DC at Night Pics Part 1

The Capital Building as the sun was setting.
Turned around from the Capital Building and took this picture down the mall of the Washington Monument.
This is the White House at night. It was a beautiful sight, but a bit creepy as there were policemen everywhere due to the protestors.
These are the protestors outside of the White House. The letters spelled out appalling. The speaker was using a bullhorn and shouting and it was difficult to understand what he was saying.
The is the view of the Washington Monument from in front of the White House. (I do not want to pay the DC electric bill. Wait, I bet I do pay part of it.)
This is a picture of our tour guide talking to our fellow bus riders. He carried this light saber so that we would not get lost and then left behind. I have to thank Sharon for grabbing me several times as I gawked around and wasn’t paying attention to the guide’s whereabouts.
This is the Jefferson Memorial. It looks out over the Tidal Basin. The Tidal Basin was a swam and the swamp was removed and the basin created. Swamp removed … how??
This is Thomas Jefferson as he stand regaling looking out the front of the memorial.

Many believe that Jefferson is meant to be watching over the White House, but in reality, he’s looking just east of it, to the U.S. Treasury Building. In front of it stands a statue of Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury and one of Jefferson’s biggest rivals. Hamilton is looking in Jefferson’s direction as well, but that’s just luck.

The tour guide had many fun stories about the history of each of the monuments.

Jefferson mentions God in the four quotes on the walls of his memorial, b ut he didn’t regard the entire Bible as a real document. He created his own version of the Bible which he titled “The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth”.

He was quoted as saying,
“There will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man. I have performed this operation for my own use, by cutting verse by verse out of the printed book, and arranging the matter which is evidently his, and which is as easily distinguishable as diamonds in a dunghill.”

Engraved on the freize encircling the memorial’s interior is the quote “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

I find his perspective of God and the Bible to be perplexing.

This is in the floor at the entrance to the WWII memorial.
This is the ceiling above the plaque in the floor. I can’t recall what it represents.
Fountain in the center of the WWII Memorial
One of the 56 pillars. I took a pic of Texas if you want it Rachel.

Fifty-six granite pillars celebrate the unprecedented unity of the nation during WWII. The pillars are connected by a bronze sculpted rope that symbolizes the bonding of the nation. Each state and territory from that period and the District of Columbia is represented by a pillar adorned with oak and wheat bronze wreaths and inscribed with its name; the pillars are arranged in the order of entry into the Union, alternating south to north across the plaza beginning adjacent to the Field of Gold Stars.

Night Tour of DC

The tour picked us up at the campground. There were mostly our age of people on the tour. We saw LOTS of traffic, the Capital Building, the White House, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Wall, Korean War Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, the Roosevelt Memorial, and the WWII Memorial. There were other sights that were pointed out as we drove by, but we spent a little time at the other sights. Seeing the sights as the sun went down and in the dark was an experience! By the time we got home at 11:30P we were exhausted.

Sharon’s favorite part of the night tour was “all of it”. She did like being driven around and having everything pointed out. After I asked her that question I realized that I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite part.

The creepiest part for me was the Korean War Memorial. It is soldiers walking through rice patties with full gear vigilantly on watch in the dark for the enemy. These boys look so anxious and worn out.

I must say that I am extremely grateful for the men and women that serve in our military. My dad was in the Navy during the Korean War. Neither of my brothers were drafted for Vietnam, but later Steve enlisted in the Navy. Sharon’s dad was in the Navy. Sharon’s husband was in Vietnam and my good friend Barb’s husband served there as well. These brave men and women serve so that we may live in a wonderful country that allows us so many freedoms.

Oh my, my thoughts are off of a tangent. Pictures from the night tour in the next post!

Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry his own weight, this is a frightening prospect.     Eleanor Roosevelt (First Lady)

Freedom and responsibility aren’t interconnected things. They are the same thing.  Harry Browne (Libertarian Party’s Presidential nominee in the U.S. elections of 1996 and 2000)

I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with freedom. Bob Dylan (songwriter, musician)

Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility. Sigmund Freud  (father of psychology)

Okay, you get it. People fight daily in many ways on many fronts for our freedom. Are we acting responsibly with our freedom?


