Washington DC

Washington DC’s Iconic Monuments (US Trip, Part 3)

July 16, 2015

For now, it’s bye-bye, New York. Hello, Washington DC!

The capital city of the USA, Washington DC is the center of the country’s politics and history. We had a very limited time here (two days!) and there were a lot of sights we wanted to explore.

First off, the Washington Monument. Its unmistakable form welcomed us to the city. The monument is known as the world’s tallest stone structure and the world’s tallest obelisk.

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To its east is the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool – a well-known destination, just look at how many visitors come to see it!

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Nearby is the US Capitol, where the US Congress sits. Architecture fans appreciate its distinctive neoclassical style — although currently, the circular dome is being restored.

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We went in for a quick but very informative tour about the country’s history, art, and government – all in one hour. The tour was interactive and my two boys really appreciated and enjoyed it! I highly recommend it (with or without kids). Plus, it’s free!

*One important thing to note about Washington DC : all museums here are FREE!

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We also took a look around the Library of Congress. This is the biggest library in the world. It contains the largest and some of the most important books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections! And I think it is the most beautiful too. Look at this library :

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As we were in DC on a Sunday, we heard the High Noon Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the largest Roman Catholic Church in the US and North America. This is also one of the ten biggest churches in the world. In spite of its size, the whole service was very solemn.

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This Basilica is also the largest Marian shrine in America. It is massive and beautiful, rivalling the great sanctuaries and churches around the world, including Europe’s. Inside are more than 70 more chapels and oratories.

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The Basilica is a must-see visit for anybody, religious or not. More than a million people come to see it every year. It’s one inspiring place.

DC has a lot of museums but unfortunately, we did not have a lot of time. We chose to see first the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum – as a special treat for my boys. It contains the largest and most significant collection of aviation and space artifacts.

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It is the most visited museum in the US (along with its second location in VA) and the 5th most visited in the world! It houses some of the most famous icons of flight: the original Wright Plane, the Apollo 11, and a “touchable” rock from the moon!

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You don’t need to be an aviation geek to enjoy this place. It really is so impressive and cool. The museum also has a lot of interactive exhibits, several iMax movies, planetarium shows, and flight simulators. You definitely need more than one day to see them all.

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When in DC, the The White House is of course a must – even if its just to take a look from the gates, like we did! As much as we would have wanted to go in for a tour, there was none scheduled on the day that we were there.

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Of course, I couldn’t let this chance go by without taking a selfie outside “the most powerful house in the world”! 🙂

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What we went to see up close was the Lincoln MemorialIt is a world-renowned landmark and the site of many important national celebrations and famous speeches. I’m sure you recognize this structure, as it is also a well-used location in many Hollywood movies.

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The famous Abraham Lincoln structure is right inside this memorial.

“In this temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever.”

Beneath those words, the 16th President of the United States sits immortalized in marble as the country’s enduring symbol of unity, strength, and wisdom.

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This is literally a place where history happened. And here I am where Martin Luther delivered his rousing “I Have A Dream” speech.

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And that’s what two days in DC can pack in. We needed more time, for sure!

But wait… I must tell you about Ben’s Chili Bowl, a landmark restaurant that boasts of the most diverse customers and some very well-known ones. Everyone knows about President Obama’s visit to the restaurant; actors, journalists, and foreign diplomats have all made it a point to come here.

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I had its famed Bill Cosby’s Original Chili Half Smoke (half pork and beef smoked sausage with mustard, onions and homemade chili sauce). I of course, loved the spicy kick from the chili on top!

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Well, that’s the end of our quick visit to Washington DC. More US stops to come in the next posts!

To see more of my Washington posts, follow me on Instagram @thespoiledmummy, and search #TSMinWASHINGTON.

Thank you to The Spoiled Mummy’s site partner, Smart, for making all these posts on Instagram and the blog possible. I am glad that I can rely on Smart’s efficient data roaming service all throughout my trip — now that’s the #SmartLife! 🙂 Check out their Free Instagram plan here : #SmartFreeIG.

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