Thursday, October 27, 2011
Last Day in D.C.-Part I
This was the BEST day of all, I think! We hopped on the Metro, the train/subway system in Washington, D.C., a great way to get from one side of town to another. Kelly wanted to go see the Eastern Market, which is a GREAT Farmer's Market in the heart of D.C., and I'm ALWAYS in for Farmer's Markets! We had a great time walking around the market, seeing the shops on the side streets, and we ate lunch at the Tortilla Cafe. The Cafe was Salvadorean food--fried plantain, carne asadas, etc. It was great!
After lunch, we decided to rent bikes to head out around town. We rented bikes for 5.00 for the first hour from the Capitol Bikeshare program. Locked bike racks are all over Washington, D.C. and Arlington, VA area. There are over 1,000 bikes spread out all over town. You pick up a bike at one rack, ride wherever you want, then drop the bike off someplace else. It's up to you where you want to go and how long you want to ride. You use a credit card to rent these very comfortable 3-speed bikes for FREE for the first 30 min. After that, you pay a nominal fee for each additional 30 min. They do place a 110.00 deposit fee on your credit card which is returned once you return and lock up your bike, but I never saw that charge show up on my account from the Saturday rental. We rode all over town, sometimes on sidewalks, but mainly in the roadway. That can get a little nerve wracking in busier parts of town, but for the most part, it was easy riding the bikes all over the place! Lots of people commented about the bikes as we rode around, like they hadn't seen them before or wondered about them.
Kelly hadn't seen some of the monuments, and I had never seen any of them, never having been to the capitol. In particular, we both wanted to see the Martin Luther King Memorial. It was truly inspiring and very moving. Someone later told me after I returned home, that Stevie Wonder (the blind musician) came to town to see it and they raised him on some kind of forklift to touch the stone face of the Martin Luther King statue. The memorial/monument had a dual split rock entry way, and as you walk through the split, you see another rock/sculpture of M.L.K which was facing the Jefferson Memorial across the way....Marble walls along the sides of the boulders had many of his quotes engraved. There were many people visiting and reading his memorable quotes along with us. It was a very moving experience to see so many Americans of many different races and ethnicities visiting the memorial today. It's hard to describe the feeling that this memorial invokes...It was almost as if you could feel the pain and suffering that came with his movement and his dream for equality for all people of all races.
One of many memorable, inspiring quotes at the memorial.....
Many more wonderful things to see in D.C....We didn't have much time on this visit, but we've got more to show you tomorrow....What a beautiful capitol city!