Today Whitney and I headed west to do a day trip from Washington DC and kayaked the Shenandoah River. We rented kayaks from the Down River Canoe Company, which were pricey at $39/ea, but it did include the transportation 12 miles up river, which gave us just over 5 hours of kayaking time when you included lunch. For lunch, we packed sandwiches and found a really neat rock face to eat on. The further upstream you go on the river, the more minor rapids you face, although none that we saw during our 12 mile route were all that bad. The front desk there will loan you dry bags for cameras, and they also watch your keys for you. All in all, a GREAT day on the water.
Today I took the day off work and decided to visit the White House as well as the National Aquarium with Whitney and a few friends. The weather had warmed up from the past few days and made it a fun trip! Not much to say here, the White House is what it is, and the National Aquarium was a huge letdown.
After my last trip to DC several months ago where I couldn’t get tickets to go up in the monument, I learned to arrive early if you want to get to go up in the monument, so we arrived around 9am and were able to get tickets quickly. We were a bit worried about the wind, as it was so strong that it blew my camera bag even with several items in there, and the tickets state that high winds can cancel tours. The monument is currently closed to take the steps down, but the elevator stops and allows you to see out of it to view each of the 50 state’s stones.
Today we woke up a bit behind schedule and rushed to the airport. We caught the Amtrack into Washington DC, which was a short trip, pretty cheap ($18) and surprisingly comfortable. That took us to Union Station, where we purchased a rail pass, and would use the subway for transportation the rest of the day.
Our first stop was the National Zoo (link). We were in a hurry to see quite a bit, and we could go to zoos in FL, so we didn’t spend much time time there, just went as quickly as possible to the animals that we wanted to see. One thing was for sure, the zoo is a lot easier to walk through in Florida, where there aren’t hills all over the place!
The next stop was the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (link). We were too late in the day to see the permanent exhibit, as all of the tickets had been given out, so we walked around the temporary exhibits. It was interesting to me seeing how the photography differs depending on the source (Nazi or Anti-Nazi), and what message they were trying to convey.
After that, we went to the Smithstonian Museum of Natural History (link).
Our final place we had to get to other than the memorials (which are open at night) was Arlington (link). We stayed to watch a complete changing of the guard ceremony, which I shot several photos of, and Whitney recorded a video of, which I’ll post if I can find a wordpress plugin for video.
After Arlington closed, we headed back to the monuments and took a few pictures, then headed home and ordered Dominoes before going to bed.
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Today we had to be up early to get to the airport, and after searching for the remote parking lot, we finally parked and caught the shuttle to the airport. We boarded our flight at 9am which would take us to Raleigh, NC for a transfer, and then off to Baltimore airport.
Once we got to Raleigh, I overheard something about a delayed flight over the loudspeaker, so Whitney and I walked over to ask what that was about. Southwest offered us $400.20 to stay for 2 hours and take the next flight into Baltimore, because they had overbooked our flight. Since we really had no plans for the night other than going to dinner, and we knew we could use the travel voucher for a trip later this year, we agreed.
Once we got to the airport, we caught the courtesy shuttle to our hotel (link) and took a quick nap. Then we took the courtesy shuttle back to the airport, and rode the Light Rail into the harbor (link). We ate outdoors as the weather was awesome.
On the way back suddenly we saw about 50 cops chasing two guys…not quite sure what was going on there. Then we saw a helicopter go up, and then a large portion of the roads were blocked off. I looked in the Baltimore newspaper and couldn’t find anything about this, I guess this isn’t “news” for Baltimore lol…
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