Day 37 – Sunday, 12 May 2013 – Lancaster to Washington DC

This morning we left on time at 8:30am. Lancaster is a rural country town in winding hills, and very pretty.

Being a Sunday we went around the corner and down the road to visit a real Amish home and farm. The Amish themselves do not participate in the tourism business per se, but some of their retired people are happy to take the job of educators to the masses. As such, one of the houses first built in the area and lived in by an Amish family for 32 years, is now used as an education centre for tourist purposes. It was a fascinating insight to a people, culture and religion, and the man providing the information was grave, courteous and informative.

We then ventured further down the road and visited a place where many of the areas fruits and vegetables are tinned (which is really bottled and preserved), and many of their item stock were available for tasting. A lot of people bught

Today we only needed to travel 196km but Roger expected traffic to get much heavier the closer we got to Washington DC. It was a pleasant morning’s drive and the morning stop was at a new roadhouse. This roadhouse is built in the middle of the highway and is accessible from both sides of traffic. It is an excellent idea and would work well in Australia. There were also plenty of toilets and we did not have to queue for ages to use the facilities. There was also a Starbuck so we had two hot chocolates, grabbed yoghurt and bananas for lunch and then went outside to sit in the sun before we had to board the coach once again.

Russ had developed a headache which was trying to become a migraine, so when we pulled up at the Liberty Bell Museum for a walk around and photo stop Russ chose to stay on the coach and have a sleep. Roger was particularly pleased with this as it gave him an excuse not to have to move the bus while he looked after one of the passengers.

The souvenir shop was present, as usual, and it amazes me where everyone packs their purchases and not use more than one case. Needless to say when we got back on board Russ was feeling much better.

We moved onto the Smithsonian Museums (a collection of museums around the centre park area between Capitol Hill and the Obelisk, and all part of the Smithsonian in different buildings). Roger and Barbara went off to do some jobs and drop off the suitcases as we had a night excursion after the farewell dinner this evening, so time was limited.

We had a wonderful time wandering around various areas, stopped to have lunch, then continued on our way. We took a walk in the park and watched the people enjoying the fine weather. They flew kites, played ball with the children and chased the dog. We took lots of photos.

The coach was back to pick us up at 4:30pm and we were well walked by that time. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza Old Town in Alexandria. It is a nice hotel but, of course, there is no electric kettle just the coffee maker. However, one improvement was that it had a fridge, and we are staying two days here. However, it cost me $3.00 to get a glass of milk!

The restaurant is okay and the food was plentiful, with oatmeal available. Russ, of course, had French toast……..

We gathered in the foyer at 6:00pm to be transported to our evening farewell dinner. Very unimpressive, and the service was woeful. By the time we had been served our meal and paid for our drinks (we were supposed to get one drink free, but only if you wanted to drink 7Up – the equivalent of our lemonade) it was time to get back on the coach and begin our evening excursion of the Illuminated Washington DC.

We began with a visit to the Kennedy Centre for Performing Arts, which is a truly impressive building. All the flags of the states of the US are featured in one of the halls, and in the other hall are the flags of US friendly countries who donated to the Kennedy Centre in some way, shape or form when it was first built. Yes, Australia is there, although I do not know what we donated.

We then went on to see the Jefferson Memorial and the WW2 Memorial. We passed the White House in the distance as coaches are no longer allowed to use the street directly in front of it, and we saw the illuminated Obelisk and Capitol Hill.

The WW2 Memorial is a fairly recent addition to the memorials around Washington DC. There have been memorials to the Korean War, Vietnam War, World War 1 and many other actions, but not the soldiers, sailors etc. who gave their lives during WW2.

It is a very impressive memorial and is in the shape of a circle (similar to Stonehenge) with a fountain in the middle. Each of the square granite blocks represents a state of the United States and each block is joined by a cable rope, one to the other all the way around. I think the photos (not yet uploaded as we lost them when the computer went down – hopefully now found once again) will be able to do some justice to the spectacle.

We then headed back to the hotel to sleep before an extended visit to many places in the morning.

1 thought on “Day 37 – Sunday, 12 May 2013 – Lancaster to Washington DC

  1. Ray

    Lets try that again…!! Looks like you guys are certainly having a great time, love the photos!

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