Tag Archives: DC

Four Foto Friday – DC and Around

(Just noticed that I forgot to post this last week. I hit “drafts” instead of publish… whoops! Sorry for the FFF overload this week!)

OK, so today is Saturday, not Friday. You may have also noticed that I missed last week’s FFF due to our action packed time in DC. To make up for this, I’m doubling my efforts with 8 photos from the past 2 weeks. Also, since it’s the end the month, our latest album of October photos can now be found on our Gallery page. Hope this makes up for last weekend’s laziness, and that you enjoy these shots from our recent adventures!


White House: It takes some advanced planning to arrange a tour (thanks, Susan and Jeff!) but this was definitely a DC highlight. Our intern/guide met us at the gate and led us through the East Wing and Main Floor of the house, which was filled with spectacular art, historic furnishings, and many great stories about the presidents and families who resided there. While the Obama’s didn’t appear to be around, we did catch a glimpse of the family pooch, Sunny (Bo’s sister). The whole tour was a very memorable experience for us all!


DC Sights: It’s hard to choose from our photos of DC, so I’ll just use this one to capture them all. Our visits into the city included: the US Capitol, Supreme Court, National Archives, Ford’s Theatre, the Newseum, and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art… all of which can be seen in our October photo gallery. This one was taken from Arlington Cemetery (VA) on a crisp autumn morning.


Mount Vernon: Along with the DC sights, we also explored the area on several day trips, like this one to George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon. Here we not only toured the house and learned about our first president, but also took the “Slave Tour” and saw Mount Vernon from a very different perspective.


Gettysburg: Another day trip from DC was our drive up to Gettysburg (PA), known for the battle that’s considered the turning point of the Civil War. We took an audio-tour of the battlefield and found these Confederate re-enactors practicing their drills.  We also visited the spot where President Lincoln delivered his famous Gettysburg Address to memorialize the fallen soldiers and embolden the Union cause.


Family and Friends: Of course, it’s not all about historical people and places… DC gave us a chance to catch up with loved ones, too! It was great to leave the RV, spend time with family, and appreciate the comforts of “home”. We also enjoyed catching up with friends from Peace Corps (the Browns), from Delhi (Raj’s and her girls) and from Beijing (the Kochs).


Williamsburg: After 12 fantastic days in DC, we hit the road again and headed to Williamsburg, Virginia. The area of Colonial Williamsburg is a living history museum with so many attractions it was hard to see them all in one day. We learned about town life in the 1700s through visits to the courthouse, jail, silversmith, wig maker, brick maker, and governor’s palace. We even stayed into the night for a Ghost Tour… a creepy but fun way to explore the 300 year old homes.


Jamestown: The history in this part of Virginia goes back to the earliest American settlers, those of Jamestown Colony. Another living history museum, it was interesting to see how Jamestown differed from Plimoth Plantation, which we saw up in Massachusetts. Like Plimoth, the Jamestown museum also showcased the lifestyle of the Powhatan indians who occupied this region.


Halloween: What a perfect way to cap off another month on the road… trick-or-treating for Halloween candy! The boys dressed as scary bears, and even Jen got into the spirit. Although we were able to do some of this in Beijing, the neighborhood we found here in Williamsburg turned out to be an ideal spot: lots of kids, many decorated houses, and tons of American candy. Whoo-hoo!






Top Three in DC

court room

Supreme Court room

During our time in DC we admired the buildings where the people who run the government work. The first of these was the White House, then Congress, and finally the Supreme Court. When we went into these buildings, it was interesting to see the differences in the style. The White House is the smallest with many different colors (like the blue, green, and red rooms) and lots of paintings. Although we didn’t get to see the west wing where the president works we toured the east wing where the first lady works. We also walked past the place were the president makes many of his speeches. The best thing that we spotted though was one of the presidential dogs. In Congress there are so many sculptures almost every where you look you can admire the sculptures. In the Capitol building each state gives two statues of who ever they choose to be put on display in the building. Also the ceilings are super high with paintings on them. Although we didn’t get to see where the House of Representatives and the Senate meet, but we did view the rotunda and where the presidential inauguration takes place. In the Supreme Court when you walk in on the bottom floor it is like walking into a museum. They have exhibits about the Supreme Court and the justices. On the top floor where the court is, it is very plain marble with lots of big velvet curtains. The court was a large room with nine chairs at the back for the justices and other seats for the other people in court. I really liked seeing the different architecture and furnishings of the White House, Congress, and the Supreme Court.

arlington 2

Graves in Arlington Cemetery

Arlington Cemetery was cool because it was so big and had so many people that served America in some way. Throughout the cemetery there are Presidents, Congressmen and women as well as people who have served int the army. One of my favorite memorials was the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I liked the changing of the guard there because it was interesting how the biggest ceremony at the cemetery was for the people no one knew. My other favorite place was the JFK memorial because it was interesting to see where he was buried and to learn about him and what he did. Overall I think that Arlington Cemetery has some of the most influential people in American history and it was cool to see where they were buried.


Newseum exhibit on First Amendment

One of my favorite places in DC was the Newseum because it was interesting to see how the news works and how it has changed over time. A good exhibit that they had that showed this was called News Over Time. In the exhibit there are pieces of new from the times of the American Revolution (about the 1770’s) to now. My other two favorite exhibits were the FBI exhibit and the First Amendment exhibit. In the FBI exhibit they showed the news papers and video from 9/11 and the UNI bomber and other things about gangsters and terrorists. The First Amendment exhibit was about the use of the First Amendment in real life. In this exhibit they showed different cases that had to do with the first amendment (sometimes the cases even ended up in the Supreme Court). I think that this was a great museum about how the news works and how it has changed.

Visiting the White House


Outside of the White House (no photos allowed inside)

In DC we did many things like Mount Vernon, Newseum, Ford’s Theatre, the Capitol, the National Archives, and the Supreme Court. But my favorite place we went to was the tour of the White House.

On October 22, we went to the White House and the White House visitor center. We went in the visitor center and learned a lot about the history of the White House. One of the things we saw was what the presidents favorite foods were. Then we went to the real White House. We looked in the whole east wing and we went in all the rooms of first floor. They had some weird named rooms like the red room the blue room and the green room. They are called that because of the color of everything. We saw and talked to the Secret Service. Some wore black and white and some wore just white. My favorite room in the White House was the red room because I like the color red and because it looks very cozy but it is a small room. The best thing we saw was one of the President’s dogs, Sunny, and we saw all the presidents portraits.


Sunny Obama

Miles and I did a ranger book again and we learned a lot and we got a badge that says The White House. Here are some fun facts that we learned about the White House:

  • Abraham Lincoln was the first president to have a beard.
  • Thomas Jefferson had three pets: a mocking bird and two bear cubs.
  • Caroline Kennedy had a pony called Macaroni
  • Ronald Reagan’s favorite food was jelly beans.
  • Benjamin Harrison was the first president to have electric lights, but he was so afraid that he had an electrician turn them on and off.
  • Franklin Pierce was the first president to get hot and cold running water.
  • Jimmy Carter built a treehouse at the White House for his daughter, Amy.
  • The first telephone number for the White House was 1.
  • William Howard Taft was the first president to throw the first pitch of the baseball season.
  • Dolly Madison saved the famous portrait of George Washington when the first White House was burned down by the British.