I thought I would be able to keep all the events of the week fresh in my mind BUT …

So, bits and pieces.

The Bible Museum was $22.00 suggested admission and I was not willing to pay that amount when there are so many fabulous museums and places to see for free.

At the campground was a stop on the Metro bus line and that is how we got to the Metro rail system.

This is a pic from their website.

We spent part of two days at the Air and Space Museum, a 5 hour night bus tour of the city, two days at the American History Museum, time at Arlington Cemetery, and a day at Ikea (we were resting up).

We played miniature golf at the campground.

Doesn’t it look the elephant patting Sharon on the head????? I didn’t even notice when I snapped this picture.

I monkey around a lot when I play miniature golf, but not this time. I actually won.

Cherry Hill, Sharon & Mt. Vernon

October 2, 2018

Cherry Hill Park has a lot of sites and amenities. It is the closest campground to Washington DC.

I had a great night’s sleep. I checked the distance to Ronald Reagan National Airport. Google Maps told me it was 20 miles and I should allow 45 minutes to get there. My first thought was that Hank and I were going alone, so this time must be wrong. Ha ha ha. I hate city traffic and MD/DC traffic is a zillion times worse.

We (Hank and I) arrived at Reagan National with 30 minutes to spare before my friend Sharon’s plane was to arrive. The plane ended up arriving early, but alas, Sharon spent that time and more getting her luggage and figuring out where to go for me to pick her up. I love cell phone parking at airports!

We drove through the airport a couple times before figuring out how to exactly LEAVE the airport. I wonder is Sharon was concerned about my ability to get her anywhere. I told her that I had seen a sign that Mt. Vernon was only 14 miles away and maybe we should head there while in the truck. As we were driving there was a brief discussion about which president had called Mt. Vernon home. We also commented that when we had visited in years past (not together) that we didn’t recall Mt. Vernon being so close to DC. As we are driving it does not appear that we are in the wilds. Then the gal on Google maps tells us to turn right and our destination is just down the road. YIKES! We were directed to Mt. Vernon apartment complex. Oh, you can’t even imagine how dumb I was feeling. Well, if you know me well, you may be able to imagine. I am sure Rachel would have had a HUGE laugh!

To our relief we were only a short distance from the real Mount Vernon.

Let me back up a minute. I very seldom watch the news or the weather. Sharon is the kind of friend that calls and asks if Rachel is okay when there is a storm down her way, or calls me in Iowa to make sure I am prepared for the tornadoes heading my way. What tornadoes????? ha ha Fifteen minutes later the tornado siren is blaring in the campground. It didn’t hit our area. (I should pause here for kudos to Gretchen. She always kept me posted on BIG news events so I didn’t look like an idiot when people were discussing currents events.)

So, a week before our rendezvous she says it is going to be chilly in DC and to be prepared. Of course I was prepared ….. I travel with ALL of my clothes. Okay, all this to say that it was hot as blazes as we walked around Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington.

The grounds are beautiful and have many exotic plants. We went on a mansion tour. The main house has AC and heat, but they were added relatively recently to help preserve the tour guides and the artifacts in the house.

Can you even imagine life before indoor plumbing, electricity, furnaces or air conditioning??? I start to sweat and have the urge to pee just thinking about it!

This is Martha Washington. She talked about her life with George. She is in her late 30s in this setting. She spoke as if George might come walking in the door at any time. She answered questions about the time period, politics and so much as if we were really in the time period. When a child asked about the tea party she answered about taxes and people being angry, but she knew not of what the girl was referring. (It hadn’t happened yet.)

This is our guide. No pictures were allowed to be taken in the Big House. This is the kitchen. All of the plantation workers were referred to as enslaved people. What is the difference between enslaved workers and slaves?

The Mount Vernon Women’s Society bought the plantation off of a descendant of George’s and worked had to raise money, restore and run the plantation as a historical monument. When these gals later found out the some kind of factory was buying the land across the Potomac they raised money, petitioned and the huge amount of land became government property to never be built upon.

This is the view of the Potomac from the back porch of the mansion. In the way distance on the left you were able to see bits of DC.

This is Sharon sitting on the porch checking out where we are headed next on the property.

