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Faith's Firm Foundation: Washington, DC, Here We Come!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Washington, DC, Here We Come!

 We're planning a trip to Washington, DC!  I'm overwhelmed.  I love to plan. I love travelling!  But, I'm overwhelmed by planning this trip, feeling we have too little time to get it done properly.  Can we still tour the White House?  Will taking the Metrorail be confusing? Will going to museums and sightseeing on foot every day be too much? (Yes.)  We are taking our two grown children with us, which is why we're going now.  We were last out east about 3 weeks after 9/11.  Yes, our timing is impeccable.  Actually, it was amazing, and I see God's hand in the whole thing.  We'd planned this wonderful trip for a long time!  We drove over 5000 miles in two weeks, and saw so many states and so many sites, and met so many people across this nation!  The plan was to skip Washington, DC, on that trip, because, "Washington is a whole trip in itself!"  And we promised that we'd go back and see Washington!  We were so glad we'd planned it that way, because we couldn't get near Washington just weeks after the attack.  As we drove down the coast and got closer and closer to Washington and New York City, it was incredible how many flags and patriotic signs were displayed in people's yards and so many references to God!  It was ok, then, to talk about God.  God bless America was everywhere.  That was an amazing trip.

I was so organized on that trip.  I had time to plan that trip.  And maybe I was younger then, too.  Obviously I was.  And that was before cancer.  Cancer and chemo's taken a lot out of me, and I get easily overwhelmed, I find.  (Or maybe that's because I'm going to be 54 on the 24th of this month.)  But I'm going to trust the Lord to make this work out, and help us to do and see the things He wants us to, not worry about what we don't get to do, for lack of time, and just do the best I can at planning things.  He'll help me, and everything will work out.  I'm very thankful for the opportunity to do this with my family!
Anyone live out there or have any suggestions?
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Blogger Tonya @ Live the Adventure said...

Can't wait to read about your trip! We love visiting DC! We were also there shortly after 9/11- actually the following spring and the city was still on high alert which was at times a bit unnerving to say the least but I wouldn't hesitate to return.

I'll attempt to answer some of your questions. It is my understanding that the White House is off limits but there is a Visitor's Center for the White House that is worth going to. Also, you can order tickets online to some of the attractions such as the Washington Monument. It will cost a wee bit for the tickets as opposed to getting them in D.C. (which would be free), but you'll be guarenteed a spot and won't have to spend your time waiting in huge lines only to be turned away..yes, I speak from experience. :(

The metro wasn't difficult at all if you can have someone explain it to you- your hotel staff should certainly be able to assist you and they make it easy by color coding the lines so you may start on the green line and know you need to switch to the orange line. Sounds confusing, but it really wasn't so much for us. When you leave the station, if you aren't running up the steps to get to work, make sure you stay on the right side (I think it's the right, notice other slower moving commuters and take notes from them) so you don't get run over or hold up the people rushing to work. This was kindly explained to us by a business man on our last visit.

The Capital is great- contact your state representative and ask them if they can get you on a tour for the day you'll be there. They can also arrange other tours, of course they prefer to have more time but it wouldn't hurt to ask.

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing was fabulous and of course the Smithsonian museums are not to be missed. My favorite museum was the Holocaust Museum- at that time (before the shooting they had) security was tighter than anywhere we'd been so if you plan to visit, allow extra time to get in. You also need a ticket for this one.

If you are staying in a hotel make sure you ask how much parking will be- it's common for them to charge for that since parking is limited in DC. If you are looking for a campground, we stayed at an excellent one just outside the city called Cherry Hill RV Park. We were tent campers at the time.

Well, that's all I can think of right now. Blessings!:)

August 11, 2010 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger Marsha said...

Here's a website with some info about White House tours.

You have to submit a request for a tour through your Senators or representatives.

If you get a chance to visit Arlington National Cemetery, you should. It's one of the Metro stops, so it will be easy to find. You can tour the Custis-Lee Mansion (or Arlington House) where Robert E. Lee lived prior to the Civil War. You can visit JFK's grave and the Tomb of the Unknown soldier. It's all very, very humbling and inspiring at the same time.

Hope you have a great trip!

August 11, 2010 at 10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


what a wonderful idea for a trip. How long do you have to plan? I admire people who plan. I have a big trip to visit my friends coming up and all I have planned is my ticket.

I have so many friends and so much family that I hardly ever go anywhere where I don't have a place to stay so I usually don't need to arrange for a hotel. However, when I move abroad I usually stay in a hotel until I find an apartment. Last time I did that I checked with websites online what fellow travelers wrote since I did not know anyone who could suggest a hotel. It is good to at least look at those hotel critics websites to see if any big complains have been posted recently. That way I avoided a really awful hotel and found a wonderful tiny place which was really worth its money.

Thank you for reminding me that I should probably start looking into what I am going to do while my friend's are at work ;) I love the Lonely Planet selection for cities and regions. I don't know why, but so far they have not disappointed me (in case you are looking for a good book on D.C. to buy).

If you have some time, you should visit George Washington's house. As far as I recall (last time I was in DC was a while ago) it isn't too far from DC and it really impressed me.

I hope you have an amazing trip :)

August 12, 2010 at 5:33 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Thank you so, so much! The metro rail advice was priceless! Especially the running up the steps; I can just see me holding up a whole line of business people without knowing it and my family being very upset with me!
I'm going to pour over your comment! Thank you so much,

August 12, 2010 at 12:42 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Thank you, Marsha, for the great website advice! I am so grateful for the help! I'm really looking forward to going to the Arlington House and Arlington Nat'l Cemetery--and I'm glad they're on the metro. You put it well, that just being at the cemetery will be "very, very humbling and inspiring at the same time". Ok, now I'm starting to get more excited about going.
Thanks, Marsha!

August 12, 2010 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

You guys are so amazing! I'm so grateful and touched that you took the time to help me with all this great advice! I have about 2 months right now until we go, but I keep reading "reserve 3 months ahead" or "call 6 months in advance," and there are so many things to see (obviously we'll only hit the highlights). We will be driving, because my husband doesn't like to fly:), and then we'll be there about 10 days. We are planning on a vacation rental of a house (so we have someplace to come back to, and so my son and daughter can have their own rooms), and it is 3-4 blocks from the metro.

You are very adventuresome!! I appreciate your suggestions, as a seasoned traveler! (and I'm going to check them out today)! Yes, we are planning to go to Mount Vernon, and that is one of the things I'm most looking forward to seeing--I love historic houses! Thank you again, I sure am glad I have you guys, my blog friends!

August 12, 2010 at 12:56 PM  

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