a little morbid? maybe. but the teen, who'd learned about ford's theater in school, really wanted to see it. none of us were aware that it was still a working theater, though.
the bean, kicking it in her cheapy $20 stroller that the hub scooped up at CVS, couldn't care less. heh.
the tour began with a stop in the slightly cheesetastic museum downstairs.
and then it was time to line up and troop upstairs to the theater.
the hallways were lined with a timeline of that fateful day - a play-by-play of the seemingly ordinary day in two lives.
the presidential box, marked with patriotic decor and a framed portrait of george washington (apparently, back then, when you thought of the POTUS, ol' george was who came to mind first for most folks). obviously, it's not open to the public for viewing or for performances.
the tour and museum are actually run by the state parks department. as we sat in the small theater, a parks employee stood onstage and delivered in a bored monotone a very thorough speech detailing the events of that day. it was actually very interesting, although i guess after rattling through that monologue a few hundred times, i'd be totally over it, too.
the private home where president lincoln was taken after being shot (and where he died not long after) was just across the street. it, too, is open to the public for viewing, but there was a crazy line to get in once we got out of the theater. our tour ticket gave us access anytime that day until it closed at 5:15, but sadly, we never made it back. oh, well, next time.
with just one day to soak in as much of D.C. as we could, we scanned this sign and tried to decide where to go next.
actually, it wasn't a tough choice.
ever wonder what the presidential christmas tree looks like during the rest of the year? yeah, me either. but here it is anyway.
the bean remained indifferent to our surroundings.
despite the blazing heat, we soldiered on and made our way down the long, long path towards the lincoln memorial. i learned the hard way that my super cute sandals were not great for walking. blech. but it was our only chance to see this stuff, so i just followed along at a rather glacial pace. we passed other memorials and lots of signs about the upcoming fireworks show along the way.
the girls were pretty excited to realize that they could dangle their feet in the pools.
after they'd cooled down somewhat, we strapped the bean back into the stroller and continued on. and finally we were there.
more "forrest gump" flashbacks as i stood here:
i always wonder why folks can't follow simple instructions.
after we were done, we found ourselves walking through george washington university as we trudged the fourteen blocks back to the hotel. oh mah gah, i wanted to kill myself.
not wanting to waste any time, we continued our tour from the air-conditioned comfort of our full-size rental car, heading into nearby georgetown. somehow, we always manage to find our way to the fun shopping areas. there was something for everyone here, although we didn't stop to shop:
another quick drive-through of a cool, historic university:
being a big holiday, access to a handful of places was either limited or not available. here, the pentagon memorial:
by then, it was time to find our hotel for the night and check in.
we picked up our picnic dinner and found a fantastic spot on the lawn between the washington memorial and the white house.
the teen wasn't thrilled after a long, long day of walking in the sun.
the bean was pretty cheerful, though.
but once we got some good grub in our bellies, the teen cheered up considerably. of course, the live concert at the white house by the killers helped brighten her mood, too. heh. we could hear it perfectly from where we were sitting.
she even let us take some pictures.
our timing was damn near perfect. it got dark pretty quickly as the lawn filled up with more and more people, and right at 9:00 the fireworks show started.
i'm pretty sure that was the best fireworks show i've ever seen. not just for the 4th of july, but like, EVER. it was fantastic, and even the bean loved it. "it's not scary, mom," she said. ha!
and then it was absolute madness as the gazillion people who'd come out to watch the pyrotechnic spectacular all tried to get out at the very same time. mad. ness.
miraculously, we were able to maneuver our way through the crowds, get to the parking garage, have our car brought up, and wind our way through the insanely packed roads and return to our hotel without too much delay. i swear, the gods were with us that night.
and boy, were those beds super comfy. it was heavenly to crawl between the cool sheets and pass the eff out.