My grandson Lake missed his class trip to Washington D.C. this school year because he broke his knee playing soccer the day before the trip. That suited him just fine, but I was not a happy granddad. I think kids need to go to the Capital. I took my daughters and I wanted Lake to have the experience.
I gave him a list of options and told him to pick two:
1. Bureau of Engraving and Printing
2. Holocaust Memorial Museum
3. International Spy Museum
4. Library of Congress
5. Mt. Vernon
6. National Air and Space Museum
7. National Museum of the American Indian
9. Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
10. Supreme Court Building
11. Tombs of the Unknown Soldiers
12. Trolley Tour or Duck Tour
13. US Capitol
14. White House tour
He picked the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (the Hope Diamond, dinosaurs, etc.) and the National Air and Space Museum. We also took a moonlight tour of the primary Washington D.C. monuments, a great decision. We took the “Old Town Trolley Tour,” and we highly recommend it. We rode past some sites, such as the Supreme Court, the Jefferson Memorial and the Capitol, but we stopped and spent time at the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial. The trolley tour took three hours and was awesome for all ages. Our guide became emotional talking about the last inauguration with 800,000 gathered for the peaceful passing of power from one Head of State to another. Not many countries in the world do that, but we do. I’m proud to be an American. Some want their state to secede when the wrong party wins, or they want to turn their backs on our great democratic nation when their candidate loses. Not me. I’ve suffered through bad Presidents and benefited from the efforts of good Presidents. And, since I’m not God, I am continually surprised at some of the good done by politicians with whom I disagree and vice versa.
Our hotel, the W, was as close as you can get to the White House and the Washington Monument. Lake even took his soccer ball out to the Ellipse one afternoon and kicked it around while I sat on the ground nearby, leaning against a tree, and smoked a cigar.
We drove home to Columbia the next day and were happy to be back. My attitude is almost always that I’m glad to go and I’m glad to get home. Right now, I really don’t want to go much farther than West Columbia. It’s good to be with Sally. We went out last night for hamburgers and cooked hot dogs for lunch today, in honor of National Hot Dog Day.