Saturday, October 14, 2017

Petersburg, VA

We spent the last week just outside Petersburg, VA, and had a nice, low key week;)  There is another battlefield here, the Petersburg Battlefield.

The Siege of Petersburg happened here June 18, 1864 - April 2, 1865.  A major event in the Civil War, this siege enabled Gen Grant to take the city and subsequently take Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy which lead very shortly at that point to the surrender of Lees army at Appomattox Court House.

The battlefield was a nice place for Mike and I to get our exercise.  We also drove to Newport News one day for a hike and 2 breweries.  That was quite a drive and our hope was that it might be a bit cooler as it was close to the coast.  However, it was still 80+ degrees and 80 percent humidity that day! Ugh!   I was so miserable we had to cut the hike short.  Tradition Brewery was very nice though and had some good IPAs;)


There were several battles during the
seige.  Very interesting to read
about.



Petersburg Battlefield

The Noland Trail in Newport News, VA

sometimes even a blurry picture makes for an interesting one





German style beers at
the St George Brewing Co.





We enjoyed Tradition a
bit more, good IPAs
Tradition Brewery

 In Petersburg we also visited a couple of breweries, Ammo Brewery and Trapezium and enjoyed both!

Trapezium Brewing

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Washington DC, 5th and Final Post

We had an amazing time in our nations capital.  I would not mind going back someday.

We enjoyed a tour of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.  No pics allowed;) We were able to see the entire process of printing money from above by walking along enclosed catwalks.  Very cool.
 The Bureau will print 6.5 billion dollars in new notes this year. 95 percent of those notes will replace old notes.  Just crazy to think about!

The United States Holocaust Museum is so new they are still working on it.  Once again, this is a must see.  We can never be reminded enough of the atrocities committed on the Jewish people and others by the Hitler regime.
 Pictures fill a 3 story high room of families from a 400 year old Jewish village, one of many that were entirely wiped out by the Nazi's.



I remember reading
The Diary of Anne Frank
in 7th grade
this is one of the types of train cars used to "relocate" Jews


a copy of the sign over the entrance to Auschwitz "work will make you free" to give people hope
 Upon arrival at the "work camps" people were immediately chosen to go to the gas chambers (women, children, infirm, elderly) or to be worked to death.


"workers" carrying stone blocks up a staircase, over and over until they expired
A model of an extermination camps undressing, "delousing" chambers and crematorium:
Jews were sent down into an undressing room where they had to give up all their things and clothes to go into the "showers" for a delousing treatment

they were then moved into the "shower" room and the doors secured and poison was pumped into the chamber through the shower heads

up on top on the left are the incinerators for the bodies

after the war, huge piles of shoes were found outside this camp


casting of a memorial wall constructed from fragments of stones from a Jewish cemetery 
 The Kennedy Center of Performing Arts. We were unable to tour the main hall but there are several stages inside the center and every night of the year one can attend a free performance on the Millennium Stage.  Free!  We attended a jazz performance by Libor Smoldas of the Czech Republic.  He was introduced by the Czech ambassador.  Every type of performing art is held on these stages and from all around the world.  How cool is that!!


 Spent the better part of a day at the National Zoo.  The zoo specializes in endangered species.
 They have some great exhibits there but the undisputed show stealer that day was Batang and her baby, Redd.  The orangutans have an enclosure with an O-Line.  I have never seen this before and it is the coolest!!  They have the ability to climb up a tower and take the cables across the park to another enclosure.  So you may get lucky as we did and see one walking the cables 50 feet over your head!
initially, we did not see any apes using the O-Line.....



...sometime later, we saw people looking up and there was Batang taking Redd to the opposite enclosure





Mom and baby having some alone time in the Think Tank

Adorable little guy, 1 year old
 Annapolis is just a few miles from Washington so we could not resist a look at the Naval Academy:

this is the largest building and also houses all 4000 midshipmen!

beautiful inside!

the chapel

The organ boasts over 15,000 pipes.  Where they are hidden is not evident but it is beautiful .

under the chapel is probably the fanciest tomb/sarcophagus  in the US holding the remains of  John Paul Jones, naval commander in the Revolutionary War. A very interesting story goes along with his burial here.  Check on line;)

we were there for an evening parade, very nice!


Monday, October 9, 2017

The Capitol, Arlington Cemetery, Washington DC, 4

We saw so many things in Washington during our 2 weeks there  and still did not see all we would have liked to have seen.  Something for next time I guess.  We stayed in College Park and used the metro to get around Washington.  It was easy and convenient.  There is not much available parking in the city and one would probably end up walking just as far for a crazy parking fee.  Not to mention dealing with the traffic!

Planning ahead is essential.  We had our tours of the White House, Capitol and Library of Congress set months ahead of time and also had the Smartrip cards for the metro with some money on them ready to go.  Every building included a free body scan/metal detector and bag search;)  You get used to it quickly.

I will have one more post on Washington.

Air Force Memorial


Mike and I have now seen all
3 9/11 memorials

We visited this one the day
before the Las Vegas tragedy.
I remember privately hoping
we would not be having
to erect any more
memorials due to terrorist
activity....

please look on live for an explanation of this beautiful memorial

Arlington Cemetery is huge.  We spent a full afternoon there and walked a few miles easily:

markers as far as the eye can see....
The Tomb of the Unknowns is located on a hill overlooking Washington and right next to the Memorial Amphitheater.  It is a beautiful location and we were fortunate enough to watch a changing of the guard and a wreath laying ceremony.
Tomb of the Unknowns

hundreds of veterans visit this site every day

the Memorial Amphitheater


so many graves and memorial markers



Looking down on the Kennedy plot






We toured Fords Theater and the house where Lincoln died:
Fords Theater where Lincoln was shot....



and the house across
the street where
Lincoln died 9
hours later, April
15, 1865
the tiny pistol used by John Wilkes Booth

inside the theater


Lincolns booth on the right


 National American Art and Portraiture Museum:



contains portraits of
many prominent
Americans



a gallery of changing
photography exhibits,
currently showing a
moving exhibit of our
soldiers in
Afganistan, Iraq, etc.


modern American art as well as.......

thousands of painting and other artwork


Our Capitol tour was led by the
assistant to Congresswoman Kristi Noem
of our adopted state, South Dakota.

It was very personal with just 4 of us
in the group.  Well worth contacting
your representative ahead of time!

from inside the visitor center....