Home for the Holidays, by Thomas Kincaid

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday - DC Ducks Tour of Washington, DC

Welcome to Outdoor Wednesday, hosted A Southern Daydreamer ...

Today, I am sharing Day 2 of our recent vacation back home to Virginia and North Carolina.
It's timely, having just celebrated our Nation's birthday, to share with you a tour of our Nation's Capitol.
Yes, that's right! We caught a "duck" at Union Station...However, these ducks are WWII vintage amphibious craft. Essentially, they are boats on wheels which take tourists to many wonderful
sights around the city, both on land and in the Potomac River.
Our boat is called the "Lame Duck" (cute). Here are my precious children, Sarah and Robert, standing next to it.
Above is our lively tour guide, who not only wow-ed us with some little known facts about the city, but who was quite humorous and entertaining in his own right. Doesn't he have a nice, friendly face?
Union Station is right across from Columbus Square, a large monument honoring - you guessed it! - Christopher Columbus.
You're going to laugh, but my middle-aged brain is struggling to remember what some of these buildings are. I believe the one above is the National Archives, Greek Revival style.

We passed the White House very quickly so I really had to jump to take this picture. Ever since the Oklahoma City bombing, no one can drive right in front of the White House anymore. The street is blocked off (fear of car bombs). Also, there are snipers walking around on the roof (can't see them in this photo). Look at the cool scooter things that these tourists are riding!
Here is the famous Lincoln Memorial seen from in front of the World War Two Memorial. Did you know that the Lincoln Memorial was built by the famous architect, Henry Bacon, who happens to be the grandfather of the actor, Kevin Bacon...AND, Kevin Bacon comes from a long line of architects and supposedly is the first male in his family not to follow suit.

I want to say that this is Patrick Henry..., but I can't remember exactly. Like his tri-corner hat, though!
This Memorial Bridge is arguably the most beautiful bridge in DC. It was first opened in 1932 and was dedicated by President Harding.
The Washington Monument was built to commemorate President George Washington. Construction began in 1848, but halted 150 feet up because of a lack of funds and also the Civil War. Construction began again and was completed in 1884. There is a difference in shading of the marble that makes up the first 150 feet from the rest of the structure, which attests to the halt in construction. Upon its completion, it was the tallest building in the world, until the Eiffel Tower came along several years later.
..Another view of the monument.
Halfway into our tour, we drove out onto the Potomac River and then our duck became a boat. The children on board were all given an opportunity to try their hand and steering. Above is my Sarah...
..and here is Robert.
Following our swim, we were given duck beaks and were allowed some time to try out their quacking noises...Sarah and my sister, Jeanie.
Gorgeous sculptures and fountain.
Our beautiful Capitol. It took many years to complete the building that we all know and love. It was begun in 1793, was partially burned by the British during the War of 1812. Finally, was completed just prior to the Civil War.
The Supreme Court of the land. Construction was completed in 1935.
One happy, but tuckered out boy, who enjoyed his DC adventure.
If you are interested in including a DC Ducks tour in your next trip to our Nation's Capitol, check out the website HERE or call: 1-202-966-DUCK.
Also, I highly recommend the Spy Museum. That was our first stop on this same day, but do to a restriction on personal photography, I have no pictures of the fun we had there.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the tour. Be sure and check out more posts for Outdoor Wednesday by clicking on the link above.


The Quintessential Magpie said...

Oh, what a fun thing that duck is! And I love Washington. My cousin lives there, and I haven't been to see him in years. This post reminds me of why I need to plan a trip. I usually go see him at his summer place, but now I want to see Washington again. Thanks for sharing...

Oh, and maybe I'll try a duck!


Sheila :-)

Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

What a fun tour...looks like you all had a wonderful time in DC...

Beautiful Pear Tree Lane said...

Hi Elizabeth, Isn't Washington a great place to visit?
It sure looks as though your family enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing.

Terry said...

What a great tour....and the tour guide...he is quite cute!!

Lori E said...

