A couple things about Justin:
1) He is a world traveler. He has some crazy stories that include climbing Mount Kilimanjaro (which he accomplished just last year) or running marathons in Antarctica. I tend to live vicariously through him.
2) Even though he's British, he knows a lot about U.S. history and politics. A lot more than I do (which I suppose isn't saying too much). So when we set out to tour some of the U.S.'s most historical cities - Washington, D.C., Gettysburg, and Philadelphia - he was, oddly enough, a convenient person to have along.
On the first day, we toured some of the monuments in D.C.
We started with the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial which just opened to the public last year.
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this memorial, as many people complain that it makes him come off as arrogant.
Particularly this inscription, which has been paraphrased and loses its true meaning when taken out of context: "I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness."
I believe plans are already in the works to change this inscription. In the meantime, I really like this side of the monument, which reads "Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope." Very poetic.
We then made our way to my favorites - the Honest Abe Memorial...
...and the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial.
After the monument tour, we decided to check out a Wine & Food Festival taking place at the National Harbor, enticed by their advertising of free food and wine samples.
After paying a hefty entrance fee, however, we were disappointed to find that a majority of the vendors were not free and ended up asking for a refund. Why pay a lot of money just to pay a lot more money?
Instead, we decided to redirect our spending at Pizzeria Paradiso, which I have been wanting to try for a long time. We ordered the bruschetta...
... and a large pizza. (Justin took a bite out of one before I snapped a picture... haha). This time we were not disappointed.
The next day, we drove an hour and a half to Gettysburg. We walked around the historical city and ate lunch at this diner.
I ordered the French dip sandwich with a side of mashed potatoes. It was a meal fit for a Union soldier.
Next we headed to the Gettysburg Visitor Center.
We said hello again to our friend, Abe...
... then we purchased this audio tour of the battlefields and drove around to designated points while listening to the raging sounds of gunfire and artillery.
Along the tour, there were a lot of canons...
... and a lot of these rickety-looking structures that offered a birds-eye view of the landscape.
If you're looking for more historical insight than that, you're going to have to purchase the CD. I highly recommend it as it includes great sound effects and reenactments. Also the narrator kept saying his "Wh-" words funny, adding that extra "h" sound at the beginning. Like "Hhh-wheatfield."
If anyone watches Family Guy, it's the same way that Stewie says it.
Do you recognize this guy? It's Father Corby - former President of the University of Notre Dame. He is famous for giving absolution to the Irish Brigade on the second day of battle. A similar statue sits on Notre Dame campus and is known as "Fair Catch Corby."
At the end of the audio tour, we walked around the cemetery and found this memorial which marks the spot where the Gettysburg Address was given.
After a long day of digesting American history, we figured the most appropriate way to end it was to digest some Korean food.
So we treated ourselves to some good ol' KBBQ.
The next day, Patrick had some work to do, so Justin and I toured the Capitol Building and the Newseum. I didn't take a lot of pictures since I'd seen them before, but I never get tired of seeing the beautiful dome inside the Capitol.
Later that night we met up with our friends Soonie, Jing Han, and Yasu for a farewell dinner (since it was technically me and Patrick's last week in D.C.).
We went to Matchbox where they are known for their pizza and sliders. YUM!
Patrick and I also ordered the dessert sampler which featured three types of sorbets, a molten chocolate cake, and house-made donuts dipped in a coffee creme anglaise.
It was a great way to say good-bye to our friends and fuel up for our upcoming trip to Philadelphia... which I plan to share in my next post :)