Friday, January 27, 2017

Different Views on Washington, D.C.

National Mall, Tidal Basin
The Lincoln Memorial as seen from the top of the Washington Monument

I should have gone on a cruise this past week. Or perhaps trekked deep into the jungle. Or maybe one of those off-the-grid places where people go on retreats to look into their souls without being distracted by all the hustle and bustle of the outside world. In any case, it would have been best if I had put myself on a media blackout these last few days. Because my head is about to explode the more and more I read the news.

I woke up on January 28 somewhat optimistic. "Give Trump a chance," I told myself. That feeling lasted throughout the invocation and introductory remarks of the U.S. Presidential Inauguration. Then, it quickly faded away about a minute into Trump's speech. On one side of the National Mall stands the Lincoln Memorial. People walk in there and gaze upwards to pay tribute to a great American president who united a divided country. On the opposite side of the National Mall stood our newest leader who was trying his hardest to once again turn brother against brother. 

In case if you were wondering, this is the crowd size when no one is being inaugurated. 

When we visited Washington, D.C. in November 2015, the presidential race field of candidates was still wide open. The nation's capital (and Capitol) was busy spiffing itself up to be the center of attention in January 2017. That time has come... and I want to pretend it doesn't exist.

National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol

If the walls in the U.S. Capitol's National Statuary Hall could talk, I wonder what they could tell us. This chamber was built for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1819 after the original hall was destroyed when invading British burned down the Capitol five years earlier. Sigh, if only there had been a big, huge wall protecting us from the British, it could have been prevented.

The Marquis de Lafayette was the first foreign citizen to address Congress, and it happened in this room in 1824. Yes, they were letting foreigners in even way back them. The Marquis is credited for securing funds and weapons from the King of France decades earlier for the Americans to use to stick it to the British, their common enemy, during the American Revolution. (In case if you've never heard of him, he's in Hamilton. He's that famous.) Aren't we Americans glad that the French stepped in to help us? Unfortunately for the French monarchs, the common people of France were none too pleased about their king helping people overseas while their own families starved. Sound familiar? Bring on the French Revolution. Looking back at this history, it really is incredible that the USA has gone so many centuries with a peaceful transition of power. Let's keep it up!

Statuary Hall is also where John Quincy Adams was elected President by the House of Representatives. Andrew Jackson actually had more electoral votes than Adams and won the popular vote as well. It wasn't enough to clinch the presidency though, so it was up to the House to decide. To say that Jackson was mad would be an understatement.

Eventually, the horrible acoustics of this room  caused them to build another chamber for the House of Representatives and turn this into a art gallery featuring statues from every state.

Last Saturday, the Rosa Parks statue was discovered to be missing from her stand. It is presumed that she joined the Women's March. #alternativefacts

Silhouette of the Washington Monument and the National Museum of African American History & Culture.

Sometimes I vote Republican. Sometimes I vote Democrat. I actually support one of Trump's executive orders. This is not the first time that my choice has lost. However, it's the first time I've been this dismayed... especially considering that Trump is only one week into his term. I'm sure I'm not the first American to think that everything is going to hell in a handbasket. I certainly won't be the last.

Next week... stay tuned for my regular programming where I plug my ears, cover my eyes, sing "la, la, la," and escape from reality into a world of travel.

And on that note, here's a photo of the Badlands, the national park filled with rogue resistance rangers.

Are there Bad Hombres in the Badlands?

How has your week been? Distract me. Please.

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  1. Those are different views of the mall. Not a lot of people there. Definitely less than on inauguration day.

  2. I feel ya sister! Lovely pictures of Washington D.C.! Sadly, I've never been, but have managed to visit Berlin twice and go inside the Reichstag twice but can't even make it to my own country's capital!?! I'm doing something wrong haha! #Wkendtravelinspiration

  3. I completely agree with you. I have been very disappointed that he won and I'm nervous about the next four years. But those are beautiful photos. I've still never been. #wkendtravelinspiration

  4. My week has gone exactly like yours - and I expect next week to be the same! I love your photos! And what a great idea about the cruise - I wish I would've thought of it and gone on one also!

  5. Michelle, my week (and the entire year) have been full of challenges. Not sure what is happening but tons of not so great things going on. But, I do have hope things are going to get better. In the meanwhile, I am going to do something fun for the weekend! Hope things get better on your side too! #TPThursday

  6. In Australia we're hoping Trump turns out better than the media is suggesting. We hear one awful thing after another. I read today that he is going to revoke the visa waiver for Aussies. I didn't read the whole story and I hope it is not true. La La La La

  7. We're with you, Michelle. Becoming an Expat has never been more attractive! We halfway joked that coming back from France last year was hard, knowing that an election was coming. Not being able to go back now is way worse! But, as mom would say, "This too shall pass." Just not fast enough! ;)

  8. Every morning this past week I woke up, read the news, and shook my head. Yes, it's great to live overseas, but it is impossible to ignore. My oh my, I just keep asking myself, "what's next?" But I'm worried about the answer.

  9. I keep thinking about my trips to DC and how I made myself on three different occasions visit the Holocaust Museum there and after each visit I would ask myself, how did they let that happen or how could they have let it continue. . .I am thinking about that a lot this week. . .how did they let that happen and how could they let it continue. . .

  10. We didn't get to explore the city of Washington, but it appears very attractive

  11. I hope Rosa made it back from the walk :) I haven't been to DC, but it's on my list. I may wait until "you know who" waves goodbye. I've been spending too much time reading the news this week, too. Time to get back to regular programming. Thanks for linking up this week. #TPThursdy

  12. Yea, I hear you Michelle. It would be nice if you could stick your head in the sand sometimes, but that doesn't mean the reality would change. One thing is sure though: no matter who the leader is, Washington DC will always remain one of the most impressive cities in our country.

  13. Sometimes it would be nice to just escape especially in times like this. Washington looks beautiful and I hope that things will get better.


  14. I'm reading this a couple of weeks after you wrote this post and it seems like things keep getting worse. There has never been a time I so want to live unplugged or be an expat. Now, it makes me wish that I went to the DC March instead of the San Diego one to get a glimpse of Rosa Parks ;-) Beautiful views of DC from above!


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