God worked it all out, how we could even go, that I could go with my sister and the people we went with…it’s the people that make the memories…not the pictures you take.

And I definitely loved the aspect that they were African American. African Americans aren’t so serious like us white people and are fun to be around. :) Susannah and I joke that we forgot that we were white, being and seeing them all everyday and being around other African Americans while touring, we just saw a lot of them. So when we would see a white person it was like “well you’re different and kind of stick out” then we’d be like “oh yeah, I’m white too!” :) It was fun, really fun, WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY fun!!!! We enjoyed ourselves to the moon and back!!!!

So if you are one of those 50 people that we took the trip with, first we say “Hello!” :) and second, we really enjoyed getting to know you!

 

Have you been to Washington D.C.? If so, what were your favorites?

 

~Cassia  :)

 

 

Washington D.C. part 3

November 7th, 2014 by farmgirls | 5
AllSlots provide you with a wide range of games with high limits plus you can get special high roller bonuses to play them. Just click here to overview all promotions awarded with conditions included

 {Click here for part one}

{Click here for part two} 

August 3rd, Day 4.

We spent the morning at Arlington Cemetery.

We got to ride one of the trolleys. YAY!!!  We remember when we came here in 2010 and we walked and walked and walked and walked.  That was really tiring!!   We would all hop on (as quickly as you can get 50 people to hop on) and it would take us to the highlights in the cemetery where we would get off, walk around, and hop back on. It sure beat walking!!! :)

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 {The Kennedy Graves}

Mrs. Kennedy lit the eternal flame on November 25th, 1963 during Mr. Kennedy’s state funeral,  and it has been burning since.

They’ve reconstructed the area, and had to move the flame…but kept it burning.

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{The Tomb of the Unknown Solider}

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 There was some dirt on the ground, so they sent out two guys to clean it up.  That was the most ceremoniously sweeping I have ever seen!! :)

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 {Changing of the Guards}

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It was cool being able to watch the changing of the guards.  We didn’t get to see it when we came four years ago.

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 After a quick stop at the gift/souvenir shop, we loaded back up on the bus and went to…

{Imo Jima}

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 This thing is huge!!!!  I had no idea how huge until we were standing next to it.

The Monument weighs 100,000 tons and is made from bronze and volcanic rock.

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 {The Capitol, Washington Monument, and a crane. Everywhere you look you see a crane}

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After Arlington, we were dropped off downtown Washington DC to do what we pleased for 4 hours with strict instructions that if we weren’t at that specific spot at 4:30 sharp, then we would have to take a cab back to the hotel (costing one about $50-$60).  Lots of us made sure we were there in plenty of time not wanting to add that adventure to this day :)

We had lunch at the Stars and Stripes Cafe in the American History Museum.

After lunch we took a look at all the First Ladies’ Inaugural Ball Gowns (in the American History Museum). We also got to see the set of dishes each First Lady used in the White House :)

{Mary Lincoln}

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A piece of charred wood from the White House when it was burnt by the British Troops in 1814.

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{Dolly Madison}

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{Laura Bush}

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{Lucy Hayes}

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{The entrance to the Star Spangled Banner Exhibit}

No pictures were allowed in there, sadly.  We saw the flag that flew on Fort McHenry  during the war of 1812.  This is the same flag that Francis Key Scott saw, and inspired him to write “Star Spangled Banner”.  Also in this exhibit, was his original manuscript of the song with scratch outs, scribbles, and such :)

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 We then went to the National Archives Museum.

THIS, was one of my highlights!!!!!!   We “only” went to the Rotunda in here…had to go through security (like everywhere else), and stood in line to enter a cool and low-lit room that had

The Bill of Rights

The Declaration of Independence

The Constitution

 WOW!!!!  It was amazing to see the real thing!!!  The very papers that our Founding Fathers signed their names on!!

If you ever go to Washington DC, make sure you go here!!!!!

