Google Like

Monday, March 15, 2010

Visiting Washington D.C. (Part I)

37mm  f/8  0.5 sec 1600 ISO

Greetings from Washington D.C.

This week we took some time off and decided to hang out with my parents in their ol' stomping grounds.  and Bethany's parents decided that they wanted to do the same thing.  So off we went during Bethany's spring break.  Bethany and I took off on  Friday evening after she got off work, and the Steurys departed from the Wilmore on Saturday morning.  Bethany and I got to about Lexington, VA when we decided we just couldn't go on.  So we stopped in a hotel parking lot (is this legal??), reclined the seats, locked the doors and drifted off into a "I-worked-a-full-day-and-my-eyes-stopped-working-in-Beckley" coma.  It was peaceful.

We got up an hour later and then stopped about a half hour later.  Well, Bethany would tell you that we actually drove 50 miles.  But, if I'm honest with you, I don't remember most of those miles.  I remember thinking, "I'm tired."  And that's about it.

We had planned on getting to my parents house at around 5 AM, but we arrived and just before 7 AM.  We hauled the essentials (pillows and blankets) into their house and then crashed in the bed that was awaiting us.  I think I woke up at around 9:30 AM.  The memories are hazy, but I remember my parents dog jingling his tags around our bed for what seemed like hours (but it totally wasn't more than 5 seconds).  And the next thing I know, I'm awake walking up the stairs into the daylight.  I am sure I looked horrendous.  But frankly, I didn't care.  I wasn't in a car anymore.

The Steurys got into D.C. on Saturday evening.  Thats about all that happened that night....

So now its Sunday and the Steurys (and by Steurys, I mean Jon) got to talk at my parents church about the mission work they do for WGM and what it was like to live through a famine.  Perfect timing as the kids in my parents youth group are preparing themselves for a "30 Hour Famine." So that was great.  Church was great and I got to meet some people that were friends of my parents.

And then we got back to my parents.  We ate lunch.  And then Heaven on Earth met me in their TV room. SPOILER ALERT! The 'Cats won the SEC tournament.  Sweet.  I'll be honest with you.  I was loud.  And I was angry.  Can we not make a shot from behind the 3-point line?  But DeMarcus Cousins somehow released the ball 0.00002423 seconds before the buzzer went off and we tied the game.  Jeez.  A round of heart attacks for all my friends.  Thanks.  But we pulled off an OT win and we have a #1 ranking going into the NCAA National Tournament.

After the basketball game and after the Steurys got to talk to the youth group, we went into the DC proper to see the monuments are night.  And it was worth it.  The first image you saw was of the Lincoln Monument.  We parked there (literally right next to it) because Stephanie has a handicap parking sticker.  Sweet.  No walking.  It was sprinkling but I think we all enjoyed the sights.  We saw the Lincoln Monument.  We saw the Korean War Memorial.  We saw a little bit of the Vietnam Memorial.  And we saw the Jefferson Memorial.  Let me clarify the last comment.  We did not go to see the Jefferson Expansion Memorial (some of the lay people out there might call it the Saint Louis Arch).

28 mm  f/8  1/10 sec 1000 ISO

The Lincoln Memorial really was quite marvelous.  The rain kind of brought the people together.  In fact, my father-in-law got to take a picture of a group of guys whom we might not have actually been put into contact with otherwise.  And Lincoln is huge.  Bethany says he would not be proportionate if he stood up.  Thankfully, he won't ever do that and we can just keep knowing he is there sitting and watching.

28mm  f/8  13 sec 200 ISO

We went to the Korean War Memorial next.  It was awesome, as always.  I think that I have an emotional attachment to these memorials (the war memorials).  Just something about them that evoke emotion out of me.  I took the above shot on a tripod.  It was just too dark to do otherwise.  This is actually a long exposure shot (13 seconds).  Brings about a ghostly feeling to this shot (if you ask me).

28mm  f/4  1/15 sec  1000 ISO

We went to the Vietnam War Memorial next, but it started raining harder when we got there. So we left (but we are going back tomorrow, Tuesday).  We proceeded to the Jefferson Memorial.  Which brings me to an unrelated topic.  Weather.  Have you heard about the weather that Washington D.C. has got lately?  No, really, have you?  The weather here has been crazy.  Full of precipitation.  Full of it.  So my mom had mentioned that they were in a flood warning.  Which sounded fun to me.  Well, they weren't kidding.

We walked up to the Jefferson Memorial and the Tidal Basin came up to meet us.  It has passed the walking path that went between the Memorial and Basin.  It passed the tree line and some of the bushes in front of the memorial.  It came up to the front steps.  Needless to say, it was incredibly high.  Incredibly, incredibly high.  Look at the following picture and see if you can see where the water line is.

28mm  f/2.8  1/8 sec 1600 ISO

But it was still incredible seeing this monument at night.  And, surprisingly, it was the only monument that we got into trouble at.  Well, not really trouble.  It was more like the only one we got fussed at.  Apparently, tripod legs will destroy the marble floors of the Monument but not of any other monuments we visited night.  And, as pointed out last night after this little talking-to we got from the Park Police, shoes, canes, and any other walking device, won't destroy the marble like a rubber-tipped tripod will.  Good to know.

28mm  f/2.8  1/40 sec 1600 ISO

But really, it was a great experience for us to witness these monuments at night.  It gives a whole new feeling to them.  Maybe even a new respect for them.  But maybe thats just because there was no one there to tick us off or step on our shoes.

Well, we plan to update the blog later this week with more of our adventures and the photos that come out of those adventures.  Be good.  Tell your mom you love her.  Hope you are well.

'Til next time.

No comments: