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Washington D.C. - Part 2

Day 3

The third day was a relaxing day, I took a break from all of the walking of the past two days. I went to the Air and Space Museum again, I've been several times before but still get a kick out going. I also got to meet up with a high school friend of mine who lives in DC for dinner.

I spent the evening cruising around the city on rental electric scooters which was a lot of fun.

Day 4

On day four I had a few tours booked, I started out at the National Archives. Another favorite location since seeing National Treasure as a kid. I've been here a few times, but this time I managed to get a small group tour that started in the morning before the public was allowed in, so there was no crowds which was awesome! No photos allowed inside to preserve the documents, but I love getting the chance to see our founding documents.

My next tour was just down the street, at the US Capitol. This was my first time inside and it was extremely crowded, but I got to see the Rotunda, what was supposed to be George Washington's tomb, and a lot of the statues sent by the states which are spread through the halls. It is a very beautiful building and learning about some of the history of it was very interesting.

My last stop for the day was a tour at the Pentagon. The security here seemed as tight if not tighter than the White House, and I had to apply to book it further in advance as well. Unsurprisingly, photos aren't allowed on the tour, but I did get a photo in the waiting area with a podium and some photos outside at the 9/11 memorial. The interior was cool but definitely had a military/corporate feel, nothing fancy, all business. They have all the shops you could need inside the Pentagon, flowers for a spouse, new shoes, jewelry, etc. Basically like a large international airport. The exterior memorial has 184 benches for each of the people killed on 9/11, the benches either face into or away from the building depending on if they were on the plane or in the building when they were killed.

Day 5

I didn't have any strict plans scheduled for day five, so I went back to the US Capitol to try to view a session of Congress, and I was able to sit in on the Senate in session. There was only a handful of senators in the room, but it was interesting to watch none the less. I also signed up for a tour that went into some less crowded areas of the Capitol, where there are some offices and conference rooms for the various committees. It was a cool tour which covered some of the history of the creation and decoration of the building, and it was nice to see see a less crowded side of the building. There are so many cool murals on the walls referencing various points of our history, from the founding of the nation through to the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs.

My last stop for the trip was Arlington National Cemetery. Incredible to see all the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country dating all the way back to the Civil War. I found many graves for familiar names, including JFK, General Taylor of the 101st Airborne (mentioned several times in Band of Brothers) and memorials for the astronauts of the Space Shuttle accidents. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was also very moving. It's not a happy place to visit, but I'm glad that I went.

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