Category: 2006 – Washington DC

Last Day

We got on board our train at about 3:30. We pulled out of DC about 20 minutes late. This trip, our two rooms were facing each other so we were able to open a partition between them to make one big room. It was nice having all that room.


We had a nice trip. Dinner again in the dining car then after hanging around the lounge a bit,


we want back to our rooms to go to bed. I did sleep a lot more on this trip. I got up several times but not as many. One stop was in Pittsburg. I was on the opposite side of the train this time and saw downtown. It was quite impressive with tall building to the left, a river shimmering in the middle and PNC park on the right. It was quite beautiful. Glad I got up to see it!

We got up early and went to breakfast about 7:00. We pulled into Chicago only 20 minutes late.

After getting off the train, we hung out in the 1st class lounge for a couple of hours. After, we walked to the El and rode the train back to Midway airport. We had lunch in the airport and caught our flight to DFW at 4:55. We then grabbed dinner at DFW and boarded our flight to Amarillo at 8:20.

We arrived back in the metropolis of Amarillo. We picked up our van and came home.

It was fun, tiring and fulfilling. Months of plans came together great and God really blessed us with this time. Now that I have seen pretty much everything I want in DC, I really don’t know if I will ever go back. So many other places to go and see. Perhaps next time it will be New York or Chicago. Perhaps the West coast. We shall see. Wherever we do go, hopefully you can go with us by reading this blog. Thanks for sharing our trip with us.

Craig, Vicky, Stephen and Michael


We started this morning, our last day in DC, going to Ford’s Theatre.

And the Peterson house across the street where Lincoln died.

We then walked down to the Nation Archives which have been closed since the flooding here in DC. It finally opened the day we were leaving so we ran in and looked at the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

We then went back and checked out of the hotel. We caught a circulator bus back to Union Station and checked our baggage at the Amtrak counter. We grabbed some lunch in Union Station and ran next door the the Postal Museum.


Now we are back at Union Station in the Acela Lounge (lounge for sleeper car passengers). We have about two hours until departure. Looking forward to getting back on the train!

Perhaps be able to post some more tomorrow in Chicago.

Friday – Last Full Day in DC

We started by waiting in line for Capitol tour tickets. We had a few minutes to wait then went in.

This one was taken by Stephen to prove both Vicky and I were there…

By the way, the tour stunk. It consisted of waiting in long lines, then going through a total of three rooms. The rotunda (the area under the dome), the old House chamber, and the crypt where they had planned to bury Washington (he died before it was complete)(which is now the gift shop). That is it. If you ever come, do not waste your time with the public tour.

Anyway, Stephen has lost two teeth this week.

This afternoon, we went to the National Cathedral…

After this, we actually split up. Vicky and the boys went back to the hotel to rest and do laundry while I went to the Holocaust Museum. There was some stuff not appropriate for children so I went alone. After, we met back up for dinner. We ran across a mall down by the Pentagon that is connected to the metro, so we have eaten there several times.

Anyway, a couple of things to do tomorrow and then back on the train around 3:30. May not post anymore until we return. We shall see. Thanks for all the comments and for sharing in our adventure.


Started ealy again today leaving the hotel 8:00 to head to Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington. Here is a pic of a cool thing in Chinatown I snapped on our way to the metro…


We had to transfer to a local bus to get to Mount Vernon. We had some time to kill…

Here is the front of the mansion. They are doing a lot of work on it so it does not look in the best of shape on the outside.

Here is Washington’s tomb…

After, we stopped of in Pentagon City for lunch at a mall. Then on to Arlington Cemetery.
JFK’s tomb and eternal flame…

Then there was the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier…
And the changing of the guard…

In Arlington Cemetery is General Lee’s house. this huge tree was next to it…

The quote of the day came during the tour. There is a Confederate section of the cemetery. The headstones have points on the top instead of just curved. That is so "No d**** Yankees can sit on ’em."

We then went to the Vietnam Memorial. Here are a couple of pics for Donna…

And for Mom & Dad…

We swung by the White House for a couple of pics since we could not take a camera yesterday…

Then back to the metro to dinner and hotel. We are pooped and going to bed early. More tomorrow.


