Day 27: “Knowledge Is Happiness”

Abraham Lincoln. Photo: Jenny Williams

So said Thomas Jefferson, and I agree with him.

To fulfill my daughter’s goal while being in DC, my friend Jeff drove us into the city to visit the Lincoln Memorial, and anything else we could get to. We started with Lincoln, who seemed to be surrounded by the entire nation of Japan. I wonder if it was a big group trip or something. But it would have to have been a BIG group trip. There were also dozens of people there for one particular family reunion, complete with matching T-shirts.

The Lincoln Memorial. Photo: Jenny Williams

Lincoln was as stately as ever. I just love his statue. The girl agreed. We saw where Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. We also briefly visited the exhibit downstairs. We then re-met up with Jeff, who was parking the car, and we all walked around the Tidal Basin together. We saw the Korean Veteran’s Memorial, of which I’d only seen pictures, and I liked it very much; the FDR memorial, but we didn’t find his wheelchair statue; the beginnings of the Martin Luther King, Jr., memorial; the George Mason memorial; and finally the Jefferson Memorial.

The Korean Veteran's Memorial. Photo: Jenny Williams

Jefferson had a slightly bigger exhibit downstairs than Lincoln did at his memorial, and he had plenty of quotes that appealed to me, including the one in the title. I realized how little I know of Jefferson’s life, and I should remedy that. Jeff made a good point that our high school is named after him, so I should have visited his memorial before this, and should know more about him.

Throughout, but especially at the FDR Memorial, the boy, and sometimes the girl, posed meaningfully with the statues. I haven’t included any of them here because I don’t put photos of my kids up on the internet, but the kids are certainly clever with their poses.

The FDR Memorial. Photo: Jenny Williams

After a long walk, we finally made it back to the car, and Jeff drove us around the area more, pointing out interesting sites. Then we headed a slightly different way home, and as a surprise, he drove us by our old high school. It looks the same, from the outside anyway. For being a world-class high school, probably the best in the nation, it looks pretty blah, especially from the sides and the back. When we went there, they redid the outside and the inside, but of course that was over 20 years ago. I was glad to see the statue and symbols in the front were all still there, though. I saw the spot where a classmate stood with a sign that said something like “Honk for Peace”. I also saw the bench where I had my first kiss.

The Jefferson Memorial. Photo: Jenny Williams

Back to Jeff’s house for some rest time, and then the kids and I went back out to have dinner with the illustrious Matt Blum, of GeekDad fame, and his family. After much debate, we went to the California Pizza Kitchen, since I knew the boy would find something he liked there, and the girl would have some interesting choices as well. We were all tired after a long and hot day, so none of us were excellent company, but it was great to see Matt and family again. We last saw them only a month and a half ago at Maker Faire, but it will be at least until next year’s Maker Faire before we see them again.

Thomas Jefferson. Photo: Jenny Williams

Tomorrow we move on to Williamsburg.

Drove: Around town.

State (and a District!): Virginia and District of Columbia.

Weather: Hot in the sun, cooler in the shade.

Kids: Bored, flustered, in need of more down time, unfortunately.

Best Parts of the Day: Seeing the statue of Lincoln at his memorial, the Korean Veteran’s Memorial.

Worst Part of the Day: Getting too much sun and thus feeling really tired the rest of the day.

Total GeekDads and GeekMoms Visited: 9.

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About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.
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