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DO NOT visit Washington D.C…………..

September 14, 2011 by · 9 Comments 

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Unless you have a week or more to spend touring all of the museums and facilities.

Seriously! We drove up to DC last week to meet three of our friends from out-of-town.  Fran was from New York, Paul from southern California and Selena recently arrived in the USA from China.  None of the three had ever visited our Nation’s Capitol.  They were totally blown away by the sights – especially Selena!

Cherry Hill Campground Office Entrance

Nancy, Oscar and I parked the RV  just north of the Capitol at Cherry Hill Park in Maryland.  Our friends checked into a nearby motel.

The best way for visitors to get into DC is to use the Metro systemDO NOT even think about trying to drive into the city.

To board the Metro from Cherry Hill Park all you do is walk up to the bus stop in front of the park office.  There you catch a bus for a very short ride to the College Park Metro Train Station on the green line.  You should purchase your fare tickets at the campground office before boarding the Metro.

The train (subway) will take you directly into DC and stop at the L’Enfant station, which is one block from the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

The Air and Space Museum is simply AWESOME.  Anyone, from 5 to 105 should enjoy spending hours and hours examining the exhibits.  After becoming somewhat tired from walking and standing, we decided to see what the I-Max 3-D program on the Hubble Telescope was all about.  Now, understand we have watched 3-D presentations at locations like Disney and our science museum in Richmond.  But, this one was so realistic that you actually felt like you were one of the astronauts on the space shuttle replacing parts on the Hubble.

After spending a short 3 hours in the Air and Space Museum we decided to jump on one of the Old Town Trolley’s and take a tour around the heart of DC.  The nice thing about these trolleys is you can get off at any location, tour the facility, and then get back on the trolley for transportation to the next location.  We made a loop on the “orange” route just getting a feeling of what was there to see.  We passed the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, White House, U.S. Capitol, and Union Station.  There were many more monuments and museums along the route that would be fantastic to tour. The drive-around tour lasted perhaps an hour and a half and gives one a “feel” for what to see and where to go.

We jumped off the trolley at the Ford Theater Museum to grab a late lunch at the Hard Rock Café’. If you have never visited a Hard Rock, you are missing a lot of fun and a tremendous journey into the history of rock and roll.

Back on the trolley, we returned to our starting point and made a beeline for the Museum of Natural History..  Once more we were mesmerized by all of the displays – especially those that included the dinosaurs.  We stayed until the guards began to usher people out the door for closing at 5:30 p.m..

Tired from our long day we walked one block to the Metro Station and literally zipped back to the campground without having to worry about parking or where we were suppose to be.

Selena was overwhelmed, probably much more so than the rest of our group.  There is so much to see and so many places to go – many free or at an extremely low cost.

Nancy and I decided that we would return to Cherry Hill Park soon and spend at least five days if not a week touring our Nation’s Capital City and perhaps some of the surrounding area.

DC is most certainly not a place you want to visit for just a day!

It was kind of cool that our President came out to the campground to see me when he learned we were in town.

I’m not really a Democrat, or for that matter a Republican or Tea Party activist.  I am an American and want what is best for our country and our people – not a particular political party.

Like him or not – Mr. Obama is our President, elected by the majority.  Nancy snapped the picture below in the park office.

HAPPY CAMPING TRAILS TO ALL!

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Comments

9 Responses to “DO NOT visit Washington D.C…………..”
  1. d2reid says:

    DC is pretty cool. Take your walking shoes and leave your pocket knife at home. Metro is definetly the way to get around.

  2. Howard Hicks says:

    The downtown trolley is the only way to see the sights in D.C. get on when you want get off when you want. Great job, love the post.

  3. Howard Hicks says:

    The downtown trolley is the only way to see downtown D.C. Great job. love the post

  4. Marlene says:

    Sounds terrific………….I would be interested in how easy/difficult it would be to get around having to use a disability scooter.

  5. Gail Duykers says:

    Good story. Makes me want to visit DC. The last time I was there was in 8th grade on our “big” class trip. I won’t tell you how many eons ago that was. I would also like to know about getting around on public transportation with a wheelchair. My husband can’t walk any distance.

  6. Lee K. says:

    Have they changed the bus routes from Cherry Hill Campground? Our family went several years ago and stayed at Cherry Hill Park, which was very nice, and took the bus to the College Park Metro Station. But, the campground was at the end of the bus line and it was a 45 minute ride to the station. Ridiculous!! After two days of the long bus ride, we were told about the next Metro station out, Greenbelt. It was only a 10 minute drive from the campground (we had our car, as we tow a trailer). It has a huge parking lot, had no trouble parking there, and the fare to DC was only slightly more than College Park, and only a few minutes out from the College Park station. We saved so much time going to that station! Anyway, I would love to go back to DC, and would definitely stay at Cherry Hill again, maybe during their Cherry Blossom festival in the spring.

  7. Professor95 says:

    Marlene and Gail,
    There are elevators at the Metro stations that allow wheelchairs and scooters to get to the trains. The trains we rode had cars with open areas to strap down a wheel chair along with special loading platforms for wheelchairs. The employees at the Metro stations were extremely helpful and nice. I would imagine they would take good care of anyone needing help with disabilities. All of the Federal facilities have disability access. Sidewalks are wide and mostly level. IMHO, you should be able to visit the facilities with those modes of mobility with minimal problems.

    Lee,
    They “may” have changed the bus routing. Our trip was only about 20 minutes from Cherry Hill. I know Cherry Hill has some parking lot cards to loan if you drive. You must put “money” on them before you can leave the Metro parking garages or lots. If you go during the spring for the cherry blossoms expect even larger crowds. This time of the year appeared to be perfect – except for all the security due to the terror threats related to 9/11 this year. The security was especially obvious at Union Station. Police even boarded the sightseeing trolly for a quick check. Lots of streets were closed by police cars. This was the first time in my life I have ever noticed an FBI POLICE car. I did not know the FBI had marked police cars – just like the DC police.

    Thanks for posting the comments!
    Randy

  8. Jerry says:

    Professor, did you find the President to be a little stiff?

    We visited DC about 15 years ago for a week and we were not able to see everything we wanted to see in that time frame. This certainly makes me want to go back again.

  9. Michael Outten Jr says:

    Hard Rock cafe is awesome. I collect the tall hard rock glasses. I have been to the bahamas, myrtle beach, philadelphia, boston and the most recent gatlinburg! I cant wait to collect more. Awesome food and a great history of music.

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