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Inside D.C. – An In Depth Tour of the White House, Capital and VP’s Office

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One of the most amazing experiences of my life happened during our
Washington, D.C. trip. We got an inside look into the White House and our
nations Capital! During these two days we were able to see and experience more than I could have ever dreamed.

Day One:

First thing was a tour of the White House! After passing the background check (I was oddly nervous I would get rejected – ha!) and getting through the endless rounds of secret service agent checks, we made it to the most coveted house in America. More than anything, this tour was a reminder that the people who lead our nation are all human. They live and breathe just like we do, they worry and stress just like we do, and their lives are imperfect just like ours.

The tour shows in depth photos of those who have lived there, portraits of our first ladies and presidents, historic china and you are able to see many of the rooms that were used by our past presidents. The White House tour is honestly pretty rushed. While it is incredible and a once in a lifetime experience, it is also very structured. You can go in the few hallways allocated to you and it is heavily guarded (as you would expect). And while I didn’t expect to have free reign within the White House, I was hoping they would include a little bit more into the tour. Overall, I would highly recommend making this a part of your trip to D.C. it is worth your time and a unique experience. You can access White House Tour information here: White House Tours.

After the White House tour we got to participate in a bible study at the
Vice Presidents office. Seriously… the Vice President of the United States.
Regardless of your political views, this was the coolest experience!!! We were able to sit with leaders from our country and openly discuss the bible and pray for those who had died 18 years ago on September 11th. My seat in the office overlooked the White House and while we were praying I couldn’t help but look over and think about George W. Bush. To think about all the decisions he had to make 18 years ago. The tough life-changing decisions that are needed in a time of crisis. Our time at the Vice Presidents Office was surreal and worth every moment, thankful we took the leap and said yes to the invitation!

Day Two:

The Capital was one of my favorite experiences! We had a personal tour from one of our Senators who led us through the Capital and gave us an inside look into the House of Representatives room. It was the most surreal feeling to sit where major decisions about our country are made. To know that this is where matters that affect our nations are argued and discussed. To stand where some of our countries founders stood and made monumental decisions. After the House of Representatives room we headed to the rotundra and the view from the Speaker of the Houses balcony. Let me just say, they have a phenomenal view! The Capital hosts daily tours and is totally worth your time. You can access tour information here: Capital Tours.

After our time in the capital, we spent the afternoon at the Library of Congress, hearing from our nations Senators and House Representatives on the issues facing our nations and what they are doing to combat them. There aren’t many opportunities where you get to sit and listen to your congressmen discuss the struggles they are facing, while also getting an honest outlook on our future as a nation. It was humbling to listen to the struggles that we as a nation face, especially the struggle to unify as one nation. I will never again take for granted the opportunity to speak to those leading our country, their insight, knowledge and position are vital. And knowing what’s going on will only help you make a more informed vote, especially in next years 2020 election!

There was so much going on those two days that I was only able to highlight the high points. But the most important takeaway from this trip is this. It’s not okay to stand on the sidelines. There is so much going on in our country, and your voice matters! Be involved, be informed, and be thankful you have a place in this country! You have the opportunity to make our counties future great! Be kind to others, have courage to stand up for whats right and continue to pray for those who lead our nation.

-Kayla

 

Washington, DC in One Weekend

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Washington, DC is the one American city you cannot skip! There is so much to explore, so much to learn and so much history to relive. America has a lot to see, but DC is without doubt one of the most unique cities to visit.

Let me just tell you, if you want to see all the major tourist attractions in DC in one weekend, you can! The beauty of Washington, DC is that the majority of the ‘tourist attractions” are in one area making it remarkably easy to get around in one weekend.

I would highly recommend starting at the National Mall and starting EARLY. The earlier the better when it comes to DC, you want to get there with plenty of time to find parking and get yourself situated for the day. Getting there early also allows you to get great pictures of the Lincoln Memorial, Reflection Pond and Washington Monument without the onslaught of tourist buses rolling in. If you are able to park near the Lincoln Memorial, it is significantly easier to plan your day cohesively.

A huge benefit to Washington, DC is that almost all of their museums have free admission! This makes the museums busier, but also saves you a ton of money! Below are my suggestions for a weekend itinerary in DC.

Day One Itinerary – The Major Attractions

  • Lincoln Memorial – Probably one of the most iconic places in DC, this memorial hosts a 19 feet tall statue of Abraham Lincoln overlooking Washington/Washington Memorial.
  • Reflection Pond – A gorgeous lake that sits between the Lincoln and Washington Memorial.
  • Korean War Memorial– A stunning, revered area in memory of all who served in the Korean War.
  • World War II Memorial – A huge memorial between the Lincoln and Washington Monuments. Dedicated to those who fought and served in WWII.
  • Washington Monument– This is by far one of the most symbolic and largest tourist attractions in DC. Tons of greenery surrounds the monument allowing for hosted activities, picnics and gorgeous photos.
  • White House -Arguable the most famous house in America, you can get a gorgeous unobstructed view minutes from the Washington Monument. Remember, this is a heavily guarded area, so there will be trained officer with guns here. If your interested in taking a tour, here are the details: WHITE HOUSE TOUR
  • Smithsonian Natural History Museum – Probably my husband’s favorite location (he’s a huge animal lover). This sprawling museum can take as long as you want. There is so much to see and do and incredibly family friendly. I would recommend at least 2-3 hours to truly experience all that there is to see and do here!

Day Two Itinerary – Your Specific Attractions

  • Arlington Cemetery – Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – Plan for anywhere from 1 hour to 2 and a half hours to go through this. This place is emotional hard to walk through as you feel the impact of those who sacrificed everything for the sake of freedom. This is one thing you cannot miss when you visit DC.
  • Smithsonian Air & Space Museum – Currently in renovations – Plan for at least an hour and a half here. This is so fun to experience, especially if you have kids! The most family friendly museum and so many interesting artifacts.
  • Capital Building – Big spacious area with tons of food trucks, greenery for a picnic and then exploring the Capital. If you’d like to take a tour of the capital, follow this link: CAPITAL TOUR.
  • National Archives – This was #1 on my list of museums to visit in DC. Because of my heritage I was dying to go and see the Declaration of Independence in person. There are so many historical documents and letters to see while you are in the archives. I highly recommend taking the time to go here and see our countries founding documents.

This will tackle a huge list of the attractions most people want to hit in one day. What’s even better is that there are lines of food trucks on the side of the road so you can easily grab lunch or a snack when you get hungry on your travels. The biggest thing to note as you go through your day, is that you can hit as many or as few attractions as you want. It’s up to you and how quickly you go. Since it was just my husband and I we were able to see and experience a lot of things at a quicker pace than those who have kids or other loved ones to take care of.

If you’ve been to Washington, DC what were your favorite attractions? Stay tuned to more updates as continue to explore the area!

Lincoln Memorial
DAR Monument