29. Apr, 2016

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FRIDAY 10-10-08 

We didn’t go to bed very early last night which was a shame as we were awoken by the alarm clock this morning at 06:00. We had decided to make an early start in to Washington DC in order to join the queue for tour tickets to the Capitol & Congress Building. It was dark as I plodded to the shower block, Rosina electing to take the easy way out and shower in the RV. 

We arrived at the Capitol Building at 08:20 joining the back of the queue already some 80 people long. Fortunately we got tickets for the 09:30 tour which meant by the time we’d reached the front of the ticket queue and been issued them we seamlessly joined the entrance process including security which was rather taxing but once inside and on the tour it all seemed worthwhile. The tour included the Rotunda, Old Senate Chambers and the Hall of Columns. The paintings and interior decorations were very impressive, especially in the Old Senate Chambers. 

That tour done we wandered down to the Natural History Museum where we had a very indifferent lunch which was no more than a snack and cost us $20.We were growing fed up with the food available to us at lunchtime all at expensive prices, there are no shops close-by, in fact we’ve yet to see any normal shops. I suppose they must be several blocks back from the Mall. After lunch we had a bit of a look around the museum, The Chef more than I, as wired together piles of bones don’t do a lot for me, after a while I sat on a bench whilst she went and checked out the mammal section. 

We then walked further up the Mall to the Washington Monument, the one that looks like Cleopatra’s Needle, and found that they also have tours, presumably to the top of the needle since there’s nowhere else to go. We are now considering getting up early tomorrow, getting in to town and grabbing a couple of tickets, which would give us the opportunity of terrific views and pictures from the top.  That done we made our way to The White House www.whitehouse.gov , taking the usual tourist pictures front and back. It doesn’t look anything like as big as it does on television, but having watched a TV documentary it’s surprising how large it is inside, it must be a bit like Dr Who’s Tardis. 

Our final stop was at the WWII Monument, a really nice monument which we took pictures of, but I couldn’t video because I’d run out of tape. I always carry a spare tape, but today’s ‘spare’ was in fact a previously recorded tape which I hadn’t swapped, so I was annoyed with myself. 

We were back at the RV at about 18:00 having had to wait ages for a bus from the Metro station to the campground, it was lovely to sit down. The only real sit down’s we’d had all day were on the Metro and at lunchtime, that was in about 11 hours in warm (78F) sunny weather. 

Tonight’s meal was cooked outside in the folding oven placed on  the gas rings, the first time we’d got around to using it. Whilst it’s a great idea and design I think perhaps it was meant to be heated above a real camp fire rather than on a gas ring. 

Tomorrow we return to the city, hopefully to tour the Washington Monument, take another look at The WWII Monument and squeeze in the Air & Space Museum. Fortunately the weather forecast is ‘good’ again, the problem is this is a public holiday weekend, Monday being Columbus Day and so it could get pretty crowded. 

LOCATION TONIGHT: Cherry Hill Park, 9800 Cherry Hill Road, College Park, MD 20740