Tuesday, June 8, 2010

D.C. Trip ~ Day 6

Day 6:

Cris started his pre-deployment training this day, so Mike and I spent the day alone.  We decided to head back into D.C. to see more places that we didn't see the other day.

We managed to get through the Library of Congress, the Capital Building, the Changing of the Guards at Arlington Cemetary, plus a trolley tour of the city itself. 

I love the detailed architecture of this building...it's really such a work of art...

I just thought this was such a cute photo!  I couldn't resist. :)
Um, is it lunch time yet?  These guys look SO bored!

This is the underground tunnel from the Capital to the Library of Congress, it saves having to go through security twice, and is full of all sorts of photographic history.
Library of Congress, another fantastic work of Architectural art!
To be inside this building, you would think you were in Italy...it was ALL marble...absolutely gorgeous!
Still some truth in D.C......
Breathtaking, solid marble all around us...
I liked this overcast view as we crossed the Potomac...

 If you ever go to D.C. and want to take a trolley type tour, I highly recommend going early, parking at Arlington Cemetary and taking the TourMobile through town.  They pick up and drop off every 20 minutes and the guides are FULL of information that you can't get on a pamphlet.  However, if your guide suggest the "fantastic" food court in the Lincoln Building for lunch as the "best" place to eat downtown...pretend you didn't hear him and go somewhere else!  We went there and it was full of very busy and rushed business people, strange food choices, and we ended up eating at Subway...not a place I'm fond of, but I was hungry.

I HIGHLY recommend The Corner Bakery Cafe (which we ate at with Cris the other day.  Fantastic food choices, great atmosphere and excellent prices!  We couldn't remember where it was so we didn't eat there that day. :(

 We also went to the White House Visitors Center and went on a free walking tour with a park ranger.  Our tour guide was funny, entertaining and full of lot's of info that we didn't know about the White House, the grounds, security, etc...

Our White House walking tour...did you know the White House belongs to the National Parks?  Interesting huh?
This is a sad waste of a life in my opinion.  This woman has been protesting here...LIVING here...since 1981!!!  It is no longer legal to protest at the White House, however she was there when they passed the law, which grandfathered her in...as long as she NEVER leaves, or has someone cover her post at all times.  She has given up living a life in order to sit here for 29 years.
Think of all the good she could have done in the world elsewhere, LIVING!
A photo of her on her board from when she began protesting...
This peaceful park is across the street from the White House visitors center.  Several business people were enjoying their lunch among the trickle of the fountains and shade of the trees.
Not sure what this was supposed to be, but there were 4 drinking fountains in the middle of it????

Our patriotism toward the military runs pretty deep, both from ourselves and for me several relatives have served in both the military, to include wartime.  Now our own son will be taking a tour in Iraq.  So, needless to say, we felt honored to attend the Changing of the Guard ceremony.  It always brings tears to my eyes to hear Taps played, and it definitely brought tears to my eyes to see these older War time Veterans getting up out of their wheelchairs to stand and salute during Taps (I didn't take photos at that time for respect reasons), most of them stood during the entire Changing of the Guard ceremony.  They were probably the only ones there who TRULY understood the deep meaning of this ceremony, they have lived through things that most of us have no clue about, memories fill their minds that we cannot fathom unless we have lived it.

With help, they all stood at the appropriate moment...

We spent a full day downtown, but no matter if we were tired, we were meeting Cris for dinner.  This is the last time we would see him in a LONG time.  

We met at Don Pablos.  We'd never been there before, so with a big name like that we expected it to be fantastic.  Let me say the fajitas were good.  That's about all I can say.  The service was extremely poor.  We looked at the menu and they had Sopapillas listed, so we ordered a plate to share.  After quite some time, our dessert showed up.  Now, I'm not hispanic or latin by any means, but I did grow up on a border town, and I know good mexican food when I see/taste it.  I KNOW what a sopapilla is, I've made them myself, and I know what they are supposed to look/taste like.  What they brought out to us looked like a large plate full of soggy, greasy, flat triangular pieces of flour tortilla, covered in some sort of goopy thick syrup.  I pinched off the corner of one, they tasted like grease.  They were NOT sopapillas, and I was sad.  :(

I was mostly sad because the evening was ending.  It was late, we couldn't mingle over dessert.  There was no place nearby that we could hang out and have coffee and chat.  This was it.  It was time to say goodbye.  My heart began to ache.

