Washington D.C. I Finally Made It Here For The 4th Of July
As some of you who read my blog post regularly know I lost my mom last August. I lost dad in 2013. Some of you may be wondering what this has to do with the Fourth of July and Washington D.C. When they were married on June 29 1957 my parents came to this city on their honeymoon. Dad was stationed here during WW II. Some of my earliest memories were watching the 8 mm films of the fireworks they took with the Bell and Howell movie camera they received as a wedding present. Every anniversary they would retell the stories of the wedding and honeymoon in Washington.
This year I didn’t hear the stories for the first time. It was sad for me. I decided on their anniversary last week to finally come down here to the place they spent those happy moments together, and began a beautiful family of five children. I was surprised to still find rooms available at another place I always wanted to visit, the Watergate Hotel. So here I sit on the Fourth of July in Room 301 in the beautiful and historic Watergate Hotel. It is raining outside.
After arriving in Washington D.C. yesterday afternoon, I unpacked and spent some time learning about my hotel. I was soon out exploring the city. It was hot. Temperatures were in the mid 90’s under a blazing July sun. I walked to the Potomac River and followed the Rock Creek Trail to the rear of the Lincoln Memorial.
I was disappointed to find the Memorial was closed to the public in preparation for a speech the President was giving the next evening. I had hoped to spend some time in the presence of the intimidating statue of President Lincoln. I had spent many an hour here when I attended law school in the city. I was looking forward to another Mr. Smith Goes To Washington moment. It was closed for repairs when I visited last January. This would not be the last time the President’s speech would alter my plans.
I continued walking having forgotten the distance between the monuments on the mall. I was pretty exhausted from the heat when got to the impressive Washington Monument. I recalled the first time I saw in on an 8th grade field trip. That sunny day in May seemed like it was yesterday. I had not time to visit the monument since it was already late afternoon and I had dinner reservations for 6:30 p.m. at the hotel.
However, I wanted to walk to the Capitol and so I continued on despite the heat. It was further than I thought. 3 1/4 miles from the Watergate Hotel. I finally neared the impressive dome of our Nation’s Capitol only to find area were blocked off for the concert event to be held there later that evening.
I saw some crew teams practicing on the Potomac on my walk. I made it back to the hotel just in time to have a shower, change and enjoy a wonderful meal at the famous Kingbird restaurant. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. Washington D.C. afternoon hike July 3 2019.
After dinner, although I was tired, I decided to take a taxi over to the Capitol to see what was going on. I was again glad I did. After navigating a series of road blocks I finally was able to see the Capitol Dome in the soft light from the setting sun.
I walked through the crowds admiring the beauty Capitol Building in the background. It was a sultry evening, hot and humid, and the country music being performed made it a perfect in our Nation’s Capital. I imagined my mom and dad wandering the streets on a similar night 62 years ago. I wanted to stay but I was tired. I had walked over 10 miles, 8 of them in the heat and humidity of Washington D.C. I was ready for bed.
I left the festive sounds of the Capitol and walked back to the street still open to traffic and took a cab back to the hotel. Even though I was tired I still had to catch the view from the rooftop bar. I spent a few minutes on the roof and retired to my room. I regretted missing a family picnic back home but I felt this was the right place to be. I fell asleep thinking about my parents and their summer nights in this city . Here is a link to some more photographs from my evening walk Washington D.C. evening walk July 3 2019
It is sometimes called the City of Magnificent Distances, but it might with greater propriety be termed the City of Magnificent Intentions. … Spacious avenues, that begin in nothing, and lead nowhere; streets, mile-long, that only want houses, roads, and inhabitants; public buildings that need but a public to be complete; and ornaments of great thoroughfares, which only lack great thoroughfares to ornament — are its leading features. Charles Dickens