Thursday, June 14, 2012

Deny everything. You never read this blog post.

The rest of DC:

On Sunday the 10th we went to Uncle J's Southern Baptist church. They had the best music! They had a 3 octave bell choir playing along with piano, organ, and horns! It was amazing! They played A Mighty Fortress is our God, one of my favorite hymns. It was very, very nice.
After church we went out to lunch and then went to The Shrine of Immaculate Conception. It was a giant Catholic church nearly completely devoted to Mary. It was quite sad. Soooo many statues of Mary. Only one or two of Jesus. On the walls were painted things like, "Mary saves" and things. I'm not trying to be rude or anything, but Jesus is the one that saves. Mary carried Jesus, but he is infinitely more important than she is.
The church was very, very beautiful with mosaics all over the ceilings. And a beautiful pipe organ!

Then we walked past the capitol buildings, which were closed.
The Supreme Court:

Library of Congress (and the steps that Ben Gates ran up during the Library of Congress scene from National Treasure #2)


The Canadian Embassy!

Then we walked the memorials.

Memorial for those killed in the Vietnam War (I believe):

There were many many many names. Lining the whole wall. Uncle J said he knew some of these people. Uncle J was drafted into the United States army. They were looking for 3 volunteers to join the Marines. When no one volunteered they called names. My uncle's was one that was called. The Marines are known for being the toughest branch of the military. Luckily my uncle didn't see combat. He says that being in the Marines made him a better person and that if he were to do it all again, he would still go into the Marines as opposed to another branch. I think that's pretty cool.

Lincoln Memorial:

Washington Monument (nope, we didn't climb this one! It is closed due to the earthquake in the DC area last year. Also, the reflecting pool has been emptied due to the fact that it was mostly mud. I did, however, get a picture of the monument reflecting on a lake!).

Jefferson Memorial (as we were on Shank's Ponies, we didn't walk all the way to this memorial. Instead I just got a picture).

(sorry it's on its side)
Korean War Memorial:

Freedom is not free.

Martin Luther King Jr. memorial (see the rock in the background? The statue was carved out of it. The rock came from a mountain. This is significant because he was on a mountain top when he had a revelation... Or something along those lines. As Barliman Butterbur says, "One thing drives out another.")

Out last stop? The Franklin D. Roosevelt memorial:

Boy were our feet sore! We walked at least 2 miles, possibly 3 or 4 in one day. It felt like 10.
My poor mom has blisters a plenty.

Monday, the 11th we slept in a little later and then left for The International Spy Museum.
The information I am about to disclose to you is top secret. I am trusting you to keep it secret. Don't be alarmed if your computer self destructs after reading this blog post. Remember, if the police come for you, deny everything. You never read this blog post. Understand? Good. You may proceed.

After acquiring your tickets, you stand in line for the elevator. Above your head is the statue of Russian spy Feliks Dzerzhinsky. He was toppled from his base in from of KGB headquarters to symbolize the end of Soviet regime.
Finally the anticipated elevator arrives. You enter. As you go up, a voice is heard. She tells you that you are going to the briefing area where you will receive your orders.
Before you get briefed, though, you have to pick a secret identity from pre-written bios on the walls. I picked Colin Walker, a 21 year old art major from London. You have to remember your cover because two interactive displays in the museum ask you to receive and fulfill a mission.
Then into the briefing room where a film about the history of spies is shown. It was very good.
Then into the museum. It was filled with facts and artifacts on spies from all points in time. I was very impressed. Even Grama, who thought it was going to be a different kind of museum, was impressed.
The best part for me was all the different displays.... It was as if you were actually in the underground tunnels America build to spy on Russia. It was as if you really were in a 18th century parlor. In one part you could climb through the vents! (I thought of my friend Jessica's story Finding Lily).
Unfortunately, pictures were prohibited throughout the entire museum.
It is a very good museum and I highly recommend it to anyone who is into spies and espionage. (It makes it all the better that the first quote I saw upon entering was from Sherlock Holmes!).
The gift shop was just as fun as the museum. And the absolute best thing in the gift shop? Lord of the Rings! But not just any copy.... This version didn't have any words! Just a hole so you can hide things!
I didn't have $30 to spend on LotR's so instead I got these instead:

A postcard (at the top), a bookmark (to the left), 3 pins (to the right), and a CD ("Music to Spy By" at the bottom). The CD includes 19 spy themes from various TV shows and movies. Arrangements include, James Bond Theme, Pink Panther Theme, Mission: Impossible Theme, 007 Theme, Get Smart Theme, I Got My Spies on You, and many more! I haven't had a chance to listen to it all yet.... But from what I've heard it's really good music to write by.... er, spy by.

After the museum we ate lunch here:

The food was good but not out of the ordinary.

After The International Spy Museum we headed over to Ford's Theater where Abraham Lincoln was shot. A loooong line awaited us. They were out of tickets for the day! We hung our heads in defeat and wondered what to do for the rest of the afternoon when a school group asked, "Do you need tickets? They gave us way to many!" So we were able to get it after all! I guess school groups aren't so bad after all.... At least the older students.
The outside of the theater:


The booth where Lincoln was assassinated:

After Lincoln was killed, the theater was gutted and turned into a military building. Eventually the government or national parks service got a hold of it and re-did it to look like it did when Lincoln was shot.

Here is the house where Lincoln died:

We walked through it and I believe there was a museum next to it.... I was really tired this day and I really don't remember much.
Inside the museum was a tower of "books" (real books would be too dangerous so they were fake books). Every single book on this tower is about Abraham Lincoln (there are doubles... and triples... but still, that's a LOT of books about one guy!).

I still have one more day in DC to report on but I shall refrain from doing so at this moment because it is 11:00 and we have to get up at 7:30 tomorrow morning. You can look forewords to a blog about our last day in DC and probably Colonial Williamsburg (where we were today) as well.
Tomorrow we start the loooong 5-day journey home. We'll be driving all day tomorrow and we'll end up in Cincinnati Ohio where we will go to the Creation Museum and Underground Railroad Museum that are there. We will then go on to Illinois and check out the birthplace of Lincoln. Then 10 hours in the car later, we'll end up at Grama's house where we will stay for a few days before heading back to wonderful West Coast.
I must say I am glad.... Things are starting to go right over my head. I'm not learning much anymore. It's so much to take in!! We've been gone 23 days.
Plus I've been singing this song.....


  1. The Canadian Embassy; that is so cool!!! I am glad you are enjoying your trip so much and I can believe you might be getting saturated by now. You've seen alot. Boy, now you got me singing, "I want (you) to (come) home."

  2. I love those paintings on the ceiling!

    And the Greek carvings! (Ever read Percy Jackson?)

    Did you see Ben Gates and Riely?

    There is a National Spy Museum?! How did I not know this?! Ack!!!!! Okay, new dream. I want to go there 8-D

    This comment is nothing but random....

    Aw yes, my real name is German, my pen name is French. Dutch?! So cool!!!!!!!

    Glad you like Isidore 8-D

    You're going to the Creation Museum...I KNEW I should have hidden in your trunk....

  3. It made me chuckle how there are all these fancy buildings with Grecan and Roman columns and then there's the very NOT Grecan or Roman Canadian Embassy xD
    Spy Museaum....(I just totally butchered that word) Now that sounds like fun! If I ever head out east, I'd definately want to check that out.
    Well, have fun driving home! Don't run over any skunks with the car. >.< They stink.

  4. Among other things it really is a city of monuments and memorials. I really like the picture of you in line with the statues.