Well, yesterday we loaded all our stuff onto the charter buses-in the rain-and headed out. About 4 hours from D.C. bus No. 2 lost its air conditioning. That wasn't quite enjoyable for the people on that bus, but it was quickly fixed. We arrived in Washington around 3:00 pm and the first thing we did was take showers! That, I assure you, was the most refreshed any of us have ever felt. Our hotel is called the Marriott Crystal Gateway and it's just outside D.C. in Virginia. We ate pizza in a nice little place called Magill's Pizza & Buffet and then we went right on to tour some of the famous monuments! On the way, we passed the Pentagon and it was easy to see the difference in color where the wall was replaced after it was attacked on September 11. The first memorial we went to was the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Nearby was the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the National World War II Memorial. It was quite amazing how awe-inspiring these places were, especially the Korean and Vietnam Memorials. Hardly anyone spoke there, simply out of respect and admiration of the men who sacrificed so much. There's no better word for the Lincoln Memorial than gigantic! It is impossibly huge. We have three large groups that go about and sightsee together. Each group has its own tour guide that gives us the background and history of the places we go to see.
It's been a long, but fun, day. All we've done so far in Washington is sightsee and I am probably speaking for all of us when I say the parade Monday wasn't at the forefront of our minds today. We just wanted to get off the bus and see what there is to see here!
I had to include a few pictures of us on the bus because that's honestly where we have spent most of our time so far! Hopefully tomorrow I will have some more variation in background material!