Before we left the Washington area we went to the The Dutch Country Farmers Market, and if we had gone there before, I might have camped out in their parking lot! I have seen many places advertised as "Dutch Markets" but this is the real deal. They had breads, cookies, pies, cakes, candies, butters, candy apples, chocolates and every kind of pretzel imaginable. Their jelly and jam section looked like a well-stocked Amish pantry.The nearby Ikea had scheduled their Easter dinner while we were there; a little early, but that allows their customers to enjoy their food and still spend the holiday with their own family. The buffet was just $10 and included ham, Swedish meatballs, eggs, candied carrots, salad, cheese and fruit, smoked and poached salmon, three kinds of herring, beet salad, pasta with cream sauce and several kinds of cake. Plus their lingenberry drink. Very good.
We did decide to spend one whole day in DC. Since we've been here before, we didn't feel pressured to cram in everything. We wanted to see the the reflecting pool, since it was empty the last time we were here. We started at the Vietnam Memorial, which is always impressive. The staff will bring a ladder and climb up to create rubbings of names near the top. They also have a directory set out, so you can check if anyone with your name is on the wall. In addition to the normal flowers and cards, people have started leaving small rocks, painted with words or phrases.
This day there were a lot of WWII veterans in the city, which made this more impactful. Most were in wheelchairs, being pushed by young volunteers.
From there we walked to the Lincoln Memorial, which is a beautiful, moving monument to an amazing man. President Lincoln speaks to almost everyone. And in front of his memorial is the reflecting pool, which today was full and reflecting just fine.
We had the added blessing of being in DC during the famous Cherry Blossom Festival. We decided, however, to forego the "festival" part in favor of just enjoying the day. Those blooming cherry trees line the Tidal Basin, and they really are beautiful.
They go all around the basin, to and past the Jefferson Memorial.
There was a big crowd in front of the Jefferson Memorial today because different branches of servicemen were performing silent drills.
On the far side of the basin we found the Franklin Roosevelt memorial. This isn't one memorial, like the Jefferson or Lincoln. Instead it is a series of statues and carved quotes that cover over 7 acres. One of the statues is of the President, plus his dog. It's an unusual statue because he is seated and covered by a cloak, but in his case that makes it realistic. The President, his staff and the media worked very hard to conceal his need for a wheelchair.
The memorial grounds include several waterfalls, quotes carved in granite, and other statues that refer to events in his Presidency, such as men standing in breadlines.
It's easily the biggest memorial in DC. The newest memorial is the one for Martin Luther King. Perhaps the structure was left unfinished to indicate the unfinished nature of his work.We still haven't gone up in the Washington memorial, but that didn't stop me from admiring it from every angle.
Something else we were able to do on this trip was visit the Peterson house, where President Lincoln died. It's a small room with some, but not all, of the original furniture.
They also have a great museum filled with artifacts from the funeral, such as pieces of the fringe from the coffin, funeral invitations and a coffin handle.
And they have John Wilkes Booth's diary, which he wrote during his time on the run.
They also have a tall tower of books about Lincoln. The fact that there are over 15,000 books in print about Lincoln confirms the unending interest in him.
Afterwards we stopped to get frozen yogurt again, just as we did in 2011. Still good!
We took the underground train out to Arlington Cemetery. I don't think anyone can go to Arlington and see those rows and rows of grave markers and not feel moved. These people did not all die in service, but they all served. This is what the cost of freedom looks like.
We went to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers again. This is the whole of Arlington distilled down to one tomb, constantly guarded and honored.
There are not any cherry trees here but the magnolia trees are just as beautiful.