I can't explain the feeling I get in my heart when I hold my son in my arms, it is sometimes so hard to be a Mom. The feelings are almost impossible to describe. Everytime I look in his eyes, I can see so many years of our lives together in my memory; the very first moment I looked into his eyes and held him in my arms after giving birth, him gazing up at me so sweetly, hearing my voice and knowing me…his belly laughs as a chubby toddler, his wild personality jumping off of the couch with a plastic sword stuck through the side of his undies “Peterman”, or “Robin Tood”…his days of winning ribbons at school for being the fastest runner, his scissors getting loose, his beautiful toothless smile as a 2nd grader, playing cards together, making funny faces and talking in character voices, reading books on the swing out back, him not being ashamed to kiss his Mom in front of his friends or hold my hand in public, him bowing his chest when he felt someone was “checking out his Mom” in the grocery store (you haven't seen the "tough guy eye" until you've seen that), the first time I saw him in a military uniform *sigh*…ALL these things, and more, flash through my mind like a snapshot everytime I just look in his eyes.

Then I step back and he goes on to live the rest of his life. Me, knowing that so much will take place in the next 8 months…knowing that he will suffer heart aches, disappointment, fear, struggles, laughter, trials, and I can do nothing to change any of it.  I can only comfort him and pray for him. I love him forever, as long as I’m living my baby he’ll be…

Happy 21st Birthday (June 7th) to my son...I love you so very much...

The next day we drove half way home, taking a scenic route, and the long way home...


  1. Your pictures are beautiful! I would love to visit there some day. Happy birthday to your son. May the Lord bless him and keep him. As for your question about the tshirt, I didn't do a thing to the cut edges. The seems were already surged so I just cut it by leaving the surged part in tact. I hope you enjoy your new halter.

  2. Ok as I was reading all about your day in DC, I was thinking of all the comments I wanted to make about your post and your cool pictures. Then I got to the dinner part about Don Pablos, which we used to have one of here but it was awful and eventually went out of business!! So I had all kinds of things to say about that, including a mouse joined us on the table there one time, NO LIE!!

    Then I got to the part about your son and I am sitting here crying for you and for me and for our sons. I know exactly how you feel giving him up completely to the Lord and knowing he will see, feel, and do things that we can't talk to him about or help him with other than in prayer. I remember the last hug I had with Shane before he left for Iraq and I am not looking forward to the last one before he leaves for Afghanistan. You are so right in saying no matter how big they are, they will always be our babies!!

    When does he leave?

    Tell him happy birthday to him and tell him thank you for his service from me and my family!!

    Know that I am praying for you and I am here if you need anything or just someone who's been there!!

    Love you

  3. Another great post!!
    Dear friend.. I can only imagine what it feels like to have to say goodbye to your son like that.
    Praying for him and his safety and for your heart to be filled with wonderful memories of this trip :-)

  4. Um...did you cry while writing that last part about Cris and loving him forever? Cause I did and he's YOUR son. I love my Cris. And I Love you my friend.

  5. 一個人的價值,應該看他貢獻了什麼,而不是他取得了什麼..................................................

  6. Thanks so much for sharing the pictures of DC - quite a different view to the tourist documentaries.

    Must be so sad to say goodbye to your son.

  7. What a beautiful day 6. Wow you all did alot. Love the pictures. Sure felt like I was along. That collage of Cris is amazing. Great job. Love Don Pablos. YUM. Their chips are so good.
    I hear you on the mom thing being hard. They should always stay little.

  8. One of my favorite posts of yours Kathy!! I'll love you forever, I'll love you for always, as long as your living, my baby you'll be!! My favorite book and I read it to Josh all the time. I just went from laughing at your piñata to crying at this post. I'll be praying for Cris and for you and Capt Mike and Lindsey.


  9. My son turned 20 the same day as your son turned 21.

    He is not in the army, but I still need to let him go in many of the same ways you have had to. It is one of the hardest parts of being a mum (mom lol).

    It would sure be a time of testing and strengthening your faith, waving him off to Iraq. May God be with him and protect him.

    Blessings to you,