Wednesday, June 30, 2010

DC Death March, part 8

Happy Fun Day 8

This was the last day of our summer D.C. trip (excluding the drive back). We went to Arlington National Cemetery first thing - before breakfast even. We saw the grave-sites for the two presidents buried there: William Howard Taft and John F. Kennedy. Taft was the last president to have facial hair. Perambulating through the cemetery, we ascended the heights to Arlington House (Dr. J did the honors for that sentence). This was the residence for Robert E. Lee before the Civil War. It is odd to realize how close he lived to the capitol of the country he betrayed. It is unfortunate that you cannot visit the graves of most of the notables buried here for you cannot leave the pavement.

The John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame.

Fairly nondescript marker for such a "great" man.

The traitor's house over looking our nation's capitol.

After leaving Arlington, we followed the Potomac to Mt. Vernon. While touring the house, we found out that Washington shared my favorite color: green. The outside of the house looks like it's made out of stone, but George Washington put sand in the paint to make the wood have a texture that mimicked stone. It had a beautiful view of the Potomac just past the ha-ha wall (look that up to find out what it was). Washington and Jefferson had the self-fanning rocking chair invented by Ben Franklin. We went to his tomb and the slave burial ground. In the educational center we saw a film about the Revolutionary War with fog, falling snow, and seats that shook when the cannons fired. We saw his dentures. He had several pairs but none of them were made of wood. We saw the bust that was the best likeness of Washington.

From Bowling Green to a bowling green.

Dudeboy visiting with the sociable Martha Washington.

There was a crypt built for Washington under the Capitol Dome. He chose this spot.

We drove back through DC to the National Museum of Health and Medicine located on the grounds of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. It was a lot like the Mutter Museum: lots of preserved medical oddities. We went there to see Lincoln's skull fragments and the bullet that killed him. We also saw a giant human hairball and other weird things. Several exhibits explored different types of war injuries and an extensive collection of historic microscopes.

Big sigh. When we got home I had to take a vacation from our vacation and went to Mane and Pa's for a few days.

Multiple oak cabinets . . . a sure sign of a quality museum.

A true curio cabinet . . . filled with Lincoln assassination artifacts.

Lincoln's blood matted hair.

*This is the last detailed blog entry on the trip, but check back for photos of interesting odds and ends--with an emphasis on odds.

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