Taking the train to DC again today with no particular plan in mind. This is our third year visiting so we’ve seen most of it at least once already. This time we took the Metro to Union Station.
It’s beautiful inside. In addition to the Metro stop it’s also an Amtrak terminal, a shopping mall, large food court, and some nice restaurants.
Next door to Union Station is the Smithsonian National Postal Museum. This is one that we had not seen yet. My first thought was “really?” and “boring”. But it was anything but! There are great exhibits showing the creation and history of the US Postal Service, artifacts from the Hindenburg and the Titanic, and much more than you know. If you are a stamp collector you MUST visit here.
The US Capitol Building is just a few blocks from Union Station. It’s about 70 degrees today and the walk took us by a nice wooded park. The Capitol Building has two fronts…the West Front and the East Front. The West Front faces the National Mall. We arrived at the East Front side and went inside. We’ve already done the guided tour so today we just ate lunch at the cafeteria and visited the gift shop.
Across the street from the Capitol Building is the US Botanic Garden. This is another favorite stop of ours. This year they have on display a Thousand Bloom Chrysanthemum. This is ONE PLANT that takes 12-18 months and involves careful watering, pinching and tying of the chrysanthemum to a customized frame to get the plant to grow into the desired form. In addition to this one, there is another one at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania that is the largest Thousand Bloom in North America.
Leaving the Botanic Garden we walked a few more blocks west to the next Metro entrance and took the train over to the Pentagon.
The first thing we see when we get off the train at the Pentagon is a sign that says “No Photography”. It seemed like a half mile walk from the train stop around to the other side of the Pentagon to the Memorial with “No Photography” signs all along the way. But once we got to the actual Memorial photography was allowed inside the Memorial only. It was a very solemn visit.
- Gasoline Expense: none
- Lodging Expense: $8
- Transportation: $20
- Admission Exp: FREE