Friday, November 7, 2008

Secret Hideaways

Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices. President Harry S Truman
Our last morning in Washington was spent viewing the memorials honoring our Presidents and those who served in WWII, the Korean and Vietnam wars. It was humbling to see the sacrifices made for our country and to see the time and effort put into remembering them. However, at the foot of the Lincoln memorial, blocking the view to the Washington monument, there was a large piece of painted wood for people to sign with a banner that said, " Congratulations President, Obama - Change won't be easy, but together as one world, Yes we can!". It certainly drew a lot of attention, but the placement seemed a bit ironic. Most comments seemed to be congratulatory, but some used it as a forum to voice their disappointment.
One of our favorite displays was the Roosevelt area. Charley joined in and stood in the WWII bread line, which we thought was very appropriate!
Washington DC is a beautiful city, rich with history and culture. While we enjoyed our visit here, we are ready to go and rejoin the "real" world. While Washington is the seat of our government and a fabulous city, it doesn't appear to be a true reflection of our country.

We continued on to the National Cathedral, which is the 6th largest Gothic Cathedral in the world. This episcopal cathedral was built in 1907, but it took a total of 83 years to finally complete it. The last finial was added in 1990 in a presentation with Pres. George H. Bush. The church has been used for many decades during the various levels of construction and Congress has designated it a "National House of Prayer" . The Cathedral serves to unite people of all faiths during times of national emergencies, honoring its goal to pray for peace and for the people of America.

We also enjoyed driving through Georgetown, a beautiful neighborhood along the Potomac River in the NW section of Washington. Georgetown (founded in 1757) is noted for its beautiful Federal-style row houses, shops and restaurants as well as Georgetown University. While exploring the area, we stumbled onto the Mistletoe Market held at Georgetown Visitation, a girls prep school attached to Georgetown University. The parents were grilling out on the lawn, so we stopped and joined in with lunch and shopping. Since I am missing the annual Nutcracker Market in the Woodlands this weekend, it was a nice alternative and I enjoyed every minute!!
We drove into West Virginia and found the fabulous, ultra luxurious resort - The Greenbrier. This 5 star, award winning hotel is located in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. As a National Historic landmark with classic architecture and exquisite interior design, it has hosted distinguished guests from around the world, including Presidents, movie stars and royalty since 1778.

While the resort is spectacular, we found it very interesting to learn that The Greenbrier was the secret location where presidents would be whisked away in case of an attack or national emergency. The secret bunker is underground with steel vault doors and an advanced communication room used to monitor every nook and cranny of the facility. There are even dormitories and meeting rooms large enough to hold the entire House of Representatives if needed. They've recently opened the bunker for public tours, so we can only assume that they have found a new hideaway for the President!!

We have been fortunate to have found wonderful restaurants during our vacation and this Lewisburg, West Virginia eatery rated right up at the top. The 1785 Tavern had incredible food and we enjoyed every bite. The warm apple cobbler pictured was a great way to end our day.

No comments: