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The National Mall - Washington, D.C.

Dear Diary,
After our tour of the U.S. Capital, we explored more of the city and the National Mall. We didn't have time to venture into any of the Smithsonian institutions, which presents a good reason to return.

Just across from the Capital building stood the Supreme Court. We were not allowed inside.

So we headed towards the Mall, stopping first to eat at a delicious Mexican restaurant located near the White House, MXDC Cocina Mexicana. The margaritas hit the spot and our lunch was divine!

The Washington Monument 

The World War II Memorial with the reflection pond and Lincoln Memorial in the background 

In addition to the WWII Memorial, we also took in the Vietnam Memorial. And while the WWII Memorial seemed to pay tribute to the world at war and the states' contributions, the Vietnam Memorial was much more personal.

The kids and I walked the expanse of the wall, observing the vast number of names etched into the slabs. At our feet were small tributes left by families, some of which included the names, ages, causes of death and locations served. To read that, and then locate the name and rub our fingers across the etching, made the experience so haunting that I will never forget it.

 MLK, Jr. Memorial

The kids' learned about the significance of those immortalized by these monuments in school. To have had the opportunity to bring them to these places, and watch them connect their lessons to a physical, personal experience was impactful. Their eyes lit up, and it made it that much more real.

The Jefferson Memorial was closed for restoration 

A cool tree we passed while exploring 

View of the Capital building from our hotel rooftop

Another site I'd like to tour when we return, because I have a morbid fascination, is Ford's Theater. We also ran out of time to pay our respects at Arlington. Though I'm grateful to have had these experiences in D.C., I know I've just barely scratched the surface.

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