Yes, I am excited :D (sadly, but understandably, photography was not allowed inside.}

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{selfie…with Margaret  and Barbara who we hung out with the entire afternoon}

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When leaving the National Archives Museum, we were looking at a certain tree’s leaves that looked quite interesting.  There were several dead ones on the ground, so Cassia stuck a few inside her backpack as a joke souvenir for people at home.  They said, “bring me something from Washington DC!!!”….so that is what she was doing :)  So when we went through security at the Museum of Natural History/Nature, the guard unzipped her backpack and pulled a leaf out.  He flipped it back and forth several times, as if 1) trying to figure out why in the world would this person have dead leaves in her backpack, and 2) “Well, I’ve never seen that before!” :)   Cassia just stood there smiling. He finally looked up at her, kinda smiled, stuck it back in and waved her through.  We got a good laugh out of that :D

{quite a few people asked if we were twins :D }

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{Museum of Natural History/Nature}

This is the mouth of a Great White Shark…spanning 6 feet!!!!

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There were many, many amazing exhibits in this museum that I would have LOVED to stay and look at (since I love that kind of stuff), but time was ticking, so we had to take a quick glance through on our way to our destination in the building……

….the Hope Diamond.

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LOTS of people trying to see and get a picture of it…..

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{Looking down from the second story}

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{the entrance}

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This was a fish tank that was full of fish (surprised? :D )….most of them looked like the same fish that are on the movie “Finding Nemo” :)

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Back at the appointed spot with several minutes to spare……resting and waiting for the rest of the crew to show up.

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{driving past the White House}

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We had supper at Holiday Inn….they also had a jazz band there and dancing for entertainment.

{not our cup of tea… :) }

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{Supper.  As you can see “someone” dipped into her dessert before eating supper (and it wasn’t me!!!)  :) }

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Cassia was all excited that our group got our very own sign saying “Private Function” :D

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We were back at Crowne Plaza Hotel by 8:30…and we were in dire need of some ice cream. So we walked over to Wendy’s and got us each a Frosty :)

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{having fun with the mirror in the elevator :D }

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Stay tuned for the 4th, and final post!!!! :)

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Washington D.C. part 2

November 2nd, 2014 by farmgirls | 6
AllSlots provide you with a wide range of games with high limits plus you can get special high roller bonuses to play them. Just click here to overview all promotions awarded with conditions included

{Click here for part one}

 

Day 3, August 2–Up to this point in the trip we were having an incredible time, but today was going to be so exciting because we were going to see a lot of  the major attractions in D.C.  We left the hotel pretty early and didn’t return until 12-13 hours later. It was an incredibly long day with tons of walking, but it was an incredibly wonderful day as well. :)

WARNING!!!! This being a very big day and touring for 13 hours means we saw A TON, and learned A TON of things, thus making this post quite long with tons of pictures :)

Arriving in D.C. area and driving past the Pentagon. :) Pretty cool! It’s not everyday that you just drive past the Pentagon. :)

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United States Department of Agriculture. Our guide told us not to eat there (they have a cafeteria), “They know how to raise it, but not how to cook it.”  :)
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There were lots of places we drove past but didn’t tour (you can only do so much in two days. :) I am very happy though with what we did see in those two days. :) ) Ford’s Theater where President Lincoln was shot was one of them…
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After he was shot, they took him right across the road to the red brick building (the one with the steps), and it was there that he died.

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Ever wonder where the Freedom Speech (Martin Luther King, Jr.), or The Battle Hymn of the Republic (Julia Ward Howe), was written? Right here in The Willard Hotel. It was a hotel then and still is now.  You can even stay in it…if you’re willing to pay $1,000 a night! :O
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Union Station: the three flags represent Christopher Columbus’s three ships: Nina, Pinta and the Santa Maria.

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This is one of the moments where your standing there, looking at the WHITE HOUSE, and you just want to pinch yourself! I’ve seen tons of pictures of almost everything we saw in D.C. that day, but I’m telling you, when you see it in person it’s just wild, crazy, amazing! So. Exciting. :)  “Little me, who lives 10 hrs. west of here in a tiny town and is surrounded by cornfields, little me hick from the sticks is standing here (with my sister, can’t forget that wonderful aspect of it! :) ), in D.C. in front of the presidents house looking at it with my very own two eyes!” Ahhhhh! Okay, I will stop rambling and get on to the other pictures, but I strongly recommend going and seeing it for yourself! ;)

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Michelle Obama’s vegetable garden… :)

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I was so thrilled to have Susannah with me to experience this wonderful…experience! :)

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Just one of many pictures we took of Washington monument. It was pretty cool because everywhere we went you could always see it. Our tour guide told us that it’s 555 feet tall, and by law, no other building is allowed to be taller in D.C. From the ground to the two little windows is 500, and then from the windows to the point 55.

