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Washington D.C. - Part 1

Updated: May 11, 2021

I've been to Washington D.C. several times in my life for various occasions including school trips and visiting nearby family. This time was a solo journey down to DC where I stayed in an Airbnb in Benning just outside the city. It wasn't the nicest area, but it was close enough that I could walk to the train station and catch that each day, which was convenient. My goal with this trip was to visit a few of the places that I had never gotten to go on family/school trips and revisit some of my favorites.

Day 1

My first started and bright and early with trip to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. I got there early, collected my timed ticket, but had some time to kill before it opened, so I walked over to the Jefferson Memorial. It was almost completely empty, which was crazy to see compared to the other more centrally located monuments on the mall.

I got back to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and had a good tour, it's insane to see how much cash is getting printed and how fast it happens. Sadly, no phones are allowed inside on the tour (this is a common theme for many buildings in DC for security).

Next up I spent some time walking around the mall, visiting various monuments including World War 2 Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Memorial, FDR Memorial, and MLK Memorial. I've been to most of these before so nothing much to report here but I enjoy the exercise and seeing them all again. The most exciting moment was that I saw a VH-3D Sea King (Marine One if POTUS is on board) helicopter flying overhead towards the White House which I thought was pretty cool.

Next, I walked to the other end of the mall and passed by the Capitol to visit the Supreme Court and the Library of Congress. I had never been in either of them before, so it was pretty cool to see the inside. I got to go into the main chambers of the Supreme Court, but no photography is allowed inside, so an image from outside the door is the closest I've got.

The main reading room of the Library of Congress just reminds me of National Treasure 2. I'm a big fan of those movies, corny as they may be, for how much history and historic sights are included. I also got to see the Gutenberg Bible, and the remains of Thomas Jefferson's library that he sold to the Library of Congress after the British burned DC to the ground in 1814.

Day 2

As my second day in DC began, I headed to the White House for a tour scheduled several weeks earlier. This was another tour I hadn't been on before, so it was really incredible to walk the halls of the White House where so many critical, inspirational, and important people have walked. If you've read my Paris blog, then you might notice the name Lafayette on one of the busts in the pictures below. There are a ton of incredible pieces of art, portraits, busts, and sculptures all throughout the tour.

I also walked by the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB) which has offices for the Vice President, and both POTUS and VPOTUS staff. If you've watched the show Veep you might recognize this building, and if you haven't watched it, I highly recommend you do!

I ended Day 2 with a night time bus tour of the city. It gave me the chance to see and to get some great photos of sights I've only ever seen during the day before (these were all shot on an iPhone XS).

I'm especially happy with the Capitol shot, I felt like I was filming the House of Cards intro.

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