Washington D.C. day 2

We woke up the next morning early and rode the metro with all these well-dressed business people. This time we had two huge advantages: a map and cool weather. Instead of wandering around aimlessly in the heat, we were comfortable and found everything fine.

Our first stop was the White House. I thought it was really small but then realized there were more wings and such and it isn't just that main building you see in pictures.

Josh wanted to go geocaching.. it is this thing where you enter coordinates you find on this website onto a portable gps and go "treasure hunting". He was hunting for specific statues and views for pictures, usually we are wandering around in the woods for a container full of toys. Behind the White House, a couple of squirrels were trying to mate and a woman came up to me saying, "They make great pets you know! I keep a black squirrel as a pet. I bottle fed him from when he was a baby. I have a farm and all sorts of animals but my favorite is the squirrel! He has such a great personality!"

From the White House, Josh's geocaching took us to a path with a kind of hidden memorial for the signers of the Declaration of Independence. I thought that was kind of cool, since I am William Ellery's great great great etc. granddaughter.

Further down we stopped and got snacks at this stand and sat and ate. These ducklings hung around close to us most of the time. A sign said something along the lines of, "Please do not feed the wildlife. Artificial food webs are destructive to the environment." But someone was clearly feeding them since they were so people-friendly. 

The Vietnam Memorial was nearby. I saw someone siting up on someone else's shoulders to shade the name on a piece of paper. From there we walked to the Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, World War ll Memorial, and the Washington Monument. It was exhausting and a huge walk. My shoes were a little small on me and my feet had gone numb and I was limping. Definitely worth it, but so tiring. Josh was taking pictures constantly. 

We ate at the Holocaust Museum and went to a couple of exhibits there. We saw one that was targeted at children. It was about a Jewish boy who had his rights gradually taken away, until he was moved to a ghetto and then a concentration camp. You go room to room reenacting his life and he has diary pages with short blurbs of what is going on. There were videos too. It was depressing.

Downstairs was an exhibit on propaganda that was cool. It showed tactics Hitler used to gain power. And then while he was in power, there were all these anti-semitic products on the shelves. There was a children's board game where the object is to "drive the Jew out of the country". It was sick. 

Our plan had included taking the metro across the area to the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court, but we were so tired from hours of walking like that. It really was a massive area that we covered. Plus it was about 2 pm and it takes about an hour and a half to take the metro and bus back to where we were staying, and a 4 hour drive to Virginia Beach. 

We hit D.C. rush hour. By word of mouth and reading a lot, I knew it was bad. I had no idea how bad. We were on I-95 for 2 hours and went 24 miles. We got off the highway to get gas and couldn't get back on! I felt like Pizza Hut and we gps'ed the nearest one. We were stuck in long traffic lights for a long time and finally arrived.... we couldn't find it and then Josh noticed "Mattress Hut". It was clearly an old Pizza Hut building.

So we went to Chilis nearby instead. When we got back on the highway, it was still a nightmare. After it finally cleared, there was a car accident. Then after that, there was road work. We left for Virginia Beach at 3:30, we got there at 11. Josh's aunt Sue Ann was really welcoming. She showed us around her big, cool, beach house and we fell asleep pretty quickly.

(More pictures here.)