Also, you can’t see it very well (in this picture), but not quite a 1/3 way up you can see a color change. That’s because after 24 yrs. of working on it they ran out of funds. It set unfinished for 40 yrs., actually was an eye sore, and there was talk of taring it down. James Garfield was elected  as president in 1880 with the promise that he would finish Washington Monument (that’s how he got a lot of his votes). Four months into his term he was assassinated. His Vice President, Chester Arthur, became president and the people said “hey, he made this promise!” So Chester Arthur said I will have it completed in a year and he did! The whole monument is made from the same stuff but the first 150 feet of it is aged, thus giving the color difference. :)

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Love the red flowers, it really makes it pop! Besides, red is my favorite color ;)

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I tried to soak in every moment and not let my mind just get on to the next thing.

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Looking down the streets like this was pretty cool, you can catch a glimpse of what it’s like in the picture but honestly, it just doesn’t do it justice…like everything else :)

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More Washington Monument info: there are 50 flags surrounding it, representing the 50 states :)

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Apparently,  the dome on the Capitol has over 200 cracks in it and is needing some repairs. You can’t see it in this picture but the lower half of the dome has some scaffolding on it. Our tour guide said in a couple of weeks the dome will be hidden by the rest of the scaffolding that’s going up and you won’t be able to see it for three years! Wow, glad we got to see it now!

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Another pinch me moment ;)

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In front of the Capitol looking at Capitol Reflecting Pool.  The statue is of Ulysses S. Grant.   
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You can see some of the scaffolding here.

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National Library of Congress (only saw it from a distance didn’t go in it…Susannah was sad about that… :)  ).

The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with more than 158 million items on approximately 883 miles of bookshelves!!!!  (Click here for some interesting facts about the library!) If the books were all laid out side by side, that would be 1500 miles of books!!!!!

 

 

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Our tour guide (the one holding his arm out :) ) explaining something to our group. He was a wonderful tour guide. 86 yrs. old and we had to try and keep up with him! :) By the end of the two days touring with him, our brains hurt from trying to take in so much information! :) But it was a good kind of hurt ;)

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Waiting to go through security to enter the Capitol.

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Oh the wonderful security (actually it was kind of fun because, again, we don’t have this type of stuff here in the cornfields ;) ). Here at the Capitol is where it was the strictest  (and understandably so!),  my hairpins set off the alarm.

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We got to eat lunch in the Capitols cafeteria! Ahhh, way cool!

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Yes, a fun experience but oh man! The prices! :P But hey, it’s not everyday that your IN the Capitol building eating lunch no less! So enjoy the experience. ;)

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My lunch, I found it kind of funny that I came all the way to D.C., I’m eating at the Capitol  and I get…grilled cheese and fries…what can I say, I’m American! ;)

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We had lunch with Margret (L) and Barbra (R) and hung out together a lot on the parts of the tour that we were let loose. (more pictures to come with these fun ladies! :) ) They also sat right behind us on the bus so we had the pleasure of getting to know them better. :)

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This is the visitor center in the Capitol and it’s actually a bomb shelter. When 9/11 happened there was a lock down at the capitol and it was discovered that there were 2,000 visitors amongst the rest of the people. Since then they have made the bomb shelter, but you can’t call it that :) so it’s called the visitor center. We noticed that the doors were exceptionally heavy to open, found out later that’s why.

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While we were resting and waiting for our tour of the Capitol, another group (the three kneeling), asked if they could have a picture with us. They were on a scavenger hunt and needed a picture with tourists doing thumbs up. :) Then others (on the same scavenger hunt), saw that they had found someone to do the picture with, so they lined up to get theirs, too. So our group just sat, smiled and did thumbs up for about five or six pictures. :)
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Freedom statue, the original (the one that sits a top the Capitol is a replica).  Made from plaster of paris. Ready for another history lesson? :)

Thomas Crawford (the designer), made a full size statue of it in clay. He did this in  Rome. It was then cast in plaster in five sections. He died unexpectedly before the model was sent to the US. His wife sent it on a boat in 1857 but it sprung a leak and stopped in Gibraltar to have it fixed, and sent on their merry way. All was well until it begun to leak again, it was so bad that we almost lost the statue. This time they stopped at Bermuda and could  not go any farther. It stayed in storage there until 1859 when other transportation was arranged. 

