Washington Monument, as seen from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The Capitol as seen from the Washington Monument. The White House, seen from the National Mall.

We spent a week at Pohick Regional Park to visit the Washington DC area. This is one of those places that has far too many things to see for just a short visit. We spent all of four days in the capitol and the other three days visiting Mt. Vernon, Manassas and other places of interest in the area. Due to the 9/11 incident, security is the capitol is very tight and it is now difficult to get access to some things like the capitol building and the White House. But we still had very full days and saw all that our time allowed. If you should ever find yourself in that part of the country, Washington DC is one of those places that all of us should see!

Our camp site at Pohick Park. The Abraham Lincoln Memorial. Click the picture to see a view of the memorial from the top of Wash. Monument. Thomas Jefferson memorial.

Pohick Park is located near Mt. Vernon, VA and is just beyond the terminal for the "Metro," a commuter train that will take you into the capitol. It is convenient if you wish to avoid dealing with the traffic and the parking. We did drive into the city on a Saturday and by going in early, were able to park right on the mall, but I would not drive on a week day. We did visit all of the usual memorials and sites. We spent half of the first day on a tour that took us around and showed us where everything was, and then we spent the rest of our visit returning to the things that we wanted to see in detail. This worked very well for us.

The Iwo Jima memorial at Arlington Cemetery. The changing of the guard at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Click for another view. The very striking monument to the Korean War. Click to see a different part of this unusual memorial.

This is a city of monuments and memorials and there are some really striking ones. As a veteran myself, the military monuments are at least to some extent, a must see. I have read much of WWII and what those men did and feel strongly that it is sad that much of what they did is being forgotten. And then there is the Korean "police action" which I remember slightly, and know how the people who fought there must feel about the lack of attention that they have received. But since I served during Vietnam, and lost several friends there, that was for me the most difficult part, but one that I could not stay away from.

Statue at the entry to the Vietnam Wall. The wall. Click for a spooky immage for one who could well have been on that wall. This women's memorial is on the geen as a part of the entry to the wall.

Having joined the Navy in 1960, at seventeen and spoiling for a fight, and serving until spring of 1968, I often think of the fact that I could well have been there, had circumstances been different. And if you click on the center picture, you will find an image that still makes me pause, since it puts me "on the wall."

The offices and origional building of the Smithsonian Institution. This is a reproduction of the Wright brothers first successful aircraft, located at the Air & Space Museum. The Spirit of St. Lewis made the first flight accross the Atlantic. The actual Apollo 13 capsule that was so nearly a disastor for the moon landing program. The gondola from the first balloon flight around the world.

The Smithsonian Institution is not one, but sixteen museums and the national zoo. Of these my favorite is the Air & Space Museum. There you will see things like the first human powered aircraft, the first airplane, two famous space capsules and just about anything to do with flight. We spent most of one day in this one.

We saw a family of elephants and the baby was playing, like all babies. The most famous Hope diamond. There are real mummies, Click here to see a different one. The giant pandas are the biggest attraction. If you click on Ying Ying, you will see Ling Ling.

It would take far too much space to attempt to show all that we saw in Washington. But we hope that what is here will inspire you to plan a trip to see this amazing place. And when you do, plan to spend at least a week, as that is not nearly enough. I am appalled to think that more Americans have seen Disney World than Washington DC and our capitol! But I have read that it is true, so lets just hope that the writer was wrong.