Monuments and the Pentagon

This morning we got up and got coffee at the Dunkin Donuts near our hotel. We got the metro around 10 AM. It should’ve only taken 30 minutes to get downtown, but they were doing maintenance on the line going into downtown, so we had to take the metro one stop, a bus two stops, and then the metro the rest of the way. We got to downtown (Federal Triangle metro station) around 11 AM. We started the day by going to the American History Museum. I had been to the museum before, but this time we were able to spend more time and see things that I hadn’t seen before. We saw a museum about American food and they had tupperware bowls on display! I thought that was interesting because they are something we use everyday and we wouldn’t think about them being in a museum. We had lunch at the museum. I had a chicken sandwich that was delicious; albeit expensive.

After the museum, we walked over to the Washington Monument. We walked around the monument and took some pictures. We saw a couple of stages set up and read a sign that said that a concert was going to be happening tomorrow. We then headed back to the metro to head over to the Pentagon.

When we arrived at the Pentagon, we had to go through security and tell them that we were there to meet Nicole’s uncle’s best friend. Nicole had contacted him and he was gracious enough to offer us a private tour. The Pentagon is huge! It is like a city within a city. When we first walked in, we saw a chapel (that offers mass everyday), a barbershop, a CVS, a post office, a flower shop, and a bank! The Pentagon is 5 floors, with 5 rings (A-E) and 10 corridors that come out of the center like bike spokes. There are 17 miles of corridors! In the middle is a plaza that can apparently fit the Capital Building inside (our guide wasn’t entirely sure on that. Haha!). We saw each of the armed forces’ corridors; they were each decorated to fit the branch. We saw the Dept. of Defense offices. The offices on the outside of the Pentagon are coated with a green film that makes the windows bullet/shatterproof. There aare 40,000 employees in the Pentagon! 10,000 of the employees are currently enlisted and wear their full dress uniform or fatigue (also known as camo). We saw where the September 11th attack took place (both inside and outside). Our guide said that the attacked area had been renovated and the rebuilding of the walls (reinforced concrete) helped save lives that day. We saw a map that showed the offices that had been attacked and whether the workers were present (survived, injured, or deceased) or not present in the office that day. We went outside and saw the 9/11 memorial outside. There is a bench for each person who died, either on the plane or in the Pentagon. The benches that face away from the Pentagon represent people who were in the Pentagon and the benches that face towards the Pentagon represent people who were on the airplane. The benches are organized from the youngest person to the oldest person. You can tell when looking at the Pentagon that stone is a different color where the attack took place. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures in the Pentagon.

We then took the metro back to the monuments. We went to Odd Ebbit Grill for dinner and it was very good! We then headed down towards the Reflecting Pool. After walking along the Reflecting Pool and seeing the Lincoln Memorial, we headed back towards the Washington Monument to go to the top of the monument, which is something neither of us had done before. The top of the monument was really cool and we could see all of DC. We then hung around and listened to the music coming from one of the stages. We wanted to wain until it got dark enough to see the lights. We saw the lights on the Washington Monument and walked down the Reflecting Pool to the Lincoln Memorial to see the lights. We got an Uber back to Alexandria and went to a bar called Theismann’s which was across from our hotel. Nicole and her family had gone there when her uncle lived in Alexandria. We had a night cap and then headed back to the hotel. Tomorrow we are going to see more monuments and the Pittsburgh Pirates play the Washington Nationals.

 

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