The White House, June 24th 2022
Me and Mom heading out on another road trip! I felt excited to see Washington DC and a big city.
On our first day in dc we went to Arlington National Cemetery. I saw the famous US Marine Memorial and toured the different burial sections. Below is a picture of me watching the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It was very quiet during the guard change because the tomb had to be respected and honored. the guards had to have their weapon inspected by another guard, which I think the other guard must be checking it for any other bad things hidden because they look very closely at everything. After a while they marched in perfect step and finally switch guards. I was really looking forward to watching this.
It rained while we were in Arlington so after a while so we went to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. I was excited to see the famous shiny neckless with a blue diamond called the Hope Diamond. Its been known to be cursed with bad luck which doesn't seem true but probably is so we didn't touch anything near that just in case. I really don't believe in it because it's just a stone from the earth and people say it's valuable otherwise it could be just another shiny rock in someone's landscaping. I saw a rock from Mars that was returned from a rover mission and got to touch that.
45.5 carat Hope Diamond is blue because of trace boron
Me spotting a rare albino squirrel on the National Mall! Pretty cool and a true albino animal
After lunch we went to the US Capitol to meet my Congressman Fred Upton from Michigan. He had a amazing office that I was able to explore and I asked him questions like did Trump win for real or did Biden? I saw ton of raids and attacks of the flag saying TRUMP 2020 on the capitol so I wanted to ask someone who knew the answer. He told me Biden won and there was no questions about the rumors in Michigan despite Trump saying things like he won the election by a lot.
June 24, 2022
Morning White House private tour
Below are pictures of architectural designs and carvings and lots of fancy things with gold on them in White House.
Below are more pictures of our time wandering around the White House. Its pretty fancy all right! But for some reason its not my taste in furniture.
I asked the White House butlers if they knew where the Presidents cat was, but he said they couldn't find the cat. Instead they said the dog could come out for a walk in the garden. Below are pictures showing one of President Biden's dogs. Only one dog lives in the White House I think because the other dog gets nervous and I heard he may bite when nervous. He had to be kept safe at home of the President when he's not at the White House. The dog we saw was named Commander and was cute! I learned some history of the White House while working on my Jr Ranger badge. A long time ago when they started building the first White House a war began and soon the White House was completely burned down. They had to build a second White House afterwards.
I think the white house is incredible! I've never ever seen so many chandeliers!
This is a full picture of the White House and the first floor halls. I think it looks like a place where a billionaire would choose to live in.
Picture of me and a cop on my right standing on front White House stairs, cool right?
A National Park ranger swearing me in as a Jr Ranger after I earned my White House badge!
One of my favorite places in Washington DC was visiting the many Smithsonian Museums. We need more time to go back to visit them all someday! These pictures are from inside the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. All these pictures show amazing footage of fossils, vast rock collections, and big fossil skeletons. I took a picture next to a prehistoric giant ground sloth and keep asking why are they so big? I think it's because back in the prehistoric times animals were huge! In the gem collections we saw a shiny blue sapphire in called a star sapphire. If its got a red color then its called a star ruby, but its still classified as a sapphire. I learned that sapphires come in many different colors. The beautiful jewels you are seeing set in a fancy necklace is made up of many emeralds. These must be America's crown jewels inside this museum! I took a photo of red fluorite that looks like something from Minecraft! The giant shiny crystal I'm looking at in one photo is called quartz from Arkansas. Absolutely mammoth sized quartz slabs there! Rocks like the rhodochrosite where cool, too. This place was my definitely my favorite
A map shows were the subway (aka DC Metro) systems runs underneath Washington DC. This was my first time ever riding a subway train. It was fun until 2 problems came along. First, Mom got us mixed up and we jumped on the wrong train! Luckily for us I figured out the problem and told her! That mistake made us go on a longer ride but she was impressed with my help. The second problem occurred when we saw a very angry man who came up near the emergency door and yelled at everyone on our train. I don't know what he was yelling about. He had some sort of a device locked on his foot called an ankle bracelet. After he was done yelling he jump out of the emergency door and entered the next part of the train while moving. I'm just glad to be alive. My mom said to stay close and hide our belongings away from the aisle and look away. It worked! There was one more problem with DC Metro and that was the SmartTrip card scanners where a huge headache! The cards always worked for mom while it did not work for me! We had to ask the booth guy at least 12+ times to help us out so we did not get separated. Finally Mom figured out to squeeze through when we were not together so she was always with me, which worked.