Upon arriving in the U.S. an Italian sculptor was hired to assemble the model for an agreed price. However when the time came to move the plaster model to the foundry for casting, no one knew how to separate it and the Italian sculptor refused to help unless given a pay raise.

Clark Mills (the guy hired to cast it in bronze), had a slave, Philip Reid who helped him with his work. Philip Reid figured out that by using a pulley and tackle to pull up on the lifting ring at the top of the model the seams between the sections would be revealed. The statue was then successfully separated into its five sections and transported to the foundry.  (and for those of you who might like to know, “Philip Reid received his freedom on April 16, 1862 when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act that released certain persons held to service or labor in the District of Columbia. It is not known if he witnessed the event, but Reid was a free man when the last piece of the Statue of Freedom was put into place atop the Capitol Dome on December 2, 1863.” ) :) A lot of this is stuff our tour guide told us, but we were told SO and I mean SO much, especially on this day so I brushed up my memory from this website.  A neat place if you want to learn more history on the Capitol!

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Getting ready to take our tour! (Some have asked if we got to see where the Senate meets. You can go see it except on  Saturdays and Sundays, and since we were there on a Sunday, we couldn’t see it :(  )

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Our fancy smanchy little head phones that we all wore so that we could actually hear what our tour guide was saying. There were TONS of people and different groups and everyone had headphones on so that they could hear their tour guide. :)

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Escalators! :)

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The Rotunda of the Capitol. You can see in the picture at the very top part of a white cloth, it was covering most of the dome in preparation for the construction. The white cloth was to help keep dust contained and also as a safety net.

Below the cloth and windows is a big long stretch (it goes all the way around) of a brown and white picture.  It looks like it’s carved but it’s actually painted in fresco,  a difficult painting technique to make it look like it’s carved.  It’s a painted panorama depicting 19 significant events in American history. Oh this place just oozes with history!  Pretty much every square inch in D.C. is like that! :)

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Here you can see the cloth thing-a-ma-jigger lots better.
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Painting of the Declaration of Independence.

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Surrender of Lord Cornwallis.

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National Statuary Hall,  A large two story, semicircular room that’s really isn’t that big.  The House of Representatives use to meet in this room for nearly 50 yrs.,  when they were all in session there were several hundred people. The acoustics helped carry someone’s voice (for back in the the day when we didn’t have fancy microphones ;) ), but it also caused an annoying echo that could make it hard to understand. Our tour guide for the Capitol (Brandon in the center wearing red suit coat), demonstrated the acoustics for us. We stayed on one side and he went to the other,  facing the wall and looking up  he said “Hello”, and amongst all the other people and talking going on in the room, you could hear him quite well. :)    Several presidents were inaugurated here including James Madison, John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. Now 100 statues (two from each state), fill the room each one representing someone notable in that states history.

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This guy, John Gorrie, invented air conditioning!  I like him! ;)

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Daniel Webster–New Hampshire
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Lewis Wallace, he’s from Indiana so of course I needed a picture of him. :) Honestly though I don’t know who he is, time to do some research. :)
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In the Crypt there are 40 columns that support the floor of the Rotunda,  a star located in the middle of the floor indicates the  point from which the streets in Washington are laid out and numbered. Also in the crypt are 13 statues representing the 13 original colonies. 

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Crypt in Capitol

(No-People Picture Credit:  Architect of the Capitol Check out the Capitols Flickr page, it’s pretty cool! :)  )

 

 

Leaving the Capitol
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And a selfie with the Capitol (we got pretty good at these ;) ) and Barbra photobombing us. ;)

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There were policemen all over the place just keeping watch. That, unfortunately, meant that I had to behave. :P :)
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There are constantly wedding pictures going on here, one gets done and another moves in. But if you look behind the wedding party you’ll see a fountain, it’s called the Senate parking garage fountain because the Senate’s parking garage is directly beneath it. ;)

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A shot gun house that we drove past. Someone recently bought it and was going to tear it down, the town however,  did not like that and won’t let him because it’s historical. So now the guy has to figure out what to do with it. :P

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Our tour guide asked us what our state bird was, then he told us D.C. state bird…Cranes. We were like “oh, that’s nice”,  he said “no that’s a joke”. There is always construction going on so the people joke that their state bird is a Crane. ;)

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The trees and flowers were so pretty! This particular tree was every where so I looked up what kind they were and it’s a Hopi Pink Crape Myrtle Tree. Hmm, I think we need to get some of these for our house. :)

