This post is over a week behind because we spent the entire last week visiting our son (biologically mine but Great Hunter raised him) and his wife in Virginia. We had such a good time with them. We arrived on Sunday afternoon and left on Friday afternoon. We had a fun-packed week.
Monday–Montpelier (James Madison) and Monticello (Thomas Jefferson)
- Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson, 3rd U.S. President
I was disappointed that we were not able to go inside. We were only able to walk around the grounds, but they were very pretty.
- The basement corridor of Monticello
- Montpelier, home of James and Dolly Madison, 5th U.S. President
Posing with our new BFFs, Dolly and James Madison.
- Tuesday–Chesapeake Beach and Annapolis
One of the things I told my son I wanted to do was see the ocean. When he told me that the closest ocean view was about four hours away, I decided I’d settle for Chesapeake Bay which was only a little over an hour from his home. This was a really good choice. It was an absolutely beautiful day. It was warm and sunny, the sky was blue and I even got a sunburn. This was a huge contrast with what the folks back home were experiencing; snow. Yep, sorry we missed that.
The Great Hunter was excited to be in Annapolis again. When he was in the Marine Corps in 1966, he was stationed there as a rifle instructor. But much like many other places, the Military Academy was closed to the public due to Covid.
- Wednesday–Civil War Battlegrounds; Chancellorsville
Chancellorsville was one of the battles in the Wilderness Campaign of April 27-May 6, 1863. It was a huge victory for the Confederacy and General Robert E. Lee during the Civil War, though it is also famous for being the battle in which Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was mortally wounded.
- Thursday–Washington DC.
Unlike the beautiful day we had on Tuesday when we went to Chesapeake Beach and the temperature was near 80, this day was cold and windy. We were getting the tail end of what hit St. Louis two days before. I hadn’t packed for colder temps in the 40s so I had to make do with two shirts, two jackets and two pairs of socks. That pretty well kept me warm except for my hands. We walked over five miles this day and my feet and hips could sure tell it.
- Police Officer Memorial
My son’s police academy class adopted the family of a fallen officer, Evan Burns from Caruthersville, Missouri; a small town in the far southeast bootheel region of Missouri. Evan was killed on August 16, 2011. From the Officer Down Memorial Page:
Deputies from the Pemiscot County Sheriff’s Office had started pursuing a stolen SUV on I-55 that was being driven by a man wanted for an assault. The vehicle exited at Highway 84 and started driving towards Caruthersville.
Patrolman Burns and another officer began to setup spike strips on the roadway. When the stolen vehicle approached, the driver struck the first police car, injuring the officer, and then rammed the SUV broadside into Patrolman Burns’ vehicle, killing him.
The driver was arrested and faces murder and assault charges.
Patrolman Burns had served with the Caruthersville Police Department for two years. He is survived by his 1-year-old son.
As a retired police officer, this memorial brought me to tears. All the men and women whose names were etched on the wall had sacrificed their lives to serve and protect others. It is even harder now that we (retired or not, you never stop being part of the Thin Blue Line) now face continued scrutiny and often unfair bias.
- Eisenhower Memorial
There were very few places open along this end of the mall so we walked in vain to find a restroom until we got to the Eisenhower Memorial and their restrooms were open. I jokingly said that I now knew the real reason why they swarmed the Capitol in January, nothing was open and everyone had to pee.
- Vietnam Veterans Memorial
- World War II Memorial
- United States Capitol and Ulysses S. Grant Memorial
To Grant’s left is an equally dramatic portrayal of the Artillery group. Five men and three horses attempt to steer a cannon into position, but the bridal of the lead horse has broken, causing it to lunge forward and the driver to lose control. (https://historicsites.dcpreservation.org/items/show/260)
Ulysses S. Grant, General and 18th President of the United States. To Grant’s right is the famous Cavalry Group rushing out onto the battlefield. The lead horse carries the commanding officer who, with a drawn sword, is giving the command to charge. Tragically, one of the horses has already fallen, pinning its rider beneath.
- Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial is about a mile and a half down the mall from the Capitol. Since we’d been walking for quite a while and a round trip to the Memorial and back to our car would have been three miles, we opted to drive and park closer to the Memorial.
We walked five miles this day and along with the three flights of stairs at my son’s house, I walked 30 flights of stairs. Maybe made up for the huge pizza slices and the tortellini pasta I ate the night before.
We flew home on Friday on Southwest Airlines. You can tell things are getting back to normal (thankfully) because the flight full and we were packed in like sardines. That being said, as we were exiting the plane, the pilot was sure to remind us to social distance. Lol.