Sunday, July 03, 2011

Eleventh Day in Washington, D.C.

Today we decided to take a driving tour of the George Washington Memorial Parkway.  It starts where we were yesterday and ends at Mount Vernon, the beloved home and final resting place of George and Martha Washington.  It was a hot, humid day so a drive was perfect.

We realized by our map that we’d going right by the Marine Corps Memorial.  I was so glad because it’s not one that most people get to see on their visit to Washington, D.C.  It’s not close to any Metro stop or bus stop and it not within walking distance from the city.  Since we had the car it was no problem.

The story goes that when the Marines captured Mt Suribachi on February 23, 1945 they raised the flag.  It actually included a Navy Corpsman.  A journalist named Joe Rosenthal took a picture of it and it became the most famous picture of World War II.  It was the ONLY picture to win the Pulitzer Prize for Photography in the same year as its publication.  Felix de Weldon used the photograph when he designed the Memorial

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From there we headed down the Parkway to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens.  This is where he lived from 1754 until his death in 1799 and is buried along with his wife, Martha and her children and grandchildren.

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Martha was a widow with two children when Washington married her and they had no children together.

My friend, Lisa Craik Lindell (we visited in Louisville) is the great-great-great-great granddaughter of Dr James Craik, a longtime friend and personal physician of George Washington.  He was one of the doctors that was there when Washington died.

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One of the other doctors wanted to do a tracheotomy on Washington the next day to bring him back to life because he believed Washington had epiglottis and would be able to breathe with the tracheotomy but Martha refused.

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He wasn’t originally buried in this tomb but it took so long to build that he was buried in another place on the grounds and then his body exhumed and put in this tomb in 1831 along with Martha and other family members.

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Martha on the left, George on the right and other family members behind that black wall.

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We paid for a tour ticket to see the inside of the mansion and were given a time of 4:10.  We thought that meant our tour would start at 4:10.  When we went to the place where the tour was supposed to start we were told that 4:10 was the time we were supposed to line up and then it would be a 30 minute wait to get in.  Ugggghhh, no thanks!  It was WAY too hot and muggy to stand out there any longer.  AND no pictures were allowed!

The outside of the mansion

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The view from the back of the mansion

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We preferred the cool A/C in the museum so that’s where we chose to be.  Some of the places you could take pictures but no pictures of the galleries of collections nor could I take any pictures of Washington’s dentures, which by the way, were made by Paul Revere.  Supposedly, they were very uncomfortable and some say is the reason he didn’t smile much in pictures.  LOL

Washington’s swearing in ceremony

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Official portrait

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Bronze bust

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Washington also owned a distillery which is located 3 miles away.

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From there we drove back up the Parkway stopping at a few pull offs to see the Potomac River.

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Tomorrow we’ll be celebrating our nation’s 235th birthday in our nation’s Capitol.  It’s going to be jammed packed with people but I don’t care!  I’m SO excited.  We’ll be taking the Metro so at least we won’t have to worry about parking or traffic.

In case I get home too late to blog tomorrow night I hope everybody has a fantastic but safe holiday!

Happy Birthday, America!!

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4 comments:

Hembree said...

I think that I would be in tears allllllllll day if I were there on the 4th of July...have a great time!!!

Sandra said...

Have a great time in your Capital City on the 4th of July!

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

Thanks for your detailed tour... seeing things we only read about in our history books!

Karen and Steve


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║╔╗║╔╗║╔╣╔╩╗╔╝ ★ 4th of July ☆ 2011
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squawmama said...

Wow ~ what a great day!!! Loved this post. Have fun at the fireworks ~ I'm jealous!
Keep safe
Donna