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USA D4: Bye NYC, hello DC!

I was appalled that I slept through the early alarm I set so that I could finish updating my blog. But there was no time to kick myself as we both had half an hour to be ready and downstairs to check out.

We took a cab to Penn Station for an 8am train to Washington DC, which brought the first trip segment to a close. Bye, New York.

nyc cab

I was gleeful to see the Amtrak train had wifi, so much as I love train journeys, I spent about half the journey finishing off yesterday’s post. Mike took command of the window seat though I did pop my head up from time to time to enjoy the fairly rough and derelict views that dominate a good chunk of the journey.

And then, hello DC. We took a cab to our hotel where it was a touch early to check in so big bags got left and we went straight back out to get into our walking tour – fuelled by coffee from a place close by.

Heading through town toward the White House, we deviated into a gift shop. A few spontaneous purchases entitled us to some cheesy photo ops!

Signing important things

Signing important things

Approaching the WH we could see there were protestors in front though we weren’t sure if it was on account of the shutdown or something else, and whether this was a normal Sunday occurrence or something in particular. Once we got closer it seemed the majority were war veterans and throughout the rest of the day we would see more of this, not to mention other political causes.

white house

protestors

police on horseback

We carried on round the corner to Constitution Ave for further White House views and to wander toward the Washington Monument.

A war veteran shouting his protests at the White House. Think he'd been there a while and was showing no signs of slowing down

A war veteran shouting his protests at the White House. Think he’d been there a while and was showing no signs of slowing down

"But we don't take that sort of photo", said Mike, "do I have to?" "Yes", replied Hayley

“But we don’t take that sort of photo”, said Mike, “do I have to?”
“Yes”, replied Hayley

The Monument was one of many closed attractions in the city. It’s actually under scaffolding and cloth while it gets repaired after the 5.8 quake around here a couple of years ago. They’ve done a great job to replicate the shape and flavour of the memorial.

This guy was disgruntled, very disgruntled, with the anti-smoking movement

This guy was disgruntled, very disgruntled, with the anti-smoking movement

We walked across to the World War II Memorial, surprised to see that people were inside the site – we had expected it to be fenced off. Later on we found out that veterans had earlier in the day taken down the barricades around a few memorials as a protest against these sites being closed as part of the shutdown. We were thankful they did this – if they hadn’t, we would have been on the outside looking in, and most of these memorials were designed for people to get close to, if not inside, not simply observe from afar.

barricade sign

The WWII memorial is spectacular, especially when the fountain is going

The WWII Memorial is spectacular, especially when the fountain is going

Abe Lincoln memorial from the WWII memorial. Normally you'd try to get the reflecting pool as well, except the end is being renovated and was fenced off

Abe Lincoln Memorial from the WWII Memorial. Normally you’d try to get the reflecting pool as well, except the end is being renovated and was fenced off

You’ll note in the above photo that people are visiting the Lincoln Memorial as normal. Well by the time we arrived, the powers that be decided that had to be shut down and the barricades were back up. Bum.

Getting inside the memorial building wasn't possible (didn't feel up to taking on six policemen) but with a little bit of effort you could still see the man sitting inside

Getting inside the memorial building wasn’t possible (didn’t feel up to taking on six policemen) but with a little bit of effort you could still see the man sitting inside

We carried on to more war memorials. The Vietnam Memorial was another that had been barricaded off earlier in the day. I would’ve been hacked off if I couldn’t place the poppies I had brought with me.

The Vietnam War memorial

The Vietnam War Memorial

vietnam war memorial

The amazing Korean War Memorial

The amazing Korean War Memorial

korean war memorial

Back to presidential memorials. We set off on the lengthy walk around the tidal basin. First though…

Time for more awesome squirrel cuteness

Time for more awesome squirrel cuteness

The Martin Luther King memorial was closed, and so supposedly was the Roosevelt memorial, but the guarding services seemed to be over for the day and people were just going on in.

Part of the extensive memorial site for Franklin Roosevelt

Part of the extensive memorial site for Franklin Roosevelt

mike

mike

The Thomas Jefferson memorial

The Thomas Jefferson memorial

This memorial definitely was closed, but this wasn’t a bad thing so we discovered.

Relatively few people made the trek round to the Jefferson memorial which provided a rare opportunity to get a photo without the usual crowds. One upside of the shutdown!

Relatively few people made the trek round to the Jefferson memorial which provided a rare opportunity to get a photo without the usual crowds. One upside of the shutdown!

That's defiance right there

That’s defiance right there

If you’ve been to DC you know how incredibly spread out everything is, and with the accumulated effect of the previous three days, our feet were running out of steam. It was still a lengthy walk back to the hotel where we could check in properly.

And bonus!, we got there just in time for free drinks in the hotel lobby. Or at least it was once we’d put on some clothes that were a bit less travelled in.

Daily stats:

  • Number of different Penn Stations our train stopped at today: 4
  • Memorials we couldn’t get to on account of being closed: 3
  • Pumpkins seen on display (Halloween’s only 2.5 weeks away you know!): 138
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4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Glenda #

    As usual your standard hasn’t dropped – great blog Hayley! Great to see some familiar sights from NYC & DC that I have seen myself over the years…since the US of A is known as the land of healthy food options make sure you get to the chain ‘Cinnabon’ – delicious but oh so bad!

    15 October 2013
    • Hi Glen, great to hear from you, and thank you. Actually we’ve been surprised that healthy eating options have been around, mind you, will see if that changes as we head further south. Will keep an eye out for Cinnabon!

      16 October 2013
  2. I was thinking about you, wondering if you were caught in the demonstrators/protestors and their mess.

    I love seeing “my” city through your eyes!

    16 October 2013
    • Ahh, so DC is your old turf! We missed the confrontational stuff earlier in the day and when we did get there we reaped the benefits of that aggro, namely access to some of those memorials. It was interesting watching it on the news later!

      16 October 2013

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