So have you recovered from all of the walking on the last round of the Magical History Tour? Did you remember to hold on to your ticket? Today we are going to take a little different mode of transportation for our tour. We are going to head out on the little Potomac River to get a different view of the area.
First we might not want to make the Potomac River angry by calling it little. In reality it is 380 miles long, starting from a spring in West Virginia and flowing all the way to the Chesapeake Bay. Along the way it picks up waters from other of tributaries and provides for some dare devil kayaking at Great Falls. Now we won't ever be Venice, but who wants all of that pizza and pasta when you can have Chesapeake Bay crabs anyway?
So hop in to your gondola, remember only two to a boat and let's head past some of the views that you can see from Potomac River. We are going to start our tour before dark at the Theodore Roosevelt Island an 88 acre nature reserve that seems to be one of those secret places that not too many folks know exists. As you walk through the island you will come upon a magnificent courtyard with a bronze statue of Teddy Roosevelt surrounded by four beautiful stone tablets with favorite Roosevelt sayings. "There is delight in the hardy life of the open" (African Game Trails, 1910). Take a little time to enjoy this little piece of paradise and then we will head on down the river to take in some of the sights of Washington as the sunsets.
Alright what else can find along the waterway as we head down river? If you look to your left, no I said your left, you will see the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts where you can catch great plays, symphonies and if you are lucky score a rooftop seat of the fireworks on the 4th of July.
As we keep moving we are going come under the Memorial Bridge and see the sunset starting to reflect off the Lincoln Memorial. The memorial was built starting in 1914 and was opened in 1922. Designed after the Parthenon in Athens the 36 columns represent the number of states in the union at the time Lincoln was assonated. Famous for not only honoring our 16th US President but also where Martin Luther King stood and made his famous "I have a Dream Speech" in 1963.
Lincoln's imposing figure sitting on the throne looks out across the reflecting pool to the WWII Memorial and Washington Monument.
Now that it is getting dark we are going to take one last stop before our surprise dinner. Seeing Washington DC at night gives you an entirely different perspective of the city. Most people who tour the area only think about coming out during the day. However take a look at the Jefferson Memorial bathed in light.
The decision to build a memorial to Jefferson was the idea of FDR and after a number of design proposals it was finally decided to build a structure that reflected buildings that Jefferson himself had designed using Monticello, Jefferson's home in Virginia and the Pantheon in Rome as guides. The road to getting the memorial built had many trials and tribulations and even though the dedication happened in 1943 the bronze statue of Jefferson did not arrive until four years later. Opps!
Now is anyone hungry? Great then let me introduce you to one of the venerable Washington DC seafood establishments. Phillips Seafood House has been in our area forever, okay maybe not forever but it seems like it. We can pull our boat up and hop out to feast on crab cakes. Trust me if you haven't had a Chesapeake Bay Crab cake made with the special Phillips Bay Seasoning then you haven't been to our area. We won't be traveling back to the hotel by boat after you eat as we might sink!
So thanks for taking the Washington DC Memorial Tour with us today. Don't forget to tip your gondola driver and hey remember hold on to your ticket we have lots more to cover before the tour guide gives it a rest!
If you just joined us today. You can read the guide book from another part of the The Magical History Tour-Historic Churches right here.
©2008 Cindy Jones. All rights reserved.
Photos from IStock Photos