9.17.2014

The Capital

Vacation recaps are always difficult. While I want to gush and go on about every little detail, and post all 7,459,312,086 pictures I took, I know those posts are not necessarily favored by anyone but myself.

But, how do you go some place spectacular and totally overlook the trip completely?

I can't do that. So I won't. I will, however touch on the highlights, the things that truly made me go wow, took my breath away, or made me reflect.

D.C. is a remarkable city. The history that engulfs you, the monuments, tributes, and memorials that demand your attention, the goings-on of what makes our country run, are all within grasp. And, it all kind of blows my mind.
Running the Mall allowed me to see most of the memorials up close and personal.

It wasn't until we traveled to the top of the Washington Monument that we were really treated to the grandness of Mall.
The interior of the monument.
Top photo: Inscriptions in the stone from 1861.
500 feet up, the view from the top.
Top left: Looking east
Top right: Looking north
Bottom left: looking west
Bottom right: Looking south
In previous trips to D.C. I hadn't had the opportunity to actually go up into the Washington Monument. The tickets (which are free!) were always sold out. So, on the day we wanted to tour I went to the monument as soon as it opened to secure our spots at our desired time.
Travel tip: If you ever plan a trip to D.C. and want to get into the Washington Monument, either reserve your tickets well in advance online, or get to the ticket booth as soon as it opens.

***
D.C. also allowed for an evening of drinks with a high school friend and foreign exchange student, whom I hadn't seen in 14 years.
Alejandro!
Thanks for meeting up with me, Ale!
We picked up right where we'd left off. Fourteen years passed and we chatted and laughed as if no time had passed at all.
***
Scott and I were also lucky enough to secure and evening with my cousin, Chris, and his wife, Maria, who live in D.C. Chris and Maria gave us the grandest tour of the capital city.

Georgetown Cupcakes. Because, cupcakes. Duh. And, I just had to compare them to my beloved L.A. Sprinkles Cupcakes.
Who says one cupcakery is enough? We heard whispers of another cupcake shop that was up and coming, and a must try. So, try it we did.
Baked and Wired.
Confession: while the cupcakes at both places were good, delicious, actually. I have to admit Sprinkles still takes the cake in the quest for the best cupcake (see what I did there?).

A quick group selfie on the steps that were used in The Exorcist (my favorite horror movie of all time) was a must.
Anyone remember the scene where the priest falls down the stairs? These are the stairs!
The evening capped off with a dazzling display of the Capitol building.
Isn't the Capitol just gorgeous and night?
And, isn't my cousin SO TALL?!! I'm 5'7" and he towers above me!
***
The most emotional and reflective experience didn't take place in D.C., it took place in Virginia.
Here.
There are a few people who served our country, and paid the ultimate price for our freedoms, that I needed to stop by to say "hi," and "thank you."
James: I knew him primarily in college. He and two other guys were roommates with a really good high school friend of mine. My girl friends and I spent countless days, afternoons, and evenings with this group of guys. During my freshman year they were like big brothers. They were the best. And James was no exception.
Casey and Paul are brothers:
Casey: He was in the National Guard with a former boyfriend of mine. I knew him through Guard events and activities that I often attended.
Justin, or as we knew him, Paul: Paul and I went to high school together and were in the same seminar class (also known as homeroom). He was full of character. If Paul couldn't get a reaction out of you, or get you to smile and laugh no one could.
After placing my prayer rocks on both respective sites (the stones indicate to other visitors that someone else has visited) I meandered through the cemetery and let the tidal wave of emotions (as well as tears) ebb and flow through me.
If there is any place that must be visited in the D.C. area, Arlington is it. The grandeur of the place, the respect that is given at all times, the feelings and emotions that overcome you… It's an experience unlike any other. 

You were good to us, D.C. Until next time. 

16 comments:

  1. I could have literally spent two weeks touring the city and soaking it all in. This makes me want to go back soo bad!!

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  2. This is such a great blog! So happy to be part of is! :)

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  3. I really want to visit D.C. some day. I have never been, and it looks like a beautiful city.

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  4. love the pictures. I went up the washington monument as a kid! so sad for that family who lost two sons.

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  5. Beautiful, that last bit had me tearing up.

    I never thought I would want to visit D.C. until looking at these pictures. It looks amazing and beautiful. Looks like I am going to need to put this one on my big bucket list.

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  6. Wow. So cool that you got to visit the places where people you know are buried. What a meaningful trip!

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  7. What a great recap. I've never been to the top of the monument either and the views are amazing! Looks like you guys got to have some good fun on the town too! and cupcakes - never can go wrong with cupcakes!

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  8. Gorgeous photos! I've been to DC a few times (always for work), but haven't really had a chance to do all the fun touristy stuff. Definitely need to do the monument sometime. What a fun trip!

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  9. seriously, what a fabulous trip!

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  10. This is such a beautiful post. I visited DC & Arlington several years ago and I completely understand what you're saying. It's feelings that you can't really explain.

    My heart got so sad when I read that Casey and Paul are brothers :(

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  11. The photos are simple wonderful. I had no idea you could go to the top! And TWO cupcake stops?! I'm salivating. There is no way id get on those stairs though. Nope. I'm probably gonna have nightmares just thinking about those stairs! Looks like a great getaway!

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  12. You are making me miss D.C. and northern Virginia (where I grew up) SOOOOO badly! =)

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  13. I need to go there! It's high on my list of places I still need to go to within the US.

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  14. What a great evening it was, I hope we don't have to wait another 14 years to have another drink!! And we should try bake our cake, the proper way this time, lolol !!! Take good care and remember that you will always have a house waiting for you guys in DC !!!

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  15. I personally LOVE to read about vacations. Your pictures are stunning! And those cupcakes? I could gobble every single one of those up! I'm so glad you guys got some fun AND sleep time! Looks like it was a great trip.

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  16. D.C. is one of my favorite places I've been! I went once in high school and once in college and I can't wait to go back as an adult (and not with a group) and take my time to really soak it in! P.S. I've never seen The Exorcist...I should probably change that!

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