My favorite thing about this time of year is that the sky is still bright with light at 9:03 PM.
The days seem to last for.ev.er and I can fit in SO MUCH of whatever it is I want to spend my time on. Sometimes that means long podcast-filled walks followed by conversations with friends old and new over bottles of brews on a patio or porch. And sometimes that means grocery shopping and food prep followed by four episodes of Rizzoli & Isles in front of the air conditioner with Nick while I debate markers vs. crayons for my next coloring page.
Long summer days are also perfect for traveling, especially when you want to indulge in every bit of tourism you can. It’s a very POTUS summer over here; Nick’s mom Kathleen is coming to visit next month and we’ve got a trip to nearby Hyde Park for lots of FDR goodness on the agenda. This has been a road trip on the “yeah, I’ll do that eventually” list since I moved to the area in 2008, and no one was surprised over my thrill when she mentioned wanting to go while she’s here.
Also accomplished this summer: my first trip to DC. Our site seeing took place on Monday evening and Tuesday morning [I was in town working a trade show for the week] and I was delighted with the experience. Monday evening I was a tag-a-long with a group of about-to-be Freshmen high school tour thanks to an invite from their teacher, and I soaked up all I could from the very knowledgeable tour guide. We toured the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial, the Korean War Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. I also spent about an hour at the National Mall without the group. I really enjoyed taking a moment to notice the grandeur of the monuments around me and think over-romanticized writer-brain thoughts what they represented.
My favorite memories of Monday night were definitely the time spent on the back side of the Lincoln Memorial. I first ventured back on my own, before meeting with the group. I stood alone at one of the back corners, taking in the view of the Washington Monument and US Capitol Building through the column cut out of the fortress surrounding the giant Lincoln sitting inside.
Later after catching up with the group, the tour guide led us to the back of the memorial, asking us to sit as she pointed to a residence and spot of land in the distance before beginning a story of Mary Lee’s Rose Garden at Arlington National Cemetery. I loved this space and have decided that if I lived in DC, I would try to start a dinner picnic club that meets on the back wall once a month.
There was a LOT I didn’t get a chance to see when I was in DC, but I have a strong list of priorities going for our next trip [the memorials around the reservoir are a MUST for me next time!] I’m not at all disappointed in what we covered in the short tourism time during this trip.
We also managed 90 minutes of the National American History museum, which was in no way enough time and I can’t wait to go back. The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden exhibit is the literal definition of AMAZING and I barely took time to read a thing, the American Stories pop culture exhibit was a fantastic rush through, and we completely skipped out on the FOOD: Transforming the American Table exhibit.
There are also several exhibits being built for future openings and several exhibits we didn’t even get a chance to glance towards, which explains why revisiting this museum when I have several more hours is definitely on my Next Visit To Do list. [and then, you know, every other National Museum, too.]