Started early again today. We slipt up to two different locations to get same day tickets to sites. After that, we made our White House visit. George was not around but we got to see some of his house. It was very cool to be inside such a historical building. Too bad they don’t allow camera’s.

After a quick lunch, we went to the Bureau of Engraving where they prints lots of money. No pictures there either except in the gift shop.


After that, it was off to the Washington Monument. We were a bit early and had to wait in the heat.


Here we are inside waiting for the elevator.


And at the top with the very small windows.


When we came down, it changed from very hot to very wet. We got over to the Museum of American History.

Dorothy’s ruby slippers…
Lincoln’s top hat…
Cool Southern steam engine…
Michael with a new friend…

After, it was back in the light train to the metro and to our hotel.

Here are a few other pics that are interesting…
Union Station
Waiting for the metro…
President Bush leaving on Marine One…

More tomorrow.


Today started out earlier than yesterday. We left the hotel at 8:15 after breakfast. We again rode the metro (which was very crowded due to rush hour) to the Nation Zoo. We spent several very hot and tiring hours walking around.

After a quick lunch at McDonalds (again), back on the metro to the US Navy Yard. There we went to the Navy Museum.


They also had a destroyer on display. The USS Barry.

We did a lot of stinkin’ walking today so we went back to the hotel to chill until dinner. Then we walked to a local Fuddruckers where we had dinner and I chatted with Doyle on the phone.

No, it is 6:40 pm and we are in for the night. We have to start early again tomorrow.


We were up and ready at 8:15 this morning. We ate breakfast at the hotel,IMG_1060
then off to the Metro. After a train change, we arrived at Smithsonian station on the blue/brown line.

We stopped off at the Smithsonian Castle. This was the original Smithsonian museum. It has a lot of info about all the various museums.

After, we went right to the…

We spent a couple of hours see all that stuff.


We then went on a bus to the second Air & Space Museum out at Dulles Airport where we spent a couple more hours.


We rode a bus back to the museum on the mall where we got back on the metro to our hotel. After a short rest, we walked to the Chinatown area down the street for dinner. Now we are back in for the night (8:15pm EST).

More tomorrow.

We are in DC

We arrived to Washington DC Union Station around 2:15. About two hours late.

After waiting for our luggage, we hopped on a Circulator bus and went straight to the hotel. It is a nice big room with a king bed and a couch hide-a-bed.

After checking in, we took a quick trip to the mall area. We do not have a car here so we are depending totally on public transportation. Primarily the Metro. The Metro is a light rail system. It is underground in DC and above ground outside the District.



After, we rode the Metro (subway) to Union Station for dinner at some hamburger joint. We hopped on the circulator back to our hotel for the night. I was suffering a real bad headache. After a couple of short sleep nights, I was out quick. We all slept great.

Trains, Planes and Automobiles IV

Got a few pics.

Here is the Sightseer Lounge…


Here is our sleeping car…


Here is one looking out the rear of the train.


We are running about 2 hours behind schedule so they had to feed us lunch. we all had hamburgers except Vick, she had pizza. We have been chilling in our rooms since lunch. Stephen just woke up from a short nap. We have stopped at all stops before DC so now we are about 30 minutes from Washington DC Union Station.


My plan when we get there is to hop on a DC Circulator bus that will take us to our hotel. Then we will check in and get settled. If we have the energy, we might go see the memorials tonight. We shall see.

Trains, Planes and Automobiles III

It is now the first morning after our first night spent on the train. Everyone except myself slept well. I did not sleep well by choice. I had planned to close my window curtains and snooze all night but I could not make myself. America was passing by out that window and I didn’t want to miss it. Every time we stopped, I would get up and look out at the town. Places like Elkhart, Indiana where I saw a bunch of women dressed in some sort of traditional head dress (kinda Amish looking, but they were not). Toledo, Ohio, home of Max Klinger. There was also a large bridge there all lit up spanning some river. We also went through Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Needless to say, I am kinda sleepy right now but I am content. I did sleep some between stops.

We all got up and had breakfast in the dining car. The Railroad French Toast is great, by the way.

Our next stop is in Cumberland, Maryland (we will be zigzagging back and forth over the Maryland/West Virginia border for the rest of the trip. I hope to step off and get some good shots of our train.