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Jefferson memorial. We didn’t go to it, but we drove past it. There was TONS to see so we had to give somewhere. :)

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At Martin Luther King,  Jr. Memorial, that had about ten of his quotes on a long wall, they were all really good but, here are a few of my favorites. :)

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There were so many planes, to the point your like “oh, there goes another plane” where as the first ones were like “OH COOL!!!! LOOK AT ALL THESE PLANES!!!!!!” ;) It was fun to see so many of them and see them so low. Ronald Reagan Airport was very close by and is one of the hardest to land at because of  the tall buildings, it doesn’t slow down their business though because they said about every 30 seconds there is a plane taking off. :)

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While here the President flew over us!  I unfortunately didn’t know that until later, :(  I must have been to occupied with reading, but it was still pretty cool. One of the people on our bus got a picture of his helicopter.

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Across the water from Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, you could see Jefferson Memorial.

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Me just being crazy and showing my excitement with a thumbs up while waiting on Susannah to buy her books (something that is pretty common…..).

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My supper, OH. MAN.  It’s a very, and I mean very, rare occasion that I eat ribs. So when I had the choice of getting ribs for supper, I was delighted. The meal started out with salad, while wanting to be healthy, I  didn’t eat very much of that because for 1) I wanted to save room for the ribs, and 2) I can always have salad at home. Next came bread, again I didn’t eat very much. Then came the ribs and fries and they were SO. GOOD!  I ate and ate, and ate and ate, got full but didn’t want to waste the ribs (couldn’t really bring them back to the hotel because I didn’t have a way to reheat them) so I stuffed myself  like people do at Thanksgiving and I kinda hoped that there wasn’t any dessert. But there was! Thankfully it was just a small brownie so I ate it, too! :)  This by the way (in case you’re ever in the D.C. area and want some good food. ;) ), was at “The Boulevard Grill”.

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James and Iris, our wonderful and nice (new), friends we ate dinner with! :)

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After stuffing ourselves we continued touring the city. This man that use to live in the house took care of the canals and  had 25 children, 20 survived to adulthood  but they were all raised in that house! Crazy! It’s so so tiny! And the road in front of it (the one we are on), use to be a canal.

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World War Two Memorial.

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There was a pillar for each sate, representing the men who died from each state.

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Very sobering, but also good to be reminded of the price that was and is being paid for my/our freedom, so that I continue to appreciate it, not that I ever will forget, but sometimes when we get busy with life we forget just how high the price is!

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Another picture of us with Washington Monument.  Right after we got done with our picture an Asian girl came up to us and said “Excuse me, can I have my picture taken with you?”  we were like sure! I don’t know why she wanted a picture with us, but it was fun to see her excited and make her day. :)

This was also the day that we were wearing our matching jumpers, and we happen to have matching shoes, too because she bought hers and I really liked them, so I bought myself some, too. :) Several people through out the whole trip even on the days that we weren’t matching, asked if we were twins. ;)

I love this photo, because it shows me with my dear sister, experiencing an amazing adventure together!  :)

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At Korean War Memorial, here our tour guide, Frank, is showing us his picture on the wall (the one directly beside him or above his hand). All those pictures are real pictures, of real soldiers from newspaper articles/magazines and he happened to get put on the wall. :)

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There are 19 life size statues, standing in patches of Juniper bushes and are separated by polished granite strips, which give a semblance of order and symbolize the rice paddies of Korea. They originally wanted 38 statues to symbolize the 38th Parallel and the 38 months of the war but some higher authority said no. Still determined to have the 38 though, they made 19 statues which is half of 38, then put up the Mural wall. The reflective black granite that it’s made out of reflects the 19 statues thus, making 38. :)

Though we were only in war for a short 38 months, 54,246 Americans died in support of their country.

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Lincoln Memorial…We’ve not seen Night in the Museum 2, but we have seen the preview and there’s a part where Lincoln, the statue Lincoln, is talking and he says “Blah, blah, blah, I never lie!!!”  It’s a line that we use from time to time at our house so we of course couldn’t help but think of that while seeing Lincoln Memorial. :)

Since I had never been to the Lincoln Memorial, I didn’t realize that the big statue of Lincoln was actually set back into the building, I always thought he was outside.

