Washington DC: Day 3

On our third full day in Washington D.C., the four of us got up and once again did our morning Starbuck’s run.  From there, we walked down to the White House to take some pictures since we only stopped there briefly after lunch on Day 2 since there were so many people around.  So we stopped off at the White House took a few pictures and then headed towards the Washington Memorial, where we were hoping to be able to get tickets to go to the top of the Washington Memorial, but the tickets were already sold out for the day by the time we got there.  At that point it was 9:15 am, and Shannon wanted to try getting tickets to go to the Holocaust Museum which opened at 10.  I really wanted to go paddle boating at the Jefferson Memorial that day as well, but wasn’t quite sure how the tickets for paddle boating worked.  The four of us decided to split up, Ryan and I went to check out the paddle boats, while Shannon and Luke went to get tickets for the Holocaust Museum.

White House

White House

Shortly after Ryan and I got to the paddle boats, we realized we shouldn’t have a problem just going there whenever and purchasing tickets to get on.  At 10 Shannon called me saying how the tickets they gave her were for 10:15 and told Ryan and I to meet them there.  The paddle boats conveniently were located right across the street from the Holocaust museum pretty much, so we got there easily.  When I was in school, I always thought learning about the Holocaust time period was interesting, so I was interested to see how the Holocaust Museum was.  Luke is actually straight up from Poland, and moved to the United States when he was around 10 or 11, and he said that when his grandfather was little, the German’s invaded the town he grew up in and rounded his family up to try and kill them, but because they knew the land better than the German’s they were able to run into the woods and hide from them until they left and then just went right back to their home.  I was amazed when Luke told me this, because I never knew his ancestor’s were that affected by the Holocaust era.  While we were walking through the Holocaust Museum, we walked across this bridge that had the names of all the towns in Poland that were either destroyed or greatly affected by the German invasion, and the town his grandfather grew up in was on it (Nisko), as well as the town Luke grew up in when he was little (Kamien).

Another interesting thing that they do at the Holocaust Museum, is they have these booklets that they hand to you before you go on the elevator to the exhibits.  Each booklet contains a story of someone affected by the Holocaust, and as you walk through the museum, you read certain pages pertaining to what floor of the exhibits you are on and it describes what happened to them during that certain time period of the Holocaust.  On the last page of the booklet, it tells you whether your person survived the Holocaust or if they ended up dying.  All of the booklets are based on real people.

After the Holocaust Museum, the four of us headed to the paddle boats and decided to do them then before it got too late and hot out.  As we were walking there, my friend Brian called me and said he was in the area if we all wanted to meet up and go to lunch.  I told him we were about to go paddle boating at the Jefferson Memorial and they we could meet him there after we’d finished on the paddle boats.  The paddle boats were $16 for two people or $26 for 4 people, but we decided to get 2 paddle boats so Ryan and I could have our own and Shannon and Luke could have their own.  I was surprised at how hard it is to paddle a paddle boat.  Ryan and I actually figured out that it was easier to peddle backwards than it was to peddle forwards, so half the time we just were floating around the lake going backwards.  We could rent the paddle boat for an hour, but it was really hot out on the lake, and we could just feel ourselves burning so were only stayed out for maybe 30 minutes before heading back in.  The view of the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Memorial from the paddle boats was really cool, and you can even paddle down to Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial as well, but Ryan and I opted to not do that.

Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson Memorial

Paddle Boating at the Jefferson Memorial

We grabbed some water and gatorade from the concession stand near the paddle boats after getting off, and then walked over to the Jefferson Memorial to meet up with Brian.  Brian had his car parked near there, so he kindly drove us to go get lunch.  We decided to go to Georgetown for lunch, and as we were driving through Shannon saw this famous cupcake place and asked if we could stop there after lunch, which none of us had any objections to.  We found this pizza place called Pizza Bistro that we decided to eat at, and was really good.  Ryan and I shared a pizza because we decided that we didn’t each need a pizza to ourselves.  I didn’t have any complaints about the place, but I think Ryan’s only complaint was that they only sold craft beers there which he isn’t really a fan of.  The two of us were so full from eating pizza afterwards that we didn’t even want to think of buying cupcakes, so we let Shannon and Luke go in and grab cupcakes while Ryan, Brian and I waited outside.  Their cupcakes did look extremely good though.

After lunch Brian asked what we wanted to do next, and offered to give us a ride to wherever we were next going.  Since we didn’t really see the Capital Building yet and missed the Botanical Gardens on Day 1, we asked him to take us down there.  They were doing construction on the top of the Capital Building while we were there, so I didn’t really care to get pictures of the Capital Building too much, so Ryan and I walked down to the Botanical Gardens while Shannon and Luke took some pictures with the Capital Building.  The Botanical Gardens were really cool, there were a bunch of different climate sections like Hawaii, the desert, Tropical, an orchid room, and several others that you could walk through.  There was this really thick and tall bamboo in one of the sections that Ryan was convinced was fake, I told him that is definitely wasn’t but he still begged to differ.

United States Botanic Garden

United States Botanic Garden

United States Botanic Garden

At that point, it was around 4 and all of us were really tired again just from walking so much the past 2 days and even that day.  We all wanted to see some of the memorials all lit up at night, so we all decided it’d be smart to head back to the hotel to rest for a little bit and then go back down towards the National Mall later on.  After resting a little, Shannon and Luke decided to go to dinner somewhere and then were gonna go to the National Mall from there.  Ryan and I decided to rest for a little longer before getting up and heading to get something for dinner too and then also walked down to the National Mall.  When we got to the National Mall, we decided to just go to the Washington Memorial and look out at all the other monuments rather than walk to all of them, especially since there was no way we would have been able to survive walking to all of them.  It was pretty cool to see everything lit up though, even from the distance, and was a great ending to our last day in D.C.

National Mall at Night

Lincoln Memorial and the World War II Memorial

Captial Building at Night

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