Going to the Capital Is a Great Summer Activity
Last summer, my granddaughter Kathy stayed at our house. Though she lives Florida, she's no stranger to our home in Virginia. She enjoys spending her summer vacations with us. However, even though she enjoys the sights and attractions that Virginia has to offer, she wanted to do something special this time—she wanted to go to our nation's capital.
We made plans accordingly. Being aware of the crazy summer traffic that we would encounter, I decided to plan ahead of time. I looked up information on the WMATA (Washington Metro Area Transit Authority) website and called the customer service number. They were very helpful and I was soon able to develop a plan: We would drive up to the Franconia-Springfield train station in Virginia to park the car and take the train to the capital.
Travel by Train to Avoid Traffic
I've had good experiences taking the train. As we purchased tickets, I noticed how much technology has changed everything. To get the tickets, we had to go to a ticket machine, which had all kinds of prices and was a little confusing. Thankfully, there were some attendants on hand to help us.
Boarding the train was enjoyable. We passed by some nice sights and Kathy was very excited. After riding the train for an hour, we got off in the center of Washington D.C. and walked around close to the Lincoln Memorial. Since it was close to the 4th of July weekend, it was busy with tourists.
The Lincoln Memorial Has a Great View
Washington D.C. has so much to offer. We saw many interesting things, but the one thing that touched me the most was the World War 2 memorial. As a veteran, I am glad that America remembers the sacrifices of these brave men and women who died in battle. My family has proudly served, mostly in the Army. I had two uncles who served during World War II. One of them was involved in hand to hand combat. Thankfully, they came back home alive. War is a terrible thing and it is sad to see how it affects the family of our brave soldiers. We must never forget those sacrifices and should always appreciate their service to our country. I, personally, appreciated the beauty of that site and the fitting memorial to our brave servicemen.
We visited the Lincoln Memorial and my wife was exhausted because we had walked about a 1/2 mile and it was hot. I wanted her to climb the big steps that led to the Lincoln Memorial but she refused. My granddaughter and I climbed the steps. I was exhausted. Once we arrived, we saw the statue of President Lincoln and appreciated how well it was made. My granddaughter Kathy was getting a great history lesson with this monument.
The Smithsonian Museum Is a Great Tourist Attraction
The last but not least of these attractions was the Smithsonian museum. What a place! We had to wait in a long line, but it was worth it. It is like going back in time. I saw Archie Bunker's chair, which brought back memories watching TV. I was also elated when I saw one of my favorite boxer's gloves—Muhammad Ali. To satisfy my hunger for history, I saw an old newspaper depicting the start of World War I. I was like a kid in a candy store enjoying all these wonderful sites.
As we returned home, we were tired but satisfied that we could spend time with our granddaughter. She had a dose of history and was happy about it. Our only regret is not having spent more time in Washington D.C. You cannot see in a day all that it has to offer. We plan to return soon to check out the rest of those exciting attractions. It is a nice place to visit and I highly recommend it.
Washington D.C. Is Worth the Trip
In conclusion, my trip to Washington D.C. was an outstanding experience, but be prepared to walk. If it's a hot day, take some nice cold water bottles along with you to help you stay cool. My parting thoughts are:
- Washington D.C. is a wonderful place, especially in the summer.
- It has a lot to offer
- It's a good place to spend time with family.
- Avoid the traffic and take the train, if possible.
- Be prepared to spend a few days there in order to fully appreciate what it has to offer.
With these things in mind, your time in Washington D.C. will be one to remember.