When we walked in to the Visitors’ Center at the entrance to the grounds I saw a young girl with a property map that looked different than the one we had been given. As I peered over her shoulder I saw that her map was in sections and looked like a treasure hunt for clues around the plantation. She told me that she had gotten it from the front desk. I went and asked for one.

The clue hunt map led to different buildings and you had to discover a secret word about each. A letter from each of these words was used to answer a final question about George Washington. The map said that once completed it could be turned in at the VC for a prize. We had trouble with number two and I quizzed several people before we figured it out.

So, I approach the VC desk (Sharon is lagging behind because she has deduced that the hunt may have been for CHILDREN!) and hand our map in to the gal. She looks around. I wonder what for. Then she asks where the child that completed the map was????? I was indignant. I wanted my, oops … our prize. She stamped the map completed and told me where to go to claim my, oops … our prize.

The prize was a squished collector’s penny, but one edge was bent. I asked for an unbent penny and was told they were all in that condition. The gal even showed me the box of pennies.

FIRST … in Iowa our penny squisher machine NEVER turned up the edge of the penny and SECOND … was the gal so frightened by my demand for a prize that she felt compelled to prove they were all bent. Need I mention that Sharon was NOT standing close by during this encounter.

It was a great first day of our sightseeing, but we were pooped. Of course, we would say Mt. Vernon many times as I thought I was directing us in the right direct during our sightseeing.

If defacing money is illegal, why do the Army Corp of Engineers facility in Iowa and Mount Vernon have the penny squisher machines?

Why was Washington DC changed to DC?

I have so many questions!!! Good thing Sharon has lots of answers!!

Goodbye Plans

The plans of mice and men. Or the gal that makes plans and doesn’t consult her truck!

On the 29th of September I connected Hank and Henrietta and hit the road with the goal being to arrive at Cherry Hill Park in College Park, Maryland on Monday the 1st of October around 1P.

I do not like to drive too many hours/miles in a day and have become a big fan of Walmart parking lots.

The drive from Washington, PA to College Park, MD is about 250 miles. Google maps says the trip should take 3 hours and 55 minutes. If Hank and I were driving it would be closer to 3.5 hours maximum, but with Henrietta tagging along the anticipated drive time was 5 to 5.5 hours. She likes to travel approximately 60 mph.

So, I thought drive halfway, check out sights along the way, and spend a night at my favorite chain store.

WELL, Hank had a different idea. While driving up and down the mountains of PA about 90 minutes southeast of Washington, PA Hank decided it was time for a break. I had decided to take 40 for a more scenic drive. There were lots of stretches of two lane road with no pullover space at the side of the road. Hank was kind enough to decide to be cantankerous at the top of a hill. At the bottom of the hill was an abandoned gas station with a huge parking area in front. I was in Chalk Hill, PA.

There is a huge and somewhat aggravating and hilarious story, but let’s leave it at the fact that after 3 hours of numerous phone calls my Good Sam roadside assistance said they couldn’t find anyone to come tow Hank and Henrietta. They suggested I try calling again on Sunday, but call for sure on Monday and they could get me towed. In between calls to Good Sam I called Ford Roadside assistance. They said my purchase was too recent and they had no record of my purchase. They suggested I call the dealer. Yeah right, it is 5P on a Saturday.

I had lots of people praying and I spent much of the time reading my Bible while in the recliner in Henrietta. Luckily it was not too hot and there was a nice breeze.

God does work in mysterious ways!! I called Mike and he found a towing company that was open. I called and they said they would arrive within 30 minutes to pick up Hank. They wouldn’t be able to look at him until Monday, but at this point I was beyond grateful for a kind voice and a sympathetic ear. Kelly at Professional Auto Service in Uniontown, PA was like an angel coming graciously to reassure me that God had everything under control.

I found a campground nearby that actually had a spot available.

I called Mike back and he hopped in his truck to drive down and help Henrietta and me get to the campground. God is soooo good. I was close to Mike and he had bought a truck after buying his house to help transport all the building supplies. Not only had he bought a truck, but it was an F-150 and would pull Henrietta.

Great reason to have children!! Someone to  rescue you when you are stranded by the side of the road in unfamiliar territory.

Mike arrives and we hook Henrietta up to his truck. I have never asked him if his truck has a name. I hope that doesn’t make me a negligent mother.

