Our third morning began the same as the second. However, this time we rode the metro to the waterfront. Now I probably shouldn’t admit this, but we had trouble finding the pier for our cruise. We walked all around that waterfront area before we found where we wanted to be, thanks to some very nice morning walkers. Fortunately, we were early and so did not miss our 8:15 boarding. We cruised down to Mount Vernon, which takes an hour and a half. It was a nice morning, so we sat up on the upper deck where we had great views of Reagan National and Alexandria. Our captain was very informative and talked about each area as we were passing by. Once we got to Mount Vernon, he warned us that we had a quarter mile hike, uphill, to get to the mansion. For those not able to do that, there is a shuttle. I took that; the rest of my family walked. (By this time, it was very hot out and I didn’t want to begin my day exhausted!)
Mount Vernon was probably my favorite part of the trip. The mansion tour was great; I really enjoyed hearing the stories about George and Martha. We also walked through the gardens before heading to the restaurant for lunch. The food was pretty good and I loved how the room was decorated and how the waitresses dressed. Afterwards, the kids wanted to take the forest trail so we did not have time to visit the education center or museum. I was a little disappointed about that, but hey, there’s a reason to go visit again, right? We hiked the trail and walked by the 16-sided barn, saw the slave quarters and vegetable gardens, then headed over to the dock area as it was nearly time for the return trip. Again, it was so hot that we decided to stay inside for the trip back. Because it was so hot, the air-conditioning really wasn’t helping all that much and most people were either drinking up a storm or napping. That made the return trip seem really long.
We got back to the pier and really made a wrong choice. Or should I say, I made a wrong choice. I decided we should walk over to the memorials. Tuesday was the hottest day of our visit and walking by those restaurants selling fresh seafood did not put a pleasant aroma in the air. We were also wishing for a downpour. We did get some relief after we got near the memorials though. They had sprinklers shooting water and we often stopped to allow ourselves to get pelted. It felt so good and was like an answered prayer!
We finally arrived at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and none of us could wait to get up all those steps so we could sit on the cool marble! Next we were hoping we could walk right along the Tidal Basin to FDR, but they had that blocked off due to all the construction going on. However, we made it and this time, the water was running throughout each section! Again, we stopped frequently to sit and rest (and get pelted with water again). Extreme heat really saps your energy! We then walked past the construction area of the new MLK Memorial (we could see some of it over the fence), crossed over Independence Avenue, and headed to the Korean War Memorial. This is where I just collapsed and could not make myself walk another step. The kids walked through Korean and over to the Lincoln Memorial while my husband, wonderful man that he is, fetched me a nice cold lemonade. The kids then came over to get him and they walked over to the Vietnam Memorial. When they got back, they were exhausted too. We knew we were not going to be able to walk to the closest metro station so the decision was made to take a taxi. Now how fortunate was it that several of them were just sitting along the street waiting for patrons?
We rode over to the Federal Triangle and got a bite to eat before hopping the metro to Union Station for our return trip to the hotel. Another exhausting day done! Another night of swimming and hot-tubbing. Could we summon the desire to do so much the next day? Stay tuned!
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