kirchoff travel diaries day 6: churches, forts and monuments oh my!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Are you thinking this was the longest vacation ever?! 

Honestly at times I was like, another day? Ha! But yes, there was another day. It was Sunday, and after Aiden getting sick the night before, we were all thankful that he woke up feeling better. We packed up our room and got ready for church. When you are staying in the town with the first Catholic Cathedral in the US. you kind of have to attend Mass. Especially when you are there on a Sunday. 

I was so sad that the church was empty. It was beautiful and no one was there. Back here at home our church is so packed every Sunday that getting there 5 minutes before Mass starts warrants that you most likely cannot find a seat. I guess that's just something I take for granted. Mass was beautiful and after we went downstairs to explore more. Man was this breathtaking.

As we made our way back up we stopped to talk to a Sister who was visiting from Canada. We talked about our travels, Saints we pray to and then wished each other a safe trip home. 

On the way out a nice man volunteered to take our picture.

At this point we were hungry! A friend of ours from Baltimore recommended a restaurant to get the true crab eating Maryland experience. We were all excited to try it out so off we went to the other side of the harbor.

Once we got there it started raining and the only seating they had available was upstairs  on an outside covered deck. We took it because the wait was an hour. I was so glad we took it because we had an awesome view of the harbor!

And it wasn't even hot thanks to the rain cooling everything down. We ordered beers, sodas, hushpuppies (the best I've ever had) and a bunch of crabs.

Once the crabs came we got to work.

The kids had SO much fun. Amelia did not eat the crab but she did bang on it and break it up for Asher. Both boys loved it. This was another one of my favorite parts of the trip. Such a fun experience.

After our bellies were full we drove down the street to Ft. McHenry.

Fort McHenry was so much more then I had imagined. We just loved walking around and being where the Star Spangled Banner was written was pretty special. 

On a rainy September 13, 1814, British warships sent a downpour of shells and rockets onto Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor, relentlessly pounding the American fort for 25 hours. The bombardment, known as the Battle of Baltimore, came only weeks after the British had attacked Washington, D.C., burning the Capitol, the Treasury and the President’s house. It was another chapter in the ongoing War of 1812
“It seemed as though mother earth had opened and was vomiting shot and shell in a sheet of fire and brimstone,” Key wrote later. But when darkness arrived, Key saw only red erupting in the night sky. Given the scale of the attack, he was certain the British would win. The hours passed slowly, but in the clearing smoke of “the dawn’s early light” on September 14, he saw the American flag—not the British Union Jack—flying over the fort, announcing an American victory.

As if all this wasn't enough for one day...well it wasn't and off to DC we went! Because of some traffic google maps took us on a VERY long way to our hotel in Arlington. On the drive we passed this Catholic church that I just had to take a picture of and to which Asher asked "are we really going to go to church twice in one day?!"

After what seemed like F.O.R.E.V.E.R. we arrived in Virginia!

We found our hotel, checked in, ran upstairs and dropped off our bags and headed into DC for our night bus tour of the city. Our bus was at Grand Central Station so we checked in and grabbed some Chipotle for dinner. This was not our best time in DC and unfortunately we were exposed to a very real part of DC. There were homeless people everywhere. We even saw an ambulance come get a guy out of the bathroom that had overdosed. We saw police surround a guy that was screaming and causing a scene until he calmed down. My kids were in shock. We boarded our bus right around sun down and started our tour. It was a double decker bus where everyone sat up top. The boys were SO excited!

The Capital

Washington Monument

Some expensive art work

Smithsonian Castle

African American Smithsonian Museum (not yet open...invitation only)

Jefferson Monument

I really really wanted to get out here but we never got a chance. Jefferson is one of my favorite founding fathers so next time we are in DC it's on the list!

Cute little bus rider

Swinging back around Jefferson Monument and getting a couple of different views.

DC at night is gorgeous. I also found it to be so weird seeing all these places in person as opposed to TV. It was nothing like I had imagined.

Our one and only get off point was at the Lincoln Memorial

Ya'll...this was amazing. 

There was something so magical about seeing it at night. 

We had time so we walked over to the Vietnam Memorial

Talking about this with the boys and seeing all the names of the men that passed fighting for our country really left an impact on Aiden. It was very surreal.

We walked down to the reflecting pool to get a closer look but it was so stinky we just turned around and got on the bus.

On the way back we drove by the WWII Memorial

Representing the war fought in the East

and West

One last look at the Capital at night

And we were back where we started. We loaded up and headed back to the hotel to get rested up for our last full day of vacation.

Linking up with Kelly!
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