Sunday, April 3, 2011

I didn't plan 12 hours of sightseeing in Washington but it turned out better than planned

I’m a planner and an organiser. I like to know what I’m doing, when I’m going to do it and how. I like lists and schedules and order. For some, it’s totally different to how they like to live, others will be nodding their heads with a total understanding of what I’m saying. So that’s how I went about planning our recent holiday. We planned to be in each city for a limited time and with so much to fit in, we didn’t intent to waste precious hours each day planning the next day’s activities. So we departed Australia with a diary of what we planned to see and do.
Of course, plans change, especially when you’re in an unfamiliar city. I like to think I’m flexible enough to go with the flow. And we did. With just two days of sightseeing in the American capital, I learnt how quickly plans can change and how fantastic it is when you not only experience what was planned but lots more again. Let me explain.

On arriving in Washington the weather forecasts for the following day were not looking so good for our planned visit to Arlington National Cemetery. There was rain forecast and lots of it. So we opted for the indoor options – the White House Visitor Centre, the National Museum of American History, a trolley tour around DC and the Newseum. At the end of day one we still had so much we wanted to see and just one day to do it in. As a result, day two went something like this.

Cab to Arlington National Cemetery. Gates opened at 8am. John F Kennedy’s grave and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

9.15am – 10.30am
Walk to Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the obligatory photo outside the White House

Hop in the lift to the top of the Washington Monument to take in the views of Washington

Visit the National Sculpture Garden and US Botanic Garden. Stopping to take dozens of photos of the stunning US Capitol building and National Mall along the way

Visit the US Capitol. Sit in the gallery to watch debate in the US House of Representatives

Grab a quick hotdog for lunch and head for the Jefferson Memorial.

Hop on the trolley for a tour of Georgetown and embassies

Head to Union Station for a little bit of shopping and dinner

Dinner at Union Station

Walk from Union Station via the US Capitol building to our hotel to rest our weary legs.

By the end of the day we were exhausted, but thrilled with all that we had seen. Take a look at our route on Google Maps and some photos we took along the way.

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