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May 16th & 17th  2016 | Washington D.C.

After our dear friend Pat's funeral in Virginia, Paul and I had a wedding to go to in North Carolina for our friends Pat and Rebecca. We decided that since we were up near our Nation's Capitol that we'd go ahead and make the drive up before heading back home. It took us the first half of the following day to recover enough to head up to D.C., but we made it to our hotel near Arlington in Virginia before midnight. 

Paul and I were up bright and early the next morning as we had a big day ahead of us. We started off our day at the Marine Corps Memorial. It was much bigger than I'd thought it would be and it was definitely humbling seeing all of the wars that our Marines have fought in wrapping around the base of the memorial. 

Our next stop was a personal one. We went to visit Paul's friend Casey in Arlington National Cemetery. Casey sadly lost his battle with PTSD back in 2014 and was interned in Arlington in 2015. Arlington was vast, yet peaceful and impeccably well-kept. It seemed to me like a nice final resting place that is fit for all of our Country's heroes. 

After saying our good-byes to Casey, Paul and I headed to Founding Farmers, a local eatery near The White House. It was incredibly delicious and someone anonymously paid for our cocktails. I had the rotisserie chicken, which was delicious. However after talking with a local I was told that I should've gotten the pot pie. So if you're ever in D.C., try the pot pie at the Founding Farmers.

We then walked a few blocks over to the White House before making our way over to the Washington Monument. Of course, we had to take some pics of #ValorDog in the beautiful flowers along the way. The Washington Monument was definitely impressive. It's hard to imagine how it was built so long ago without today's technology. 

The World War II Memorial was next on our journey. It was incredibly well done and was my favorite of the memorials that we saw. I spent more time taking in the sight of it with my eyes than with my camera, so I only got a few pictures of it as we were leaving and moving on to go see the Vietnam Memorial and then finally on to the Lincoln Memorial. In the WWII Memorial, there is a wall of stars where each star represents thousands who were killed. The number of stars is staggering, and its representation of those KIA even more so.

The Lincoln Memorial was a nice way to end our first day of sight-seeing in D.C. The front of it was incredibly crowded and full of school children on their field trips. We found that the back of the memorial was practically empty and had a beautiful view overlooking the sun setting over Arlington. We found a good spot between the columns and I took a quick nap using Valor as a pillow. That cool marble was incredibly enough, quite comfortable. 

Paul and I met up with our friends and D.C. locals - Shervin and Jeremy. We had good beer and good food. Needless to say after a full day of exploring D.C. in the bright sun followed by bellies full of food and beer, Paul and I were quite exhausted and were ready for a good night's rest when we got back to the hotel that night.

The weather on our second day in D.C. was a stark contrast to the weather the day before. It was cold and stormy all day, which worked just fine for our plans of exploring the National Air and Space Museum. It was a bit crowded because everyone seemed to have the same idea we had, but it was still a very cool experience. We saw two IMAX films and a presentation in their new Einstein Planetarium, which was really cool! Unfortunately, upon leaving the show we came to find that half of the museum had closed early for an event (it looked like it might be a wedding), so we didn't get to see half of the museum :( Oh well, at least we got to see most of the big stuff and stay dry out of the weather. Our original dinner plans of trying to get a table at Rose's Luxury were thwarted when we learned that Rose's Luxury was closed for a private event that evening. I think it all worked out for the best though. The restaurant we ended up going to (Romeo & Juliet) was delicious! We split a delicious California red blend and I had one of my favorite dishes that was cooked to perfection: lamb chops. 

All in all, we had a crazy emotional week on both ends of the spectrum, and it was nice to have a couple of days to ourselves exploring our Nation's Capitol. 

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