Tag Archives: #Washington

Washington to Las Vegas via Chicago – Day 34 of 43

Today we packed up again and flew via Chicago to Las Vegas. On our flight from Washinton to Chicago, we met a fantastic Steward called Rodney. He had dreads very well contained in long wraps and he had frameless glasses, and greying hair.  He was tall and slim and black, and had been married for 22 years and has a couple of kids We met him again on the next leg of our journey from Chicago to Las Vegas.  I gave him one of the furry koalas I brought with me for those who gave exceptional service. The food on the American Airlines flight was beautiful, yummy and fresh. Upon our arrival in Las Vegs where the desert winds blew a little and the car cleaners at the Hertz station mentioned them in apology if your car was dirty.  We collected a car at the airport in like this one.imageWe needed a vehicle this size due to the bags each of us is toting around.  And then there is the extra stuff we have bought at all the outlets and presents and stuff.  So we are currently running at 4 suitcases, two large extra bags, two smaller cabin luggage, 3 hand bags, and 2 camera bags.  So we need a van!

We will probably need two taxis when we arrive home too. lol

Las Vegas, Nevada – Sin City

The famous Las Vegas sign
The famous Las Vegas sign
Famous Las Vegas sign more info here about its origin and the clever woman who created it. Betty Willis who only died at 91 in April this year.

Hilton Grand Vacations at The Flamingo

We checked into the Hilton Grand Vacations Flamingo and moved into our spacious, palatial rooms.  We had two adjoining rooms.  One had a bathroom, spa room, bedroom and kitchen lounge dining.  The other room had a spa/bathroom, bedroom and kitchenette with small fridge and coffee/tea making facilities.

We were on the 4th floor so lift waits for rides were few.  Our MO when we arrive at these places is looking for – the gym, the pool, the ice machine and the laundry.  Once that has been sorted we usually settle down for a drink or swim or get the laundry done.

It’s all very civilised.  In Vegas we went out to have a look around and were only one Casino’s width from the Strip.  Saw posters of Donny and Marie Osmond who perform at the Flamingo Casino next door.

The Strip is pretty ordinary in the day time.  There are homeless people on every street corner/bridge/walkway.  At least they won’t die from the cold. Some we saw in New York looked very sad.  I never know what to do, I would probably talk to them all but when I am with other people I tend to walk on.  I gave a few dollars to a couple of different people as I walked by.

Just thought about the movie that Richard Gere has just made about being homeless. Read an article in Street Sense (I bought a copy from a guy)- which is a paper in Washington sold by street vendors who are trying to get back on track – like our Big Issue in Perth. Anyway he said that they filmed for 45 mins when he was being the ‘homeless’ guy and no-one spoke to him.  http://www.india.comimageI spoke to a kid in town one day and gave her some money.  I have also heard that kids do it and make between one and two hundred dollars a day.  I don’t know what is the right thing to do.

You can have your picture taken with these birds at the Flamingo
You can have your picture taken with these birds at the Flamingo
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Or these showgirls for a tip
Or these showgirls for a tip
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Washington DC Day 32 of 43 – Part One

Memorials and remembering day for us in Washington DC- Part One

Such a big day today – will have to do it in two posts.  Stay tuned, more to follow.

We started the day with waiting in the lovely sun outside Union Station listening to a man sing about Jesus. It sounded like he had done it all day the day before at least due to his voice cracking and disappearing completely at times. We waited for the Old Town Trolley to take us around the city. This is the same mob we used when we ‘did’ Boston. Very organised, very safety conscious, and great fun.

The journey around Washington was fascinating and the buildings are beautiful. The have all been built over various periods. I saw one that was probably built in the 70’s as it looked just like a building my Dad was involved in designing, which is now the Duxton Hotel in Perth.. The windows were the same deep recessed rectangular style.

Anyway, the day was sunny and the commentary was pacey with a smattering of laughs and questions along the way.

My favourite stop was Stop Number 10, the Lincoln Memorial. We got off here and saw, Martin Luther King’s memorial, one for the Korean War and of course, The Lincoln Memorial.

I cried at the Lincoln Memorial – fancy that eh. I was just so pleased to finally be there. I had wanted to see that sculpture my whole life, and I really have no ties to America per se. Maybe its just that I’m just an emotional person, but the grandeur of the place. The collosal size of the man on his seat. The craftsmanship of the sculpture. Just amazing, and beautiful.

I must say I really have a penchant for sculpture, both creating and looking at it.

Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC
Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC

image image image imageAfter Lincoln and my emotional response, I gathered myself and we wandered down the path to a group of sculptures in an area of shrubs.  They were slightly larger than lifesize and represented soldiers in the Korean War.  There was also a granite wall with photographs etched into it.  Really nice memorial.

Korean War Memorial
Korean War Memorial
Korean War Memorial sculptures and images in reflection
Korean War Memorial sculptures and images in reflection

Next we wandered further and found the Martin Luther King Memorial. His “I have a dream”speech,  which was presented at the Lincoln Memorial included the words “out of the mountain of dispair, a stone of hope”

Here is the mountain represented.

Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King Memorial
Martin Luther King Memorial – probably laser cut using a computer

Once we had looked at this piece for a while and watched 72 8th graders wander around and hang off each other to have their photos taken, we went back to our pickup point for the Arlington shuttle to Arlington Cemetary. I spoke to a teacher supervising the students who were being asked to move on quickly so others could take photos, and she said ‘we are trying to encourage, self awareness’.  We both laughed.

Arlington Cemetary

The shuttle took us to Virginia – just like that and we arrived at the cemetary ready for our tour.  We had been told to go into the visitors centre to get our tickets processed – because “people were printing off copies” – so we queued as you do and waited, then when we reached the counter – we were handed two tickets which we thought would cost us – depending on who you spoke to – anything from $9-$12 each.  So with our free tickets in hand – off we went.

The bus for the tour was a small trolley and that posed a problem for the larger members of our community.

Arlington Tour Bus - not ours but it shows the size of the vehicle.
Arlington Tour Bus – not ours but it shows the size of the vehicle.  Our vehicle had two carriages behind the main one.

I’m not a fan of America/Americans either positive or negative – some of the things they do I don’t agree with, but I think they do, do some things extremely well.

To be Continued in Part 2……….

Washington DC Day 29 of 43

We went to the Natural History Museum and we saw heaps of stuff and if you have any questions ask.  This blog is misbehaving and captions are just too hard today.

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We walked through the butterfly room It was lovely.
We walked through the butterfly room It was lovely.

Phenomenal place. We walked around for hours and saw things like the live butterflies, dinosaur bones, imagethe Hope diamond,  image

crystals, rock formations, gifts from overseas, a mammal display, egyptian mummies and artifacts.  Wonderful stuff.

We then wandered across the “Mall” – a long strip of grass down the centre of Washington- to the air and space museum, another of the 19 Smithsonians around the country.

Didi ready to see the spaceships and planes
Didi ready to see the spaceships and planes
Robin showing excitement about seeing spacehips and planes
Robin showing excitement about seeing spacehips and planes

We had lunch there and there were 3 restaurants combined but I think Macdonalds (Mickey D’s as they call it here) was running the show. Hundreds of tables and chairs – truly amazing.

We caught the red Circulator  bus to  Union Station where Didi bought some cloth patches for her suitcase.  I took some photos too.  Beautiful building.

Inside Union Station, Washington DC
Inside Union Station, Washington DC

After that we caught the yellow Circulator bus back to our hotel.

The Circulator Bus is a service similar to our CAT buses in Perth only the service costs a dollar per ride but you can go a long way for a dollar. We lept off at 14th and K Streets and found our way for one block back to our hotel.

The dinner we had was at the hotel at their restaurant called Grist Mill.

I did some blogging then bed.