Saturday, January 17, 2009
We made the trip to Washington, D.C. - 585 miles, 9 hours and 50 minutes, with two kids!
Rigby played Lego Indiana Jones and Lego Star Wars on Nintendo DS for 75% of the trip. Thank goodness he has the DS car charger. Lucy slept the first three hours. She was the sweetest young lady on the trip.
The drive was great. We took I-81 N to I-64 E over to Charlottesville, Va. and then up Hwy 29 to I-66 into DC.
Upon our arrival into D.C. around 11 p.m., we let the Garmin nuvi take care of us. First she led us to the Iwo Jima Memorial. What a special sight to see late at night. Here we were four days before the Inauguration and there was not one car in the park. The temperature was a breezy nine degrees, but the clear night view of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and our Capitol was worth every chilly minute.
Next, we ventured down into heart of our Capital. There were barricades along the sidewalks of the National Mall and hundreds upon hundreds of portable potties. We saw all sorts of staging areas and tents on the perimeter of the Mall. Staging is setup around the Lincoln Memorial with huge video screens for Sunday's free celebration event.
We just drove where we could. Some roads had cops and red flares blocking them.
The White House was not lit up, but the flag on top was (it was odd). The Capitol roads were closed, but everything else was pretty accessible to drive by. Lucy was asleep for the most part of our night tour, but Rigby was determined to find Obama.
We finally got to our hotel in Falls Church just before 1 a.m. We had reserved a Homewood Suites room and are already pleased with it. Two rooms and a full kitchen for a price not much more than we would expect on a regular weekend, but we committed to five nights to get the price.
On to bed and then time to get back to exploration tomorrow! We are really looking forward to this historic experience.