Today was just one of those days where things just don’t come together quite like they should. We headed back to Ronnie Reagan to get tickets for us and the girls on a twilight DC tour. We had checked yesterday they were sold there and advised they were, however, we got there, no we have to get them at Union Station. So I guess luck would have it that we had to go there anyway to get our next bus ticket. So off we headed.
Union Station is an impressive gateway, a beautifully restored 1908 building playing host to the metro, Amtrak and commuter trains, as well as shops, restaurants and cinemas. With a little help we located our twilight ticket booth and then headed to Greyhound a few blocks away. We were now on a tight time schedule, as the girls had managed to secure tickets for the Washington Monument @ 2.40pm.
From Greyhound we headed out to Arlington Cemetery, where veterans from every US war since the Revolution are buried at this 612-acre National cemetery. It is home to over 225,000 military personnel and their dependents, with approx. 20-25 burials/day and an estimated remaining life span of 30-60 years. JFK and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s graves are marked with an eternal flame, and nearby marked by a simple white cross Robert Kennedy. The Tomb of the Unknowns represents unknown soldiers killed in action. Military guards maintain a round-the-clock vigil with an impressive changing of the guard every half hour (with no stoppages including outbreak of war and even 9/11).
As it turns out we could have purchased the twilight tickets at the booth at Arlington.
So running the sands of times we jumped a train back to Federal Triangle and literally ran the 3 blocks to the Washington Monument only to come across the girls strolling up the hill laughing at us .. The tour was @ 3pm !bloody Buggers thought they were hilarious and once we could breath again so did we and we should point out that not only was it quite warm in DC, the humidity had gone thru the roof.
So after recovering from our run, we headed thru the security screening process (which by now we are pro’s at, including sampling our water bottles) and to the observation level via lift (thank goodness). The view was spectacular. Did we mention the tickets were free – just issued first come basis, in fact pretty much the whole of DC is free – museums, memorials and monuments – its fantastic.
After the monument we left girls having made our plans to hook up for the tour and then dinner and drinks, we headed too metro with Washington National Cathedral our intended destination – like I said it was one of those days. We got the metro ok, got off at the right stop, only problem was the Cathedral is a good 30min walk from the station, which we didn’t know nor have time for, so after walking for about 20mins and only catching glimpses of the top of it we realised we just didn’t have time to keep going, look around, get back to the hostel and shower before we had to meet the girls. So without seeing it we headed back to the hostel already pushed for time. We managed a very quick bird bath and change of clothes before we met the girls and headed back to Union Station for the tour.
The tour took us around DC past the Museums, monuments, White House and stopped at FDR, TJ, W.W.II and Lincoln Memorial which all look spectacular at night with lights glowing.
After our night time tour had finished we headed back to Du Pont circle in search of food and beer. After some wandering we found this pizza joint that was excellent. So with a fill of pizza we headed down the street to bar we had seen on our tour a few nights before for beer and laughter with the girls.