Sunday, June 14, 2009

The National Mall

In June I was invited to a wedding, at the D.C. Temple, of a friend from my mission, Nica Conde. I was excited that I could actually go! Her wedding was on Friday and I decided to make a weekend of the trip and do some sight-seeing in D.C. on Saturday. Her wedding was so nice and I even got to see some old friends from my mission - that was really neat.
The reception was in Arlington, Virginia - so before the reception I went to the Arlington National Cemetery. The rows of white headstones were humbling - as was seeing the tomb of the unknown soldier. I also walked over to see the Kennedy's headstones. Saturday I went to the National Mall. I parked my car and took the Metro subway downtown. I hoped to see the national sites, and maybe some of the Smithsonian museums. Too bad they are all so far apart from each other! I sure did do a lot of walking! I actually had shin-splints for a few days afterwards.
Anyway, I saw the Washington Monument, then walked over the Lincoln Memorial - stopping at the Vietnam and WWII memorials on the way. I really liked the Lincoln Memorial - and it was also surreal looking at the statue that I've seen in so many pictures and movies. Martin Luther King stood there with his rally and spoke that famous speech. I wanted to spend more time contemplating all these things - but there were so many people there that it was too crowded to linger. I started walking back towards the capitol and almost made it - but my legs just gave out! I didn't think my legs would be able to get me back when I finally got there. So, I turned back and decided to quickly look through a couple of the museums.
I went to the Air & Space Museum and saw the Wright Brother's airplane, and one of the Apollo capsules that went to the moon. I next went over the Natural History museum and saw the Hope diamond! It's actually smaller than I expected - but it was sure beautiful! By this time I was exhausted, so I got back on the Metro back to my car. That was a great weekend - and I look forward to more opportunities to visit our nation's capital!