Days 22 & 23: Scenes from the (National) Mall

Rose in Late Afternoon

Dear Reader:

I never promised you a rose garden, but here you go anyway!

Hubby, the Teen, and I went over to the National Mall area late Friday afternoon when Hubby finished work. The weather was perfect–sunny, warm, breezy, and dry–and everyone was out enjoying the gardens and sculptures and memorials. We passed the renovations going on at the Arts & Industries building and came across part of the Folger Rose Garden.

White Roses

Some of the security guards from the museum were chatting and laughing near the garden. Tourists like us drifted along the sidewalk. People pushed baby strollers. Joggers, enjoying the dry air, trotted along the pathways beneath the trees along the Mall.

More Roses

I had to snap a picture of the Smithsonian Castle against that bright, blue sky. The strong stone and linear lines were such a contrast to the soft flowers of the rose garden.

The Castle

The one thorn on this rosy scene? A group of nasty, male tourists taunting a couple teenage girls. Here’s a hint: if you can’t be polite while traveling . . . stay home!

We hurried on toward the Washington Monument, ever present in the city, thrusting up into the sky like a giant arrow.

Arrow Toward the Sky

When I first walked around the National Mall, it simply seemed a tourist attraction with all the groups milling around, taking pictures of the monuments and buildings. The next time I went through it, I had the impression of a space more like a fair ground with all the tents set up for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival that took place around the Fourth of July weekend.

Softball Teams on the National Mall

Now, I think the National Mall is really, at heart, a big city park. Yes, there are lots of statues and monuments and whatnot, but it is also where softball teams get together and play (see photo above), groups of lithe athletes play Ultimate Frisbee , joggers run their regular favorite routes, families hang out on picnic blankets, couples share a bench and an ice-cream cone.

World War II Memorial

The Teen, Hubby, and I were still playing tourist, so we went looking for some more monuments and memorials in the early evening sunlight.

Women At Work In the Factory

We took our time at the World War II Memorial, a fantastic circular space with columns, pools, fountains, and some really gorgeous bas-relief friezes along the walkway leading down toward the main pool.

The WWII Memorial is dedicated to the men and women who fought and died in the war and those who supported the effort from home. The friezes show scenes indicative of these various areas of service.

War Photography

I spent a bit of time looking at these bronze bas-reliefs, but there was so much more to see.

Each star on this wall represents one-hundred soldiers who died in the war. It is beautiful and sobering.

Wall of Stars & Reflecting Pool

We continued on to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, Korean War Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial. Seeing all the names on the Vietnam Memorial Wall brought on one of my mushy-moments. All those lives, all those families impacted by a war that is still so controversial.

Low Key/ High Impact

The Korean War Memorial stunned me with its larger-than-life statues of soldiers trudging through a space planted with junipers and lined with paving stones. I thought this was a fabulous design. The statues were so lifelike!

Korean War Memorial

Detail of Statue at Korean War Memorial

After so much walking, we were ready to head home. But not before we stopped to watch the ducks and geese at the pond.


And to watch the duck-like progression of a tour group on Segways.

Segway Fun

I’m thinking I could use one of these little two-wheeled vehicles as all the walking is beginning to take its toll on my feet. As much as I love walking around the city–it really is the best way to see a new place–I may have to take a couple days off to lie around by the pool and let my strained tendons heal.

So, I have just one question: How DO these city girls run around town in five-inch heels?

5 responses to “Days 22 & 23: Scenes from the (National) Mall

  1. great pic’s Shelley…..enjoy your sunday!!! miss you…dd

  2. Thanks so much for the encouragement! Funny, I was in D.C. very recently too, but since I had only one day, I just did the touristy stuff.

    And the alphabet trick I learned is very similar to this one:

    • Kat,
      Thanks for stopping in:) I’m still doing touristy stuff, mostly, since there is so much of it to see/do! And why not? I am touristing here. Actually, I’m wondering how often people who live here get into the museums. I like to think that if I lived here, I’d still be going in to see new exhibits and enjoy some programs., but who knows?

      (Thanks for the link, LOL.)

  3. This is one of the reasons I want to get back to D.C. There are so many memorials and exhibits that weren’t there when I was. The WW II Memorial looks fascinating as well as the Korean Memorial. Don’t forget to do a night tour of the place when everything is lit. That’s awesome as well- especially the Lincoln Memorial.

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