What a great trip. I like that you take pictures and then can't remember the name and places. I do that all the time. lol.

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Hi Elizabeth. Washington is such a cultured place to visit. My work to me there for a couple of weeks, and I just could not believe the history behind it. It is ashame that the wealth could not be spread around the country. I was actually disappointed in the size of the White House, as I was expecting it to be quite large. Actually it isn't. Loved the duck beaks. That will be something to save and remember your wonderful trip. Looks like you all had a wonderful time. I signed up to follow your BLOG, as I want to come back and see what else you have to share. Please stop by and say hi. I would love to have you follow my BLOG as well. Country Hugs, Sherry

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Looks like a fun time. Thanks for sharing.

Janie's World said...

Washington D.C. is such a beautiful, historic, and patriotic place to be. I love the Korean War Memorial. It just moved me. I have not seen the WWII Memorial yet. Every American should visit.

I loved your Duck tour and those little beaks are the best. I can see the kids going crazy for those!

Beth at Aunties said...

I was going to post some of of the same pictures today and do a 4th of July post, but decided to clean closets instead... I am prioritizing. Loved the up close and great pictures you got!

I loved you were on the boat and those quacky ducks are so fun to ride. We did once in Branson!
The kids look like they had a great time!

Hugs my friend!

Myrnie said...

It all looks fabulous! I love the pictures. My little brother is serving in that mission, and I love to see where he is!

Mary said...

It looks as though you got to see it all. Your photos are wonderful. Thanks for sharing them with us.

Lori E said...

I am always glad to meet someone with an interest in genealogy.
The Carnivals are just a meme/theme where they give you a topic and you write a genealogy based post on that topic then list it at the host's listing site. For instance the June one was Brides so I put in a picture of my Grandparents on their wedding day and wrote about them. There are many genealogy themes and prompts but I only do a few.

Anne Fannie said...

Great Pictures! I love Washington DC. Love the duck thingies too!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Elizabeth, I will try to answer some of the questions you asked. Coquina is actually a composite of shells and other things that appear in deposits up the East Coast of Florida. They would cut pieces of it out and form into blocks as building materials. It actually absorbed the cannon balls at it has give, but the balls would fall to the ground where the soldiers would pick them up and relaunch them at their enemies. You can google it to see more pictures, but the walls I featured are made from blocks of coquina.

St. Augustine is the oldest "continuously occupied European settlement in the Continental United States." Pensacola is older, but it was wiped out by an epedemic and then repopulated at a later date. So that's why they add "continuously occupied" to the description. There was a big debate over this "who's the oldest" thing a few years ago. ;-)

In terms of the Spanish population, there are still descendants of the early Spanish residents and also the Minnorcans. One of my friends has Minnorcan ancestry, and the church in St. Augustine has records that date back centuries. Not sure if any were destroyed in the fire that destroyed the Cathedral around the late 1800's, but there is the Cathedral and a convent in St. Augustine.

There are people who have come over in recent years from Spain. As a matter of fact, King Juan Carlos paid a visit to St. Augustine a few years ago, and I saw him speak (along with his wife, Queen Sofia) from the balcony of Government House. It was the first time a reigning Spanish monarch had vistied St. Augustine (he came when he was a prince). We celebrate Pedro Menendez's birthday ( which is in February, but he founded St. Augustine on Sept. 8, 1865) each year with a sister city program and ball with all sorts of re-enactors (sp) plus dignitaries and dancers from Spain at the Lightner Museum Building which is the former Hotel Alcazar built by Standard Oil founder and Florida's leading developer of the period, Henry Flagler. Anyone is welcome to pay to go and enjoy it. It's a fun event. I've been twice.

We have a second home there and have really enjoyed it. :-)


Sheila :-)

mbkatc230 said...

What a beautiful tour. I really want to visit Washington DC soon. My daughter went earlier this year and just loved it - even in January lol. And those duck tours are so much fun, they have them in Austin and they are great fun for people coming to visit. Kathy

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Great photographs. The duck thing made me laugh.

Your Sarah is turning into such a beauty.