The cafe car attendant on the train was a riot. He had a great personality. Business class was really nice. The seats were really nice. We had free coffee, tea, and soda served at our seats.
Once we arrive at New York's Penn Station we had a red cap help us with our luggage as we had to change trains and we had to carry all the luggage, not just the hand carry. He took us to a waiting area and said he would be back to get us when it was time to board our train. I called my mom to let her know where we were on our journey. Tom had a Nathan's Famous Hot Dog, just so he could say he had one. I found a Starbucks and had a chai frappe and a turkey wrap from a deli in the station. The red cap helped us to our next train and we were off to D.C.
We went over bridges leaving New York City, and went through Newark, and Trenton, New Jersey. It reminded me of the time Tom told me to ask a teacher I knew which exit she lived off of in New Jersey. She got angry, and I had no idea that it was a sore spot for people from New Jersey. Tom thought it was funny. When we went through Trenton I saw a sign on a bridge that said "Trenton Makes, The World Takes."
We passed into Pennsylvania and stopped in Philadelphia and then moved on to Delaware where there was a cloud painted on a building. Tom said "That's a terrible picture of a cloud. My kids could do better than that." He was referring to his students. We went through Baltimore, Maryland where we saw a beautiful old church and stopped for the airport, though I did not see the airport. People must have to take a separate local train to get to the airport from that station. We stopped at a metro station in the suburb of New Carlton before pulling into the DC Union Station where we had red cap service to help with the bags. Though we could have walked the few blocks to the hotel we took a taxi because of the luggage.
We stayed at the Fairfield on H Street. It was very clean and we had a nice room. After checking in we went for a walk and ate dinner at the Green Turtle. Tom had the turkey burger, sans bun and I had the raspberry turkey flat bread with sweet potato fries. It was delicious and I recommend you go there if you are in DC.
After dinner we went for a walk to the Capital and took pictures. We walked down the Mall to the Washington Monument, passed several Smithsonian buildings, then over to our hotel. We also passed the Commerce and Treasury Buildings and the road that runs in front of the White House which was blocked for security. We also passed a building that said "Freedom Forum, First Amendment, on the front. We watched some lightening, and got sprinkled on as we walked down Pennsylvania Avenue, Maryland Avenue, and Constitution Avenue. We passed the Bullfinch gate to DC, which had a high water mark from the 1800's. I was tired and sweaty when we got back to the hotel.
I should explain why I mention the lightening. We do not see lightening very often in Alaska so it is a treat when we see it. I love to watch lightening flash as it is beautiful and lights up the sky. I was also excited to see lightening bugs as we walked and wanted to go grab a mayonnaise jar to catch some like I did when I was a kid. Simple pleasures I know, but wonderful memories.
In the morning I talked to the concierge about a night bus tour of the monuments and he is holding us spots for tomorrow night. In the process I misplaced my sunglasses and that caused some confusion. They were actually in my camera case.
We walked to Ford's Theater where President Lincoln was shot and saw the house across the street where he died. We took pictures of both and I bought some souvenirs, including a t-shirt, magnets, and post cards.
The heat and humidity are killers and I'm dying. I think I am melting. I know I am sweating my henna tattoo off. We went into Barnes and Noble for a rest break and to cool off then walked to the White House. We went to the visitor's center and saw paintings by fourteen prominent American artist called "An Artist Visits the White House's Past: The Paintings of Peter Waddell." It was very well done and I enjoyed looking at all the paintings.
From there we walked over to the White House. We did not tour the building but did get some great pics from the outside. Also took pictures of the zero mile marker across from the South lawn. There were a lot of people there and it was neat to see the building in person and not just on TV.