A couple of fun facts:

The 36 pillars represent each of the states in the Union at the time of the President’s death in 1865. (By the completion of the monument in May 1922, the Union had increased by 12 more states, so the names of all 48 states were carved on the outside of the memorial’s walls.)

There are a total of 87 steps up to the memorial representing the Gettysburg Address “Fourscore seven years ago….”.

 

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Up on the steps looking at the reflection pool and Washington Monument. If you look closely you can see the dome of the Capitol further on.

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Can you find us? We’re both in this picture. I’ll give you a hint, we’re both wearing purple. :)
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The picture is blurry because it’s taken on Susannah’s phone. Our camera battery DIED after Korean War Memorial and we still had to go see “Mr. Lincoln”!!! Thankfully we had Susannah’s phone, even if the quality isn’t the same, we still got pictures. :)

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Vietnam Memorial. Every morning there is a light mist that comes of the Potomac River and rests on these three soldier statues. After a while, when it builds up (the eye lids are made to collect it), it runs down  the African American’s (far right) face making it look like he’s crying…he’s facing the Vietnam Wall, mourning the loss of all the soldiers.

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The wall: Notice how it slopes down? The girl who designed it didn’t want it to be something happy to go to, it slopes down so that it’s like a hole in the ground. Both ends of the wall point to another D.C. landmark (Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument), thus bringing the Memorial into the historical context of our country.

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58,272 names are listed on the wall, 1200 are listed as missing (POW, MIA or other).

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In 1980, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund announced that there was going to be a national design competition open to any U.S. citizen 18 years of age or older, whoever won, that’s the design that would be used for the Wall.

There were four requirements for the design:

1. be reflective and contemplative in character;

2. harmonize with its surroundings;

3. contain the names of those who died in the conflict or who were still missing;

4. make no political statement about the war.

Out of the 1,421 design entries, the winning design was done my a college girl at Yale University, Maya Ying Lin, born in Athens, Ohio in 1959. Her parents fled from China in 1949 when Mao-Tse-tung took control of China.
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I don’t think you can see it very well in the pictures, but beside every name is either a cross, or a diamond. The diamond meant that the death of the service member was confirmed, where the cross means they are missing. If found though, the cross is then carved into a diamond.

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Our very last stop for the day before we headed back to our hotel. A memorial for all the African Americans who fought in the Civil War. You can see in the back a wall, it’s the Wall of Honor that surrounds  the statue with the names of  209,145 African American soldiers who fought in the war.

The “Spirit of Freedom” is the only national memorial to Colored Troops in the Civil War.

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We then headed to our hotel for a good nights rest to get ready for day two of touring D.C. :)

Stick around, it won’t be long till the next post comes! :)

~Cassia

 

 

 

{Click here for part three}

Washington D.C. Part 1

October 31st, 2014 by farmgirls | 3
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Earlier this year (February-ish) Cassia kept talking about how she wanted to do something big for her 21st birthday.  Like skydiving.  She asked me, “If I do something, will you do it with me?”  My response? Of course! We do almost everything together!! I wasn’t to sure about skydiving, but if she did it, I wasn’t going to let her do it without me :)  Daddy and Mommy weren’t too thrilled about the idea of us skydiving, so she started looking up other options, like taking a hot air balloon ride.  But the cost was outrageous for such little time.  So we came up with the idea of taking a bus trip.  But where?  She Googled “bus trips” and  Diamond Bus Tours came up.   She asked me, “How about a trip to Washington D.C.?”

And so we went to Washington D.C.  for her 21st birthday (we actually left ON her birthday!) :)

Our family went to Arlington in 2010, and accidentally drove right into Washington DC (not in our plans to see D.C. that time!).  We didn’t stop to see anything, but we saw glimpses of a couple of major attractions.  I always wanted to go back to see everything more in-depth.  This certainly was more in-depth, but it could have been even MORE in-depth!!  I would love to go back and spend more time at the museums!!

We had SO MUCH FUN on this trip!!!  There were about 50 people.  All of them, except us and the bus driver, were African American. Which, I think, made it even MORE fun!!!  Black people tend to have a better sense of humor than white people :)

 

July 31st, 2014 Day 1:

Met at McDonalds.  Bus left at 8:15 a.m.

 

 

Right before boarding the bus!!!  (Do we look excited or something? :D )

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Right before leaving.

I gave Cassia the window seat….the aisle seat has more leg room (aka…the aisle!)

