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Washington, D.C.

If you are an American, like a pilgrimage to Mecca, you should try to visit Washington, D.C at least once in your lifetime. It is incredibly inspiring and does affect your life every day.

There are many ways to tour Washington. I don’t recommend driving it yourself. The traffic there is nuts! If you camp at Cherry Hill RV Park, Grayline tour buses and the local metro buses come right to the park to pickup all during the day. It is not cheap to camp there though. From The Wilderness/Presidential Resort in Spotsylvania, I was able to arrange a private tour in a van with just one other couple via US Tours (1-800-863-6333). Our tour guide was very very friendly. She picked me up at the campground. She knows the area and stories well. She gave us plenty of time to see everything and ran around getting us tickets into the monuments while we were sightseeing. I highly recommend this tour for only $38. For Arlington, you will need to pay around $7 for their own tourmobile bus as no others are allowed to drive around in it.

We saw the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, toured the Office of Engraving and Printing and got to see how money is made as well as $1 million dollars in a case, the Vietnam and Korean War memorials (I touched the Wall), Ford’s Theater, the house and bed where Lincoln died across the street, the reflection pool (no Forest Gump or Jenny in it), went up in the Washington Monument by elevator (they closed the steps years ago), Arlington National Cemetery, the Kennedys’ graves, Audie Murphy’s grave, the memorial for the Challenger astronauts and their graves, a memorial to the men who died in the failed rescue of the American Embassy in Iran, the mast of the Maine (sunk to start the Spanish-American War), the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the changing of the guard there, the memorial for Military Women in Service where I looked up my own record with picture and helped the other couple find out how to register the wife’s mother’s service. We also drove by the Capitol, the Whitehouse, Library of Congress where my registered copyrighted materials are stored 🙂 , the Supreme Court, Kennedy Center, the Pentagon on the side that was hit, over the Potomac river, and more. Our tour guide dropped us off at a little grill in town for lunch and souvenir shopping.

There is not enough time to see the Smithsonian on the same day so I will be coming back another time. Our tour operator also offers to drive you in, drop you off, and pick you back up for more sightseeing for only $18 for a second day. Now is not the time of year to see the Smithsonian though. Too many schools doing field trips right now. They are very noisy and block access to the exhibits. The American History museum part is also closed right now. I will catch it in the fall when I head back down to Florida.

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