Photos of the US Capitol building and George Washington's monument. I have photos of the Roe v Wade protest the evening after the Supreme Court released it's final decision on a similar case. I was at the US Supreme Court during a historic time and I felt interested in seeing what was happening. I remembered 2 things from that night. The many protestors were not attacking anyone even when they were upset with the outcome. The protest I saw was just yelling and walking back and forth holding up sings. The signs said what the person was feeling, either upset at the decision or happy for the change. Some signs were not great, but everyone was still peaceful. Another thing I remembered was seeing tons of dogs out at the protest with people taking them down to protest with them! One protesting girl was sitting on the curb and let me pet her friendly white dog!
United States Supreme Court took down Roe vs. Wade while I was in the White House. We watched a day that will be talked about in history happen in front of our eyes. Mom was a little nervous to go down to the courts to see a big protest, but it was important to see what was happening. We saw TV cameras and lot of police. When the sun set it was time to get back to our hotel to be extra safe. Most everyone was kind and not violent, but we didn't want to be caught in something dangerous that night.
Early the next day we went to the National Mall and we got there early because Washington DC gets as hot as the surface of the sun! My first monument visit was to the World War II Memorial. I remember reading: Here we mark the price of freedom. I remember seeing the Atlantic and Pacific pavilions to mark fighting in two different areas. I remember how hot the cement was and I couldn't touch it because I would get burned. I worked on a Jr Ranger study book in the sliver of shade I could locate. Mom and I took turns exploring the site to answer questions and leaving the protection of the shade spot! We ran back once we found our clues and dove for cover for the sun! I found a sign that said I may feet in the water but not swim in it, Mom said NO at first because she thought it would be disrespectful until I took her to the instruction sign. Finally I was able to sit and enjoy the cool waters of the fountain and sit back and take time to observe things. We spoke with a park ranger who told us about the monument and a neat fact: they put graffiti on this monument on purpose! We found the hidden "Kilroy Was Here" tag sign and I know that soldiers wrote that all over stuff they pass by and even in modern times it's still around.
This was my favorite monument design at that point
Each star represented 100 soldiers who died in the war. There's 4,000 stars and a quote that says here we mark the price of freedom.
We had plans to visit the Lincoln Memorial but by that time in the late morning it seemed impossible to walk that far in the sun and not incinerate. We took a photo and agreed to come back on a cooler day or maybe at night! I was very thankful. We decided to eat lunch and visit a museum with AC. I loved the National Museum of Natural History so we spent time back there.
After lunch and checking out the rock collection once more it was time to walk over to the National Archives to see the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. I wasn't excited about leaving the cool AC and the museum, but I was curious about the National Archives and the vault. I watched the movie National Treasure before we left and definitely had some questions I needed to investigate for myself
This photo is of me by the National Archives. Mom tried to take photos but was yelled at by security guards. I remember seeing the Declaration of Independence and how the words are barely even there so it's hard to say I really saw it honestly. While we stood in line people started to crowd us and there was absolutely zero space. The guards tried to help but people were not listening and it was not a wonderful memory moment. There were a lot of kids there with no adults and they were rude. I was honestly glad to leave that place.
We did not return to DC that evening but took a quiet walk in Arlington instead. We were very tired.
On Sunday morning we drove out to George Washington's house called Mount Vernon. Mom got lost on the way there and we ended up arriving to the loading docks! Finally we arrived to have a full tour and lay a wreath at the tomb.
I remember thinking that it was strange that someone we think as very peaceful would own slaves. I asked a few questions about that to the tour guide. They said to me that looking at history is difficult when they lived in different times and that we could have an entire discussion on that topic. The tour was moving on to the next room so I had to go and that was all they told me about that question inside the mansion. Inside the house it was very old fashioned and they had amazing colors on the walls. I liked the decor much better than the White House if I had to choose. One crazy thing was how both Mom and I had to duck our heads when we went upstairs at Mount Vernon! The ceiling was very low and I could get claustrophobic just staying there for a short time. It has to be the shortest set of rooms I've ever toured. I thought George Washington was tall and I could imagine him crawling in that house if he every went upstairs.
At first I felt excited to get to lay a wreath near the tomb of George Washington. I remember there were two tombs in the vault one for George and one for Martha his wife. I had to read a letter that George Washington wrote hundreds of years ago. It was sorta difficult but the lady said George Washington would be very proud and smiling. I learned that George Washington had a learning disability and had trouble with grammar and spelling. Mom said they called it Dyslexia.
Walking around the National Mall in the early evening. I had some finishing up to do on a few pages of the Jr Ranger guide.
Below is a photo of me near the Martin Luther King Jr monument. Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope was carved into the side.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere"
photo of me walking along the side of the pool between Lincoln's Monument and Washington's monument. I remember seeing the reflections in that Reflection pool. I also observed ducks in the very dirty water. We even saw dead ducks floating in it. I think they needed to clean that pool up a little.
