an‧tic‧i‧pa‧tion Pronunciation Key [an-tis-uh-pey-shuhn]
–noun 1. the act of anticipating or the state of being anticipated.
2. realization in advance; foretaste.
3. expectation or hope.
4. previous notion; slight previous impression.
5. intuition, foreknowledge, or prescience.
As much as I enjoy surprises, I think I enjoy the anticpiation of an event more. Anyone who knows me in real life or has read my blog for any period of time should recognize this. I love looking forward to things. To travel, to concerts, to meeting up with friends. I love being there and experiencing the event and the I love following it up by telling people about my experiences and scrapbooking them. I live in the moment but I also live in the future and in the past and I am okay with that.
My time in DC on Sunday, September 24th was an excellent example of this. One of the reasons I made a point of going to the DC Retreat was because it was that close to downtown DC, an area I have always wanted to see. I may be Canadian born and bred but we get A LOT of Amerincan influence up here. In our news casts and publications, pop culture, history etc. To me the White House is way more recognizable then 24 Sussex Drive (I'm not even sure if it has a proper name) and the Capitol building more familiar then the Parliment. Therefore seeing them was a pretty big deal.
My fearless tour guide Nancy, is a DC native. Jill accompanied us as did Nancy's two oldest children, Samantha and Michael. It was a whirl wind trip. I've been referring to it as "My Amazing Race in DC" but "a photo scavenger hunt" would also apply. We saw basically every monument and office building of interetst in the downtown DC area. Because Nancy is familiar with the area she was pointing stuff out left and right. Everytime she pointed something out I'd take a picture. I'm going to ask her to go through and tell me what I actually have pictures of!
Speaking of pictures. I hope this works. Erin gave me permission (and assistance) to upload my pictures to the DC Retreat Shutterfly site. I took A LOT of pictures. Most of them are here. I intend to order them directly from this site. I’m killing two birds with one stone which is why I didn’t bother weeding it down to just the very best. Hopefully you don’t get really bored viewing them. I will post corresponding blog entries to go with each album and try to reference the photos in my entries.
Here is the link: clicky Start with the "agent713-DC" photos. Those have my DC Retreat Photos and the DC photo scanvenger hunt :)
Now, back to the story.
Even driving INTO DC was fascinating. Nancy lives in Fairfax County, Virginia. One of my favourite TV shows is "NCIS" and it all takes place in that same area. We drove in on Route 66 which follows one branch of the "Metro" line. Michael is fascinated by trains and kept up a running commentary of the status of the track (above ground, below, etc.) Our first stop was the Iwo Jimo Memorial which is right beside (or is it in?) Arlington National Cemetary. The Iwo Jimo Memorial is HUGE. Next we drove past the Pentagon...a few times ;) (It took Nancy a little while to figure out which road she wanted). At one point we stopped at a park on the riverbank and looked across the Potomac to the Lincoln, Jefferson and Washington Memorials.
We took the Arlington Memorial Bridge (I think) across to DC. There we got a few different shots of the Jefferson Memorial and then Nancy dropped Jill and I off a the brand new World War II Memorial. It is about mid point on the "mall" and very impressive. Just past it you can see the Lincoln Memorial and directly behind is the soaring Washington Monument.
From there we drove up and actually found a parking spot not too far from the capitol building. We walked up the mall until we were just on the other side of the fountain in front of the capitol building. It was drizzling a little bit but still muggy. Michael had fun chasing the birds and in typical little boy fashion, the bigger the area, the louder he got :) I didn’t mind it though. He made me realize that it’s been awhile since I’ve hung out with small energetic boys!
The Capitol Building is quite impressive. It’s all white and quite large. I am familiar with the dome style architecture from the Canadian Legislative buildings though so it didn’t wow me as much as it could have.
From the Capitol Building, with the help of Nancy’s on board navigation system and her husband on the cell phone we managed to find the Supreme Court Building. THAT was impressive. For some reason I hadn’t been able to summon a mental picture of it so when we finally found it tucked behind the Capitol Building it was awesome. The tall pillars and the stone carvings are impressive.
From there we continued the driving tour of DC. We saw the Canadian Embassy, the Navy Memorial and many, many other buildings that I need Nancy to identify for me.
Our next stop was at the White House. Nancy and the kids waited in the car while Jill and I ran through Lafayette Park and got a few pictures. Nancy ended up getting a parking spot so we were able to spend more time there. The police presence was really strong and there was a requisite protest going on but other then that it wasn’t all that busy. The White House looked exactly like I’d expected, except with more trees around. It seems that on tv and in the movies it looks a lot bigger and more accessible. In person you are very aware of the tall gates and the trees that block it from view.
We walked down to see where the press corps are stationed and another very impressive grey building who’s name escapes me right now.
Next we went around to see the front of the White House. Because Pennsylvania Avenue is closed to traffic and they are doing construction, we didn’t get very close which was fine.
From there, much to Michaels delight, we headed back to Virginia. We had dinner at Ruby Tuesday’s. My first time there. I had the smoky mountain chicken and garlic potatoes. Yummy! We dropped Jill off at the hotel and I was in bed at Nancy’s by just past 9. The early night was needed and felt really good.
Wow! I’m done this entry. I’m amazed. :P