It was dark and I do not like to tow in the dark. Luckily Mike was there to navigate and warn me of EVERY curve in the road to the campground. There must have been a million. Then to beat the band is a sign that the road is closed 2 miles ahead. Without Mike I may have broken down in to tears. He assured me that the campground was 1.5 miles up the road and we would be fine.

As we speak to the gal at the campground at 8P I am beginning to panic about backing the trailer in to a spot in the dark. Leave it to Mike. No problem Mom!! In the pitch black he backs right in to the exact position on the spot that we had decided would be best.

Mike helped me get setup and then got back in his truck to drive home.

On Sunday there was nothing to do but relax and smell the roses or hike the paths at the campground. Benner’s Meadow Run campground is run by Christian folks who were so sympathetic to my situation.

Long story short – haha – Professional Auto fixed Hank and without my asking came to get me and reunite me with Hank. We reunited with Henrietta and hit the road.

We arrive at Cherry Hill Park as it was getting dark and backed in to our site. A kind couple passing by made sure I didn’t take out the tree on the site.

So many emotions and concerns! I was once again shown what fabulous friends and children I have! After the long saga I arrived 6.5 hours later than I had anticipated.

God is good. I just need to remember that He is in charge and worry gets me nowhere fast.


Checking in on by PA kids.

This was Hank’s first trip pulling Henrietta and he did a fabulous job! He is fitting in well with the group.

Mike bought a house in August. It needed some work. I was so afraid all of the demo and remodeling would be done when I got there. Much to my delight and their dismay there was still work to be done.

The house was an old old post office that had a house added on. It is large and roomy, but was very dated. Mike and Becky ripped out walls, put up dry wall, ripped up carpet, tile and sub-flooring and laid a beautiful wood floor. Mike is so skilled in doing electric, plumbing, carpentry, etc… He gets that from his dad. Rachel and Michael have great skills in figuring out how things work and having no fear of giving the task a try. I am very proud of their abilities. I do not know if Becky had a lot of demo or remodeling experience before, but boy did that gal work on the house.

This is the front door. To the left is a door that leads to three steps that go up to the other part of the house. To the right of the picture you can see where they have ripped out a wall that enclosed the dining room.

The kids put in a lot of hours to get to the move in point. Here you can see the new door (doorway had to be re-framed), drywall and ceiling patched and new sub-flooring. Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of the finished product. Becky picked some awesome colors for the walls in the house. The bathroom upstairs continues to be a hornet’s nest of one thing after another. I did get to use a sledge hammer, drywall corner cutter thing and a saws-all. I was a happy demo girl. Give me a sledge hammer and something that needs to come down and I am in heaven.

I got to meet some of Becky’s family when we helped her grandma move in to Becky’s parent’s house.

This is Mike, Becky and Becky’s older sister in Grandma’s new bedroom. There was a lot of discussion about how to get items up the steep steps and where to put them in the bedroom.

This is part of the crew. Becky’s nephew, her mom, her brother, Becky, Mike and Becky’s sister. I enjoyed getting to know them and being a part of the moving crew.

One day when I was supposed to be working I sat and enjoyed Mike & Becky’s cable television while Lego enjoyed the view from the front porch. He loves sitting out there.

On my last night there was a bonfire Mike style. In the foreground is Lego’s cord that attaches to his leash. The backyard fence isn’t finished yet. This is their friend Eric, Becky’s cousin and her husband, Mike and Becky with Lego by her legs. The large television has a soundbar so we didn’t miss any of the dialogue over our giggling. Becky is getting ready to roast marshmallows. It was a good evening. We watched “Leave No Trace”. It was a very interesting movie with a good story, but not fast paced.

While visiting I stayed at a KOA campground in Washington, PA about 25 minutes south of Mike.

It was in a pull through site in the middle of the topmost red line of sites. I love those pull through sites.

The campground was on the side of a hill. Well, I would call it a mountain, but I guess it really is a humongous hill.

It had been a year since I had seen Mike and Becky and I enjoyed every moment that I got to spend with them. I left the campground about 11:30A on Saturday, September 29th. I was heading to Washington DC to meet my friend Sharon for a week of site seeing. The trip to DC was a real adventure, but that is another post.