The Washington Monument

Somehow, I convinced myself to get out of bed yesterday in order to enjoy the holiday. By 9:15 AM, I was on the 52 bus, headed down 14th Street toward the Washington Monument. It was a beautiful morning in D.C., though quite cold and breezy.

It is absurd to think that I hadn't been to the top of the Washington Monument until yesterday. During the past 9 years, I’ve taken so many trips to the Monument and National Mall, but it never really dawned on me that I should take the time to go up. I guess I got discouraged by swarming tourists and lines.

I remember when the Monument went under wraps for renovations (DC’s salute to safe sex!). I also remember how upset folks were when they finally took down the scaffolding and refused to set it up elsewhere as a fine example of engineering and design.

I easily got a ticket for the 10 AM tour. I’ve heard that folks start lining up at 7 AM to get tickets during the summer, so I was very glad I decided to avoid such madness by going in the late Fall and on a holiday. I spent some time in the gift shop warming up before paying a visit to my favorite tree. Eventually, it was 10 AM, time for the tour.

The views from the top of the Washington Monument are amazing. At 550+ feet up in the air, you can see for miles and miles—the changing leaves in VA and MD and the buildings and landmarks throughout the city. The view of the Capitol was breathtaking, as was the view of the sparkling waters of the Potomac.

The six observation windows are rather small and the snotty kids and foreign tourists had a tendency of taking their time at each. Honestly, no one wanted to move! I can understand but there is no need to inhabit a window for 10 minutes. I plan to visit the monument again on a bleak, frosty morning in December to see DC at its starkest. Hopefully, there will be even less tourists around then.

On the way down, the elevator slowed down to allow us to view some of the beautiful commemorative stones on the inside of the Monument. It was interesting to see the change in the marble from within the structure.

Overall, it was a great and worthwhile trip.

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