Visiting our nation’s capital was the main reason for our stay in northern Virginia. After going to the Heritage Festival in Prince William National Forest on Saturday, September 17, we drove about 40 minutes to the Franconia-Springfield train station, and then took the 45 minute train ride into Washington D.C.
After getting off the train, we walked to the National Mall. The first thing we saw was the iconic Washington Monument. We had fun taking silly pictures with it throughout the day.
We walked towards the Capital Building next, taking in the sights. One comment that Mike made as we were walking is that he thought that the Mall would be more pristine. Not that it was super dirty or anything, it was just like any other city, but he expected the capital of the U.S. to be held to a higher standard.
We continued walking and saw Library of Congress and Supreme Court before walking down Pennsylvania Avenue to The White House. It was crowded there, so we just took a few pictures and moved on. We found a grassy area just south of the president’s residence to rest for a bit before continuing on.
Then, we headed towards to Lincoln Memorial on the west side of the Mall. We walked through the WWII Memorial and by the Reflecting Pool. By the time we made it to the Lincoln Memorial, we were ready for a rest again. We sat on the steps people watching for a bit. In that short time, we saw two marriage proposals!
After taking in the stoic seated Lincoln statue inside, we ventured around to the back of the building for a great view of the sunset over the Potomac River. Then, walked over the see the Vietnam Memorial before it got too dark.
Our last stop before taking the train back home was to Pi Pizza. Pi is one of our favorite pizza places in St. Louis, so it was like a little taste of home. It is rumored that President Obama had Pi Pizza on the campaign trail and liked it so much that they eventually opened a location in D.C.
Later the following week, we made one other trip into the city. The agency that Mike does contract web development for has an office in Washington D.C., so he went into the office to work one day. I decided to come along and work from coffee shops for the day. After work that evening, we visited the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. As we came out, the sun was streaming right down G street. It was so beautiful!
We took the train back. If your planning a visit and want to take the train, be prepared to spend some extra time to figure the schedule and how to load the Metro card. We found it to be one of the more confusing public transportation systems we have taken, but still the best way to get to and from the city.