Memorial Day Visit to DC

Day 1

Time to visit my brother Sammy in Gaithersburg, MD.

He picked me up at the Baltimore Airport with his daughter Molly.

We drove to his home and had a good time visiting. 

We had a small meal at Ruby's outside on a perfect summery afternoon.

Day 2

Sam and I worked on the website, pulling it up to date and with more focus.

Molly and I went shopping, buying inconsequential things for our closet.

Meeting at lunch, the three of us chowed down on salads.

In the afternoon Sam, Debbie, and I drove in to DC to look at the war memorials for remembrance.

I felt it was fitting and necessary to do this.

We walked the Washington Mall from the WASHINGTON MEMORIAL to the new WWII MEMORIAL. Putting our feet in the fountain and taking a rest, it was an amazing sight to see all the people out to commemorate our fallen soldiers.

World War 2 and Washington Memorial

The air was warm, it was a summery day.  We proceeded north to the LINCOLN MEMORIAL, where many tourists had gathered.

There were many veterans from all across the US .  Most were part of the ROLLING THUNDER parade set for Sunday.  Wearing their black leather vests adorned with patches of prior regiments, platoons, fellow soldiers and those MIA, it was sobering to see their serious faces sheltered by grey ponytails and bandanas.

After a short stop at the LINCOLN MEMORIAL we proceeded to the VIETNAM MEMORIAL.

Carol and Sam

This was, in my mind, the most difficult one to see.  It's a tribute to a war held during my lifetime, unresolved and unfinished--  a scar, a bruise on the American psyche and soul. 

I felt compelled to pay tribute to those who served and died.

 I wanted to see each and every name.. and soak in all the atmosphere.  It felt chapel-like as I walked down the walkway to the wall of names. 

As I descended, talking stopped.. .and there was only silence or hushed tones.
Many grown men were tearing up, or slightly crying.  Small tributes adorned the base of the wall: flowers, photos, beers, dog chains, motorcycle helmets, cards, drawings- relics of lives/loves lost.

Vietnam Memorial Wall

The wreathes for Memorial Day were were bright and cheery and out of character for the place.  An overwhelming sense of sorrow permeated the largest part of the lawn and my heart  Everyone seemed close to tears.

I took a photo of my reflection in the wall, to remember how difficult it was to walk along  the wall and glimpse the names.

Vietnam Memorial, May 2007

What a huge amount of loss. 

As we left, we felt a huge need to leave the Washington Mall , and move along to a more upbeat place.

We drove to GEORGETOWN to see if we could find our old family home.  It's 1914 P Street.

Carol's Georgetown home

It's a home my parents bought in the 50's and restored.  It's on the National Register of Historic Homes, built in 1868.

Dinner was at Martin's Tavern.   Perfect meal.

 

Day 3

The morning brought a bike ride on the C & O Canal.  A park and trail ride that extends north of Washington DC all the way to Chesapeake.

Carol and Sam biking the C&O Canal

The canals were built to move goods from DC up to the Chesapeake River.  The canals had locks and gate keepers.  The barges were pulled by mules, who walked along side.  The POTOMAC RIVER is nearby.  The forests and wooded areas are steeped in wildlife.  We saw an owl, blue heron, turtles, and baby geese.Geese on the C&O

Gorgeous day -  gorgeous ride.

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Lunch was courtesy of WHOLE FOODS.

Sam and I settled in to watch a bit of a movie.. and then sat poolside for the rest of the afternoon.

We had dinner with folks at the Macaroni Grill.

Day 4

A small bike ride and coffee at STARBUCKS in the morning.

Sam and I met my longtime childhood friend Connie and her husband Jeff for lunch.  We kibitz and laughed, for a couple of hours.  Good to see her and marvel that she lives so close to my brother now, moving up from FL only a year ago.

Carol and ConnieMy brother Sammy likes this picture of Connie and her hat...

Connie with hat.

I spent some time with my sister in law and niece during the afternoon. 

Sam and Debbie drove me to the airport and soon enough, I was back in my home.

What an amazing weekend, chocked with new friends, familiar family, older friends, and lots of laughter, hugs..and blessings.