Washington, D.C. { Part One }

I escaped Minnesota this week and traveled to Washington, D.C. for a few days this week with my mom, sister, niece and nephew. It was nice to get away from every day life for a little while and introduce my niece and nephew to a place that I absolutely love. I have visited D.C. a couple of times and never get tired of the city, so I thought I’d share some pictures with all of you. I also took my Jawbone Up with me to track the steps that I took every day, so I’ll share screenshots of each day.

Monday was our first day of sightseeing and it was the busiest day that we had. We started sightseeing after lunch and were out for the rest of the day. This was my favorite day, in terms of what we saw, but it was a really long day for everyone.

The first thing that we did was head to Union Station to take a double-decker bus tour. One of the reasons that we got tickets was so that we’d have a way to get around to the different sights and pick up some information along the way. If you’re ever in D.C. I think this is something to look into it, because it was nice to ride around on the bus and see everything, however you need to make sure that you have plenty of time for the tour, or to get from one place to the next, because the bus stops frequently and it took a long time for the bus to start moving again at times. We had a tour guide instead of a recording to listen to and I wasn’t too impressed by our guide. I think he was trying to be funny, but no one actually caught onto his jokes. The rest of my family took another bus later in the afternoon and my niece thought that the second tour guide that they had was fun.

After we rode around on the bus for awhile, I left my family behind to go to the Holocaust Memorial Museum. I’ve been there once before, but it had been awhile and I wanted to go back. There was a time when I considered studying history in college and I wanted to focus my studies on WWII so this is a war that I’ve studied a lot on my own. I ordered a ticket ahead of time, which was suggested since this is a busier season. When you go in, you pick up one of these Identification Cards, which tells you the story of someone who lived through the Holocaust. There are three levels to the main exhibit, each one takes you through a different part of the Holocaust. On this visit, I spent the most amount of time on the first level, which talks about the period of time before the war in which the Nazi party gained power. I was so overwhelmed after going through this part of the exhibit–well, all of it really, but this one in particular. I’m sure I don’t have to say it, but this is a hard museum to go through. It is an important one, though.

I had some time between the Holocaust Museum and meeting up with my family again to do a nighttime tour of the monuments, so I stopped by the American History Museum to get dinner at the cafe. I didn’t have a lot of time, so I didn’t go to any of the exhibits–I have been there before, though. After dinner I sat outside and waited to meet up with my family. I loved some of the detail on the building across the street, which I just discovered is the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium.

I went to the Washington Monument to meet up with my family. I was hoping to get some pictures of a few of the monuments at dusk so that the quality of the photos would be better since I didn’t have a tripod with me, but we weren’t able to start our tour until after sunset. The Washington Monument is closed right now and the sidewalks that take you closer were blocked off, so we weren’t able to get too close to it.

I don’t know what’s over there, but I thought all of the lights were pretty.

My favorite time to see the monuments is at night when they’re lit up, so I wanted to take my niece and nephew on a nighttime tour. Since it was so late, we didn’t go to all of the monuments. We saw the: Washington, WWII, Korean War, Lincoln and Vietnam War memorials. (I don’t have pictures of them all, but I do have some of the WWII and Lincoln Memorials.)


I forgot how massive the Lincoln Memorial is. This picture doesn’t even do it justice (and isn’t very good as I took it as quickly as possible–we were all incredibly tired but had one last memorial to see) but I tried to capture how big the entire memorial is. It was a special experience for me to tour the monuments at night with my niece and nephew, because that’s one of the first things that I think about when I think of Washington, D.C.

Once we finished our monument tour we made our way back to Union Station to pick up our car. We were all exhausted and sore and sunburned (seriously) at the end of our first day.

All that walking paid off, because I went over my goal of 10,000 steps that day.

Have you been to Washington, D.C.? What is your favorite sight?

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