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We stopped at Beaver Falls, PA for the night at 7  p.m.

 

 

August 1st, Day 2:

Bus left hotel at 8:30 a.m.

After lunch they had games on the bus. That was a fun way to keep everybody from feeling “blah” after eating lunch and sitting down for a couple of hours :)

 

 

At 3:30 p.m. we arrived at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum!

That place is huge!!
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They gave us until 5:30 to roam the museum as we pleased.  We had a couple things we knew we wanted to do. So we looked over the map, circled what we wanted to see and explored!!

 

First we went to the top of the observation tower (seven floors up) where you can see way far! We could also see the Washington Dulles airport where planes were constantly landing and taking off (that was cool!!!).

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 Selfie!!!  (one of many….just to prove we really were there! :) )

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Cassia had recently read a book about the Flying Tigers….so of course she had to get her picture with one!! (Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk)

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The Bell Huey!!  This is one thing long before we came we knew we had to make sure we saw!  Lawrence D. Bell helped develop the helicopter for World War Two…and he was born in and grew up in Mentone, IN (our hometown)!  Mentone has a Bell Museum, and our library is the Bell Memorial Library.  So this was a bit of home for us :)  The couple that we asked to take our picture asked, “So, what is so special about this helicopter?”  And we gladly educated them :) Later Cassia was talking to one of the  guys on our bus about the Huey, he said that he had been a paratrooper and jumped out of hueys!  Cool, another connection!  :)

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A small snippet of the many air planes.  There were three levels and they had walkways (like on the right of the picture) so you could see close up to most of the planes!  (And a lot of walking….whew!)

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Some lots bigger than others…

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Tiny me in comparison :)

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Another Bell Helicopter (there were about 5 of them there).

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We were laughing about this: chairs with a sign over them that says “KEEP OFF”.  Yes, we know, that sign is really for the pipes in the back.  It just looked funny :)

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In the Space room of the Air and Space Museum, we saw the Discovery Space Shuttle. WAY bigger then you can imagine!!   We see pictures of these things, but it doesn’t register how big it really is until you are standing beside it!

The Discovery’s final mission was in 2011, which is kinda cool that is really wasn’t that long ago it was up in space!!

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A view from the third level.

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A Corsair.  I only knew this kind of plane as “Skipper” from the movie “Planes”.  When we got home,  we were showing everybody pictures and I said, “and we saw Skipper!”  Isaiah quickly corrected me (little mr. smarty pants) and said, “It’s a Corsair!” :D

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Outside watching planes take off and land (us farmgirls get excited about those things…).

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Loading back up to go to supper.

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We had dinner (complete with chocolate cake!!! :D ) at Holiday Inn at 6 p.m. and arrived at Crowne Plaza for the night at 8:30 p.m.

 

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Cassia wanted to take pictures of hotel room before we messed it up (with our stuff).  Every time we walked in I would plop all my stuff down on my bed of choice and lay down and she would then *while digging out the camera* say, “Take that all away….we need a nice picture!”

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We were spoiled here.  It is probably very normal for normal people, but we are not normal :)  We laughed at how this is the FIRST time EVER we got our OWN bed in a hotel!!  If the whole family is staying at the hotel (which doesn’t happen often), no one has their own bed (which we really don’t mind, this was just….different). Anywho, about being spoiled; each day when we were out exploring, the hotel room attendants would make our beds (something Cassia likes…), take our used towels and replace with clean ones, and take out the trash (something Susannah likes…). Strange to have someone else doing the work! :)

Another thing was when we arrived, they announced that we could take our luggage with us if we wanted to go right to bed, or, they would deliver it to us.  I was going to grab my suitcase because I was really tired and I wanted to go right to bed.  But Cassia said, “Noooo…..we are going to take in the whole experience!! We never have our luggage delivered to us, so we are going to do it!”

And so we had it delivered to us.  :)

Another thing that was different was, in our little town you might hear a siren just a handful of times per week. Well, here in the big city we were hearing them constantly! There must have been a fire station close to the hotel.

 

The nice…(no people…no stuff)…picture :)

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Don’t go far…part two will be coming!!!

 

{Click here for part two}

 

 

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Can’t go through life being all serious…

October 29th, 2014 by farmgirls | 2
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 …So we have fun even while cutting up apples for the freezer! ;)

Stay tuned, got some fun stuff coming later this weekend! :)