Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Washington, D.C. - Day 3

May 10.

We started the day bright and early and headed straight to The White House for a visit.  Our group was the first group from our school to be granted permission to tour The White House, so it was pretty exciting!  No cameras were allowed inside, so no pictures beyond this point. 
After an extensive 5 point security check that was just shy of a body cavity search we were finally inside, guess who walked by us....well, it was none other than Bo Obama and his trainer! He just walked right through the crowd like he owned the place! Then one of the guides announced: "President Obama is getting ready to leave the South Lawn on Marine I and he's invited you all to watch as he leaves."  So that was an exciting experience for our kids.

 Of course you can't go to Washington, D.C. without seeing some protests.  This guy above was doing a song and dance for us.  Of course our kids were just taken aback by the entire thing and the more they stared the louder he sang in his native tongue.

The demonstration below is a protest against nuclear weapons and was grandfathered-in, so it actually legal to be within a certain parameter of The White House.  The stipulations of having the demonstration setup are that someone has to remain with it at all times, hence the tent.

 After visting The White House, it was on to the Jefferson Memorial.
 Getting a history lesson from Dottie, our tour guide.

Fatigue setting in

 Shaylan, Izzy, Kaylyn, Bella

After visiting the Jefferson Memorial, it was on to The Pentagon.  Again no cameras allowed, so no pictures.  Again, we went through mega security checks, I was wondering if we would need to give DNA samples :).  The most nerve-wracking thing about the Pentagon security check was the guard with the high-powered rifle who met us at the door with his finger on the trigger, ready to fire at a split second....
This is the only picture I was able to boot-leg, courtesy of my phone.  This was set up in the area where we were waiting for our tour.  The tour itself was very educational and interesting, but the most impressive thing about these tour guides was that they walked the entire Pentagon BACKWARDS and never missed a beat!

After our Pentagon tour, we headed to Baltimore where the plan was to spend some time in Inner Harbor and take in an Orioles base ball game.  One problem with this plan....the traffic between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore was TERRIBLE!  Think 280 traffic magnified 10 times!  Seriously, it took us over 2 hours to make the drive that should have taken about 45 minutes. 
Inner Harbor, Baltimore.  It's beautiful, but it kind of smells like Birmingham city sewer!
The bus parked us at Camdon Yards and a group of us hiked it the 4-5 blocks down to the harbor for dinner.  We were later than our orignal scheduled time due to all of the traffic we had encountered on the way, so we decided to just miss the beginning of the game.  Baltimore crab cakes are worth it, right?  By the time we finished our meal, the game was in the 4th inning and we headed back to the stadium.  It didn't take long to discover, the hike back to the stadium was UPHILL.  We decided to be lazy and piled all the kids in a cab and rode to the stadium.

Here we are, three rows from the TOP of the stadium....nice seats.  The Orioles lost.
We finally made it back to our hotel at midnight on this night.  Fun times!

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