Day 80 - A Grave Day in ArlingtonJuly 11 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C
Couldn’t be bothered with breakfast (or we just over slept) & checked out about 10.00am. We drove to Royal Auto Works & got one of the staff to look at the hail damage to our car. He put us in touch with their hailstones expert who only visits them once a week, on a Tuesday!
I rang their expert, Jonathan who is based in Winchester, who told me he could only fit us in on Saturday morning. He wasn’t prepared to estimate how much it would cost.
We then drove to the Coin Laundrette & Jackie commenced the unenviable task of getting all our dirty clothes washed & dried. I contacted a couple of local VW Dealerships to see if they had our red paint, Y3D, in stock. They didn’t.
Whilst Jackie was still laundering, I went to the Blue Ridge Barbers for another haircut. I came out with a flat-top, costing just $9.99. Bargain, but I was itchy all day.
It was gone midday when Jackie finished the laundry. We re-packed our rucksacks, then stopped at Spelunker’s for an award winning burger. It was ok, certainly good quality ingredients, but a bit too juicy for me.
Having decided that fixing the damage to the car is too problematic, we followed Bingo’s advice & headed to Annapolis in Maryland. En-route we stopped at Arlington National Cemetery, just to the west of Washington DC.
We accidentally arrived at the staff entrance & got re-routed. This took us past the Pentagon & round to the visitors centre for Arlington National Cemetery. Having parked up, we decided not to take the official trolley bus tour, but we would walk it.
Without a map we followed the other visitors through the row upon row of military graves. We arrived at one of the main ‘attractions’, the grave of John F. Kennedy & Jackie Onassis. It was a simple Monument, just 2 black headstones & an ‘eternal flame’. Beside them sat other graves of the Kennedy clan, including Robert F. Kennedy & Edward “Ted” Kennedy.
We found a large statue of a man on a horse, which turned out to be British Diplomat & Field Marshall Sir John Dill, who was the first non-American to be buried in the Cemetery.
We progressed up the hill to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which faces out over Washington DC. One poor soldier in full uniform in the 98 degree heat, marched back & forth in front of it. He actually meticulously marches 21 steps down a black mat, turns & pauses for 21 seconds before marching back 21 steps & repeats.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is part of the Arlington Memorial Amphitheater, which has hosted State Funerals, plus Memorial Day & Veterans Day ceremonies. The amphitheater is made of marble & seats about 5,000 people. At the front of the amphitheater is a stage upon which is the Klismos Chair. The Klismos Chair faces the audience & is intended to be a reminder of the missing heroes honoured by the amphitheater. Jackie sat in it!
We had been at Arlington National Cemetery for around 2 hours & it was baking hot, so we decided to leave & get past Washington DC before rush hour. Unfortunately this meant we missed Memorials for the victims of USS Maine, Space Shuttle Challenger & Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie.
Back at the car, we typed in Annapolis & to my surprise it took us into Washington DC, across Arlington Memorial Bridge, then Independence Avenue, hence passing & getting good views of Washington Monument & the Jefferson Memorial. We picked up Interstate 395, then 695, which gave us a fleeting glimpse of United States Capitol.
We continued north, now in the State of Maryland & finally reached Highway 50, which took us towards the naval town of Annapolis. After driving to the harbour, we decided that we would stay. Annapolis reminds us of a mix of Whitby, Portsmouth & maybe a little bit of Guildford.
We scoured Booking.com & a real bargain popped up, still expensive, but a bargain nevertheless. We booked ourselves a room in the perfectly located Hotel Annapolis & checked in.
Our room had a nautical theme, but was pure luxury. Well it was compared to Super 8 Motels on Highways! We made the most of the lovely toiletries & huge fluffy towels. We got out about 6.00pm & enjoyed the street life. Just down from our hotel was a street party in West Street. All the pubs & restaurants had put out tables & chairs & a band was playing.
We continued to the harbour & Jackie managed to trip ripping off the skin on the palm of her hand. To make her feel better she decided that we needed to take a boat trip the following morning. We then secured a table on the verandah of a pub & watched the world go by with a couple of beers. Jackie, still making the most of injury, ordered half a dozen oysters to take the pain away!
A couple of hours later, I was now starving & we went in search of some chicken wings. We couldn’t find any anywhere, but before we knew it we were back at the street party. Most of the tables were still taken, but we managed to get ourselves one, then looked at the limited menu & decided nothing took our fancy. We settled for a beer & listened to the band.
At the end of the night, we had a couple of carrot sticks, hummus & some peanuts back in our room.
Song of the Day - Eternal Flame by The Bangles.Read more