USA Day 8: Washington Mall

Today was Washington Monument Day – not an official holiday, just what I have dubbed it!

We hopped on the Metro to get down to the main city, and then hunted out the “Bike and Roll” so we could ride around the monuments rather than walk.

Once we found them, we decided before we started, we’d just get something quick and easy for breakfast. Oh my goodness – what a mistake that was. We went to the Old Post Office Food Court (just where the Bike and Roll was) – and had the greasiest, most disgusting egg, sausage and cheese muffin – it was swimming. I couldn’t even finish mine!  As Andrew described it later, we could have wrung it out like a sponge filled with grease.  Not pleasant at all!  We also had coffee, which was so disgusting – I had one sip and that’s as far as I could go!!!  Is this what Washingtonians pass for food! Again, I had that horrible feeling of foreboding.  I decided we wouldn’t take pictures after seeing all the grease – I was just too ashamed.

After that bad experience, and since we were there… we decided to check out the view from the old post office – apparently the best views since the Washington Monument was closed due to earthquake damage from earlier in the year.  The view was pretty good.

The view east – towards the Capitol.

The view south-west with the Washington Monument and the Tidal Basin.

We then started our Bike and Roll adventure…

 The Washington Monument, and me and my trusty steed.

The World War II Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial.

Lincoln himself!  Apparently, the original plans for the statue of Lincoln were half the size,
and they realised it would look a little small inside the building!

The Jefferson Memorial – you can just see the statue of Thomas through the columns.
This memorial sits on the Tidal Basin and is very impressive.

Thomas Jefferson

The Korean War Memorial

The Korean War Memorial is particularly moving, as they have the statues stepping through undergrowth – it looks incredibly life like.  There is a mural wall behind them with the faces of people etched into the granite – however, when the lighting is right – you can see the reflection of the statues, creating a multiplying effect. This memorial would be absolutely stunning at night time!

The Vietnam War Memorial – the names of over 58,000 service people who
lost their lives in this war are commemorated on the wall.

The Iwo Jima Statue – Marine Corps Memorial

This is an amazing statue – the men are so lifelike. You can really see the straining of their muscles and the reaching of their hands – and it is huge. I am actually standing on the plinth of the statue – so I look a bit taller.  It was a bit tricky finding this memorial – In order to find it – you have to go through Arlington Cemetery – at least that’s what we thought… after getting a bit lost we asked someone and found out that you didn’t have to go through the Cemetery! But, I have to say – Arlington Cemetery is beautiful and if we hadn’t gone through it, we might have missed these beautiful shots!  You’ve got to love that Fall colouring!

Arlington Cemetery

The US Capital Building

The United States Supreme Court.

Washington was just amazing in terms of the building and architecture – every building is a gorgeous piece of historical architecture.  Interestingly, once you leave the mall area – there are no buildings taller than about 12 stories.  It must be some council guide that you can’t dwarf the buildings of historical and political significance!

We also checked out the National Gallery Sculpture Garden – which had 2 wonderful pieces.  This stainless steel tree by Roxy Paine, and this amazing 3D house that changed its proportions as you walked past it.  You need to see the video to truly appreciate it (ask Andrew).

Graft, 2008-2009, Roxy Paine

Graft (detail)

House I, 1996/98, Roy Lichtenstein

Our Bike and Roll adventure took us on over 22 km of riding, and took just over 2.5 hours (at a good leisurely pace and stopping often to explore the monuments).  We had a great time. People looked at us enviously as we glided past them on our bikes – they were doing the mall on foot!!

Enough culture and activity for one day???   Then it must be dinner time….

Founding Farmers

1924 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20006
(202) 822 8783
Open: Mon – Thu  8am – 11pm;  Fri 8am – Midnight; Sat 9am– Midnight; Sun 9am – 10pm

I had researched comprehensively online, and identified that one of the most popular restaurants in Washington DC at the moment is Founding Farmers – they specialise in using supplies from local producers. So, with much anticipation and hope for good food we arrived and perused the menu.

Popcorn of the Day

Baby Cheeseburgers

Devil-ish Eggs Combo – Main Lobster, Crab, Smoked Salmon, Original

Grilled Centre Cut 8oz Filet with a side of fries and mac ‘n’ cheese

Yankee Pot Roast – slow cooked beef chuck and root vegetables

Every day, they have a different flavour popcorn for $2 – today’s flavour was “Ranch”. Andrew ordered the baby burgers for a starter – but they would have been better off being called teenage burgers! We couldn’t believe it – it was a main course in and of itself!  They ended up being 10cm across – each!! The devil-ish eggs were OK – but nothing special above what you would have eaten in the1950s at a home cocktail party.  In terms of the mains – they were OK, but nothing that rocked our world. In particular, my Yankee pot roast lacked flavour and was a bit soupy.  And there was sooo much of it.  We had finally come across the fabled huge meals of America.  No wonder everyone was getting doggy bags!

Overall, the food was average – Andrew likened it to Sizzler!!  I was very sad and beginning to despair – was there any good food in Washington??

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