This morning we drove to Princeton University, one of the nation’s oldest university and a member of the Ivy League Schools. Our brief stop allowed us to walk its open grounds and view interesting architectural buildings in this beautiful campus.
For a bit of history, our next destination was Philadelphia. Major attractions here have historical significance in American history: Independence Hall where Declaration of Independence took place and where the US Constitution was first drafted; and Liberty Bell, which has become an international icon for freedom.
We desperately longed to try Philly steak sandwich while in Philadelphia but did not have time. Our tour guide, Michael, wanted to make sure we got to Washington, DC in time for our scheduled tour of the Capitol building, and we did. My husband, with hip and knee problems, was painfully struggling to walk uphill to reach the visitor center of the Capitol until we saw a service car and rode to the top.
The Capitol tour is offered from 8:50 a.m. to 3:20 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Tour is free but visitors must have passes, they can reserved in advance. The tour starts with a brief orientation film entitled “Out of Many, One,” which takes you on a journey through the country’s struggle to set up the world’s first truly representative democracy. Once inside the Capitol we saw the Crypts of the Capitol, the Rotunda and the National Statuary Hall. If Congress is in session, you might see legislative history being made. You will need a pass and may be obtained from your Representative or Senators. International visitors can ask about passes at the House or Senate Appointment desks in the Capitol Visitor Center.
We did not have time to visit Exhibition Hall, the only exhibition in the world dedicated to telling the story of the U.S. Congress and the building of the Capitol. Located on the lower level of the Capitol Visitor Center, Exhibition Hall features original and rarely seen documents and artifacts, videos, touchable models, and computer interactive.
The US Capitol is a most architecturally impressive and symbolically important building. The Senate and House of Representatives have met here for more than two centuries. It begun in 1793, and had been built, burnt, rebuilt, extended and restored. Today it stands as a monument to its builders and to the American people and its government.
From the Capitol building our tour bus hurried to take us to the Lincoln Memorial, before sunset. This memorial was built to honor the 16th President of United States, Abraham Lincoln. The building is in the form of a Greek Doric temple and has a large seated sculpture of Abraham Lincoln and inscriptions of two well-known speeches by Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address and his Second Inaugural Address. Right across is the fantastic view of the reflection pool and the Washington monument, considered to be the most prominent structure in Washington, DC. Standing 555 foot, 5 1/8” the marble obelisk honors George Washington, the nation’s founding father. He led the continental army to victory, and became the 1st American President under the Constitution.
Sept. 28, Day 4 Washington, DC Full day tour
It rained some the night before which made the streets a bit wet, but by morning had stopped. The skies cleared up and made the day a good weather for a 1 1/2 cruise of the Potomac River aboard cruise the Celebrity yacht. I had to move from left to right to get better view and shot of attraction/site/building we passed thru as we meander thru the river: Reagan Airport, Washington Hotel where visiting foreign visitors usually stayed, the Pentagon, the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. I wish it was springtime now so we could see the Cherry Blossoms.
A popular tourist attraction in Washington, DC is the White House. Our tour did not include going inside, but possible if arranged in advance. There were a number of tourists so we waited for our turn to pose for pictures, and had to do it quickly or you’ll get too many people in the background.
Smithsonian Air Space Museum was our next destination; free to spend as much time as we want here and to visit other surrounding museums in the compound until 5:00pm We spent about 1 1/2 hr to view several displays: history of airplanes, Apollo and its trip to the moon, rocks from the moon & Mars, rockets, etc. Then had lunch at McDonalds located inside the museum. American food for lunch was a very welcome change for us! Other surrounding museums required a long walk to get to, except the American Indian Museum next door so we decided to check it out The museum has a nice architecture, beautiful grounds and interesting displays ;and a restaurant inside.
End of another long day of touring with Take Tours. We enjoyed this part of our trip; very informative, educational, and we learned a little about American History.
Stay tuned for part 3 of our East Coast tour.
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