May 12th --The Washington D.C.--
Last night we had strong wind and I was so afraid of my tent blown that I couldn't sleep well. I got up at around 8:00, had a breakfast, brushed my teeth, and struck my tent. I left the campground and went back to the parkway. It took about 2 hours to get to Front Royal. Then I got on the I-66 to Washington D.C. It was about 13:00 when I arrived at Washington D.C. I got off the freeway and drove around, searching for a parking lot. The roads were so complicated that I couldn't find it easily. I was forced to drive to the opposite direction to the White House and reached the East Potomac Park. At last I got a free parking lot, but the White House was not in a walking distance. I put on my rollerblade and started a private tour in Washington D.C.
It was very warm and humid, much worse than in Florida. The White House was not near but it was still an endurable distance for rollerblading. On the way, I saw the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument. Actually there are so many memorial stuff that it's very hard to see all of them. I touched The Ellipse and got to the northern face of the White House. Unfortunately, a self tour inside the house was already finished. All I could do was to ask someone to take a picture of "the conquest of the White House by a rollerblader." Then, I went around the house and got to the Zero Milestone in The Ellipse. This is the milestone of the starting point for the interstate highway. As I have driven for a long way, I couldn't miss this milestone.
The conquest of the White House by a rollerblader
I was a little bit tired but I went to the Washington Monument again. I entered the exhibit house. What's best for me was not the exhibit but the air conditioned room itself. Then I went west to take a picture of Lincoln Memorial, headed east to see U.S. Capitol. If you see the map, you will find that the Washington Monument is the center of other points of interest. It has the White House to the north, Smithsonian and the U.S. Capitol to the east, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial to the south, and the Lincoln Memorial to the west. There are many other spots in Washington, though.
Between the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol, there is a large green called The Mall. Along this road there are many kinds of museums. After taking some pictures of the U.S. Capitol, I went into the National Air & Space museum. It's my nature to prefer this subject to arts or history. But this time, I had already so tired that I didn't even feel like watching the exhibit of aircrafts. I went to a restroom, took off my corrective lenses and started to take a nap on a floor of the main lobby. After ten or twenty minutes, I put on my lenses again and started to walk around the exhibit. I experienced the same feelings as I had in Yorktown when I saw the booth of the World War II. But this time I was pleased to see the Zero and to find some positive comment on its technology.
At around 17:00, I left the museum and went back to my base. On the way, I found myself having no lunch. I dropped by a refreshment stand, got a sandwich and non-sugared iced tea. I was so much refreshed with this tea. I finished my rollerblade tour and drove to the Pentagon. It is surrounded by highways and it's very confusing. I drove around and around the pentagon and finally found a good place to take a picture. Then I crossed some bridges to see the welcome sign of Washington D.C. but I couldn't find it at all. I gave up it and headed north on the Gladys Spellman Parkway. I also had a trouble to take a picture of the sign of Maryland but this time I got it. I supposed to find a motel until Baltimore but I couldn't find it. I passed through Baltimore and got a room along the I-95.
The Washington Monument
The Zero Milestone
The U.S. Capitol
The Pentagon in the evening sun
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