Day 828: Colonial NHP – Historic Jamestowne

M’s Junior Ranger wall is rapidly filling up, we’re soon going to have to make a new one for him:

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Today when heading out, I noticed a damaged sidewall on one of the RV tires.  We stopped at a tire store to have a new tire installed on the wheel:

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Now running a couple hours late, we visited Historic Jamestowne, part of Colonial National Historical Park.  The theatre has a pair of curved screens, with seating under each screen positioned to see the other:

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We walked out to the site, passing this spire erected in1907 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the founding of Jamestowne in 1607:

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The location of the site wasn’t discovered until the 1990s, and archeology here continues today:

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This structure was built over the location of an identical original structure, now long gone:

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A model of what the settlement used to look like:

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The site also houses an extensive museum:

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The kids completed their Junior Ranger workbooks and received their patches:

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They also received this glass coaster, made on site:

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We were supposed to visit Yorktown today as well, but because of the tire delay this morning, we skipped Yorktown and continued on to Norfolk, where we will be spending Shabbos in a synagogue parking lot:

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Good Shabbos from Norfolk, Virginia!  See the trip map for today’s drive and our current location.

Day 818: Visiting the Capitol

Today we drove into DC to visit the Capitol.  Getting into the parking garage was dicey:

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“I’d love to work for the Bureau of Labor Statistics”, said no-one ever:

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Behold, the Capitol:

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We wanted to visit the Senate and House galleries, but we were told we had to get tickets from our senator’s office.  On the way there, we passed the Supreme Court building:

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Our senator’s office building:

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We received the tickets, and chatted briefly with these guys about how we’re South Dakota residents, but don’t actually live there:

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We visited the Senate gallery, where we listened to our senator, John Thune of South Dakota, speak in support of a bill opposing a proposed EPA rule to give the EPA control over many more bodies of water.  The bill is S.J.Res.22 – A joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency relating to the definition of “waters of the United States” under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.

We then went on a tour of the Capitol.  The interior of the dome is under repair, but the 4,664 square foot fresco 180 feet above the floor, The Apotheosis of Washington, was still visible:

 

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We also toured the room which contains the National Statuary Hall Collection:

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Next we visited the House of Representatives gallery.  The only congressperson we recognized on the floor was Nancy Pelosi

We witnessed a number of votes related to H. Res. 507 — “Providing for consideration of the Senate amendments to the bill (H.R. 22) to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exempt employees with health coverage under TRICARE or the Veterans Administration from being taken into account for purposes of determining the employers to which the employer mandate applies under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; providing for proceedings during the period from November 6, 2015, through November 13, 2015; and providing for consideration of motions to suspend the rules.”

We also witnessed the unanimous passage of H. Res. 354 — “Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the safety and security of Jewish communities in Europe.”

Cameras are not allowed in the galleries, but it looked something like this:

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We next returned to the Senate gallery where saw a number of senators we recognized, including John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz.  The highlight of the visit was listening to freshman Nebraska senator Ben Sasse’s first speech on the floor.  It was profound and moving, but I didn’t think it would make the news.  I was surprised to find analysis at Washington Times, NPR, and The Atlantic.  The text of the speech is here, and the video of the speech is below:

We next visited the visitor center in the Capitol building:

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A full-scale model of the statue atop the Capitol dome, FreedomShe looks good considering she weighs 15,000 pounds:

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The Capitol at sunset:

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Across the way we could see the Library of Congress, the second-largest library by collection size in the world. The Library’s holdings include:

  • 32 million cataloged books and other print materials in 470 languages
  • more than 61 million manuscripts
  • the largest rare book collection in North America, including the rough draft of the Declaration of Independence and one of only three perfect vellum copies of the a Gutenberg Bible known to exist
  • over 1 million U.S. government publications
  • 1 million issues of world newspapers spanning the past three centuries
  • 33,000 bound newspaper volumes
  • 500,000 microfilm reels
  • 5.3 million maps
  • 6 million works of sheet music
  • 3 million sound recordings
  • more than 14.7 million prints and photographic images

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We headed back to the RV for the night.  There’s so much more to see here in DC, but I think we’re going to move on tomorrow.

