Sunday morning, Fiona and I had some breakfast and jumped on a trolley tour bus outside the hotel. Our driver was funny - and took us straight to the Lincoln Memorial to catch the Orange Line trolley that would take us to many of the high points of DC.
We went inside the Lincoln Memorial first, oohing and aahing at the pillars, the statue, the inscriptions, the view from the reflecting pool straight down to the monument. I had a laugh at myself, too. When my mum visited DC several years ago, she was backing up on the steps to get a picture. She very nearly backed DOWN the steps! I caught myself doing the same thing!
Here is a photo of Mr. Lincoln, one of the Memorial itself, and one of Fiona and I taken by another lovely woman named Elizabeth who had been at the conference and ended up with us for the first leg of our tour.
While we were there, we also visited the Korean Memorial - seeing the statues in the evergreen bushes was a little eerie - it really does give you the feeling of them walking through the brush.
And Fiona is truly a girl after my own heart. She wanted to see the Vietnam Memorial after watching an episode of NCIS - I knew the exact episode she meant! It is really touching seeing all the names on that wall. And it all begins with the inscription - Freedom is not free.
Fiona and I then hopped aboard the Orange Line trolley for an animated, fun trip around the core of the city. Some pictures we snagged from inside the trolley (thank goodness for open windows!). So here is:
The grounds are beautiful and we wandered around, enjoying the sun, the east and west sides, and also getting a peek at the Library of Congress...kind of significant for a couple of Harlequin authors! This isn't your typical post-card pic of the Capitol, but it's the favourite one I took, because I love the trees and fountain that you don't see from the distance photos.
The trolley dropped us back at the Lincoln Memorial again, and we had hotdogs and lemonade for a quick lunch. After that we caught the "red" line across the Potomac to Arlington Cemetery. At this point, Fi had to catch the metro back to the hotel as she had a flight to catch, and I spent 2 lovely hours in Arlington exploring. Here are pics of the Kennedy Memorial, The changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier...and a small sample of what you see around every corner. Arlington House overlooks it all - the house of Robert E Lee before he joined the Confederacy. It is a very quiet, dignified and respectful place, and I'm very glad I went.
That night, after a shower and some prelim packing, I met Kate Walker and her husband the Babe Magnet for a long, leisurely dinner at the hotel restaurant. It was lovely to kick back knowing that there was nowhere else we needed to be. The next morning we met for breakfast too, but before that I made a quick trip to the National Zoo. I was too early for the visitor centre to be open, and it was very very humid. But I did manage to snag a pic or two for my kids. Cute, huh!
Then it was time to catch my flights. I loved DC but I was ready to be HOME. Coming into the airport and seeing my girlies was the best thing EVER. We spent the night at my mum's, and the next morning packed everything in the truck and made the drive home.