14th May 2017 by emmadurnford

14th May 2017

What an unbelievable difference in the weather. From yesterdays chilly clouds and rain to bright sun and a high of around 26 degrees! As we had discovered that this week is the National Commemoration of Police week which was taking place in the National Mall, we decided to head out of the city to Arlington Cemetery as we guessed it would be crowded in the centre of the city. We are getting used to the metro and I’m loving our home station of ‘Foggy Bottom’.

Today is officially Mothers Day in the US and for some reason everybody seemed to celebrate by going to the cemetery. It really is incredibly impressive with over 400,000 graves mostly of soldiers but we also saw the graves and eternal flame by John F Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy’s graves. Despite a lot of visitors it was easy to find peaceful places and the mature trees and bright green of the spring growth made the white lines of graves look like contours on the hills.

We walked through the cemetery onto the US Marine Corps Monument near Rosslyn. This really is an iconic memorial - I’ve got some images of Arlington and the memorials in a separate FaceBook album - link here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Emma-Durnford-LRPS-Photographer-186301661422523/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1473741256011884

We always seem to start flagging round 2-3pm and it seems unbelievably hard to find anywhere to eat as nothing seems to have obvious signage. We eventually found a Tex Mex place called ‘Chiquitos’ and had an excellent bowl of rice, beans and meat - perhaps not a good idea to also have a beer as it made me feel even more tired. We eventually found the Metro and as a detour traveled to the George Washington Masonic Memorial... there’s an awful lot of memorials in Washington! It was meant to have amazing views over the city but it didn’t. On a high note though, I found a really sweet baby mouse on a footstep and rescued it from being trodden on! Our final destination was The Pentagon!

We were both pretty shattered by now but I’ve always wanted to see it and there is also a very impressive monument to the 184 people who died as victims both in the building and on American Airlines Flight 77 during the September 11 attacks. It is o well designed with a seat for every victim organised by the year they were born and it is possible to ascertain if they were on the plane or on the ground based on the direction that the bench is facing. We were not supposed to take photos of the Pentagon itself but I managed a few crafty shots with it in the background. ( https://www.facebook.com/pg/Emma-Durnford-LRPS-Photographer-186301661422523/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1473753156010694 )We finally started to make our way home detouring via a shopping mall (totally unmarked where we finally managed to get an iced coffee). A long and somewhat sobering day but magnificent weather.

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