Day 817: Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, Frederick Douglas NHS, Anacostia Park, Oxon Cove Park, Fort Washington Park

Today we focused on the east side of DC metro.  Our first stop was Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens:

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Kenilworth Gardens is a former water plant nursery donated to the NPS, effective after the death of the owners, to avoid imposed filling of the ponds here as “marsh reclamation” by the Army Corps of Engineers:

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We walked the grounds:

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M tried on his paper Junior Ranger hat:

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It’s very late in the season, so most of the lilies are gone now, but the massive lily pads of the Amazon water-lily haven’t completely died off:

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The kids completed their Junior Ranger workbooks and received their badges:

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The ranger gave to the kids both the newer plastic and older wooden badges:

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We stopped briefly at Fort Dupont Park, but the ranger station was closed.  We continued on to Frederick Douglass National Historic Site:

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The site preserves the house in present-day Anacostia where Frederick Douglass lived from 1877 until his death in 1895:

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All of the interior furnishings are originals:

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We toured the small visitor center:

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The kids completed their Junior Ranger workbooks and received their badges:

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Our next stop was Anacostia Park, where we visited the headquarters of National Capital Parks-East.  The kids completed the National Capital Parks-East workbook, and received a badge for both National Capital Parks-East and Anacostia Park:

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The kids also completed the National Capital Parks-East “Climate Friendly” Junior Ranger workbook:

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Continuing south, we visited Oxon Cove Park and Oxon Hill Farm, an NPS site last used as farmland to grow crops and act as farm therapy for the patients at a nearby mental hospital:

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This house, built in 1807, is called Mount Welby:

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The kids completed their Junior Ranger workbooks and received their Junior Ranger badges:

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The ranger also gave each of them the old patch they used to use:

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The kids already completed the Junior Ranger program for the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom on Day 665, but here they had the older badges so we received those as well:

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Our last stop of the day was Fort Washington Park, built in 1809, and expanded in 1824, the 1840s, and the 1890s.

One of many fortifications here, an Endicott period battery, built in the 1890s, equipped with disappearing guns:

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The 1824 fort, built of brick.  As we learned during our 2012 visit to Fort Pulaski, before the invention of the rifled cannon, masonry forts were sufficiently strong to resist smoothbore cannon fire:

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The tracks for the cannon mounts remain:

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We walked down to the waterfront battery:

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The old fort from the river:

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The kids completed their workbooks and received their Junior Ranger badges:

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Tomorrow we hope to our the Capitol building.

Day 816: Visiting Washington DC

Shabbos at the Kemp Mill Synagogue was pleasant.  We made new friends and went for a relaxing walk in an adjacent park.

Today we drove into northwest DC and started walking towards the National Mall:
 

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We passed the statue of General Logan in Logan Circle:

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Our first stop was the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site:

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We learned quite a bit about Miss Bethune, as she’s referred to by NPS staff.  Mary McLeod Bethune was a giant in the civil rights movement and advisor to four US presidents, among other accomplishments:

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We toured her home, which was also the headquarters for the organization she founded, the National Council of Negro Women.  The chandelier in this parlor was a gift from President Roosevelt, the husband of Miss Bethune’s best friend, first lady Eleanor Roosevelt:

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The kids completed their Junior Ranger workbooks and received their badges:

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This visitor center is also the visitor center for the not-yet-opened Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site, so the kids completed the workbook for that site here as well:

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We continued walking south towards the Mall, arriving at Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site.  In the lower level of the building there’s a visitor center:

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After viewing the exhibits, we went upstairs to the theatre and viewed the box seat where President Lincoln was assassinated:

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The gun that Booth used to kill President Lincoln:

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The kids completed their Junior Ranger workbooks and received their badges and patches:

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We continued towards the Mall:

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We could see the scaffold-covered Capitol Building in distance:

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We next visited the visitor center for President’s Park National Historic Site, which includes the White House and the surrounding grounds.  The film was incredibly moving:

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The kids completed their Junior Ranger workbooks and received their badges:

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Behold, the White House:

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Looking from the White House towards the Washington Monument:

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We next visited the Washington Monument:

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We could see the Jefferson Memorial in the distance:

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We continued on to the World War II Memorial:

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Next, we visited the Vietnam Memorial:

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Our last stop on the National Mall was the Lincoln Memorial:

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The kids completed the Junior Ranger worksheets for the Washington Monument, World War II Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial, and received their badges for the National Mall and Memorial Parks:

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As night fell, we started walking back to the truck:

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We waved to President Obama as we walked by his house:

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After over seven miles of walking, we made it back to the truck and drove back to the RV at the synagogue.

See the trip map for today’s drive and walk.

Day 814: Rock Creek Park and Ice Skating

Today we dropped Trish off for some alone time at the spa.

Okay, so actually it was at the Laundromat, but Trish likes the time away from the family.

I took the kids to Rock Creek Park, an NPS site that includes an equestrian center:

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Some of the horses were decorated for Halloween:

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We next visited the visitor center:

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We hiked a nature trail on the grounds.  The kids completed their Junior Ranger books and received their badges and patches:

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Trish and the kids went ice skating in the afternoon:

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I went out for a ride this afternoon:

Trish is becoming more proficient at crocheting: 

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Good Shabbos from the Kemp Mill Synagogue in Kemp Mill, MD!  See the trip map for today’s drive.