Monday, October 20, 2008

Doing D.C.

We spent the past weekend in Washington, D.C. JV won the weekend trip as recognition from his company. While families were welcome, the events planned were just for employees/spouses.

I originally wasn't going to go as I hadn't gotten a babysitter, but I decided to go at the last minute after considering my options: (1) stay at home all weekend alone with the kids, or (2) hang out in the D.C. Ritz Carlton (for free) with the kids, and have JV join us when he could. Wouldn't anyone choose option #2?

Diva and Daredevil had a blast, but I think #3 is glad to be back in her own crib after her first overnight trip. I had fun too - although I missed dinner at The Palm on Saturday night, I enjoyed ordering room service (I wasn't about to take a 6 year old, 8 year old, and 9 week old to a restaurant by myself) and took a most relaxing soak in the fabulous tub in our room after the kids fell asleep. I told JV I want to remodel our master bath to look exactly the same as the one in our room. The Ritz Carlton D.C. rocks.

Saturday we walked the National Mall and went to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. We had been there before, but we went again as that was what Diva and Daredevil wanted to do. Daredevil wanted to see dinosaurs, and Diva (of course) wanted to see the Hope Diamond.

Here's Diva riding the Metro, which is how we got around the city. Miss Independent wanted to sit in her own row. The Metro is very pleasant, clean, and cheap - the best way, I think, to get around in D.C.

Sunday we visited the Arlington National Cemetery. I had been there before also, but JV and the kids had never seen it. We watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns. If you've never seen it, it's worth seeing. It's pretty awe-inspiring. Their precision is amazing, they make it look so effortless. It's also very solemn.

A bit of background: The Tomb contains the remains of unknown American Soldiers from World Wars I and II, the Korean Conflict and (until 1998) the Vietnam War (the Vietnam soldier's remains were exhumed and identified in 1998, and re-buried elsewhere. That portion of the tomb remains vacant). The Tomb is guarded 24 hours per day, 365 days per year by specially trained members of the 3rd United States Infantry (known as the "Old Guard"). In the fall and winter, the guard changes every hour (in the spring and summer, every half hour). All spectators must remain silent the entire time they view the tomb, and must stand for the changing of the guard ceremony.

The Old Guard, one of the oldest and most respected Infantry Regiments in the United States Army, has the awesome responsibility of both guarding the Tomb of the Unknowns and escorting deceased Army servicemembers to their final rest in the "Gardens of Stone," as Arlington is sometimes called. The Old Guard is also the Army's official ceremonial unit and escort to the president, and it would provide security for Washington, D.C., in event of national emergency or civil disturbance.

Proud to bring you some American history today!

1 comment:

Alexandra Hancock said...

I didn't know we even had an Old Guard. lol. I am definitely thinking that a DC road trip should be made. I'm off to go bug hubby about it!