On the famous steps of the Lincoln Memorial I saw a man yelling and sounding angry saying something about respecting Christ or we will go to H*ll. That man yelled with his microphone and speaker for hours and it was very hot outside. He was screaming that I will go to a very hot place, but it's already the hottest place imaginable in that town! I had to put headphones on because of that noise. I also saw a crazy man on a bike riding his bike down all the stairs of Lincoln's memorial with the steps full of crowds. He did not wipe out or hit anyone thankfully. There was another weird sight waiting for me at the top of the Monument and that was a guy dressed up as Spiderman jumping around for some strange reason! It was pure crazy at Lincoln's Monument when we were there. Once we finally made it into the building to look at the statue and take a few photos we got out of there as fast as possible! Later we found out that all the photos we took of us by Abraham Lincoln didn't even turn out very good after all that work. We spent time visiting all the Monuments on the Mall. One that I remember standing out had hair rings and hair ties surrounding it. It was near the Vietnam wall. It was a monument to someone important and I think that's why people honored it by throwing some of there belongings as memories. We also saw the Korean War monument on the anniversary date of the Korean War- June 25th.
The Vietnam memorial a wall is a large wall with what seems like over 1000 names carved in polished stone. The names are there to remember which people who died during the Vietnam War. I picked 2 names to locate and learned how to take a memorial etching. I had to get a soldiers name etched on my Jr Ranger study guide so I picked Robert R Hamilton and we found his name easily.
The next day we had tickets to tour the US Capitol building. I learned the 3 branches of government and toured all three of them!
Inside of the US Capitol visitor center I recognized one statue right away! It was one I saw in Hilo, Hawaii! It was the statue of the Hawaiian King with gold armor and clothes. King Kamehameha had to lift the Naha Stone to become ruler and at age 30 he finally did it. The Naha Stone weighed more than a big car I think! The story was he would be given 3 tries to lift that rock. At first he didn't move it at all, next attempt he barely budged it, and finally he flipped it over and became the ruler of one united Hawaiian Kingdom. I seem to see this statue everywhere now! Pretty cool right? Here's photos of both statues across the United States.
I remembered going inside the capitol and seeing these awesome things. inside the building I noticed many weird patterns and carvings. you will see photos of the dome on top of the Capitol building. Inside the dome was a painting that shows Washington sitting on clouds like old paintings of Christ and other people all around him. It was called The Apotheosis of Washington. I saw a room in the Capitol with lots of historic chairs and benches that was used as the old supreme court when they first built this building. Many famous moments in history came from that room. The Dredd Scott decision took place in there. We saw the old chamber where the Missouri Compromise became law. They do not use these rooms anymore because they are too small since we keep adding states during our history. One weird hall that stood out to me was the room with lots of pillars, called the crypt. I like the unique set up. I learned that they had plans to bury George Washington there but that never happened since I saw his tomb at Mount Vernon. I think that was a good choice because George Washington never was in charge in Washington DC, so his home is a better place for him to rest in peace. Amazing right?!
The statue on the top of the capitol is the Statue of Freedom. I saw a life sized replica inside the US Capitol visitor center. When we walked in the Capitol there was a long line since the building just started tours again. The tour groups were very large and Mom asked a red coat tour guide if they had any accommodations for autism. A minute later a really nice lady rushed down to meet me like I was famous or something. We were offered any type of tour we wanted and she was our private guide! once again it was amazing. I took the camera and snapped all but a few photos inside the US Capitol. I loved seeing the old US Supreme Court room and have many photos of that cool space.
Another chandelier in Washington DC. Someone must make a lot of money selling lighting accessories and blubs for this town.
I felt comfortable in the low lighting of the old supreme court. It was not loud and a smaller space, not like the louder rotunda room
Following the tour of the US Capitol we had one more afternoon left in Washington DC. I was working on earning the National Park Jr Ranger badges and we had not had a chance to earn a badge from Arlington yet. We crossed town on our last Metro ride and took the Arlington tram around the cemetery. When it stopped at a fancy mansion on top of the hill we got off. This was Arlington House. A old fashioned civil war general had owned this house. His name was Robert E. Lee. The house was in his family for years and it was built in tribute to George Washington by salves when his grandson told them. Robert E. Lee was related to George Washington in some way. I earned the Arlington House badge learning about the slaves that worked on the plantation during it's history. I didn't get to go nside because they locked it up by the time I finished the Jr Ranger program on the slave families of Arlington. I was sworn in again and got my badge. We can go inside the house on my next trip to Washington.
During the relaxing tram tour of the cemetery around Arlington we saw the Tomb of the Unknown once again, a fire by President Kennedy grave, We saw the space shuttle memorials for all the astronauts lost during the years of space flight, we saw the US supreme court justices tomb sites, and the area where the September 11 Pentagon was remembered. We saw a burial and a full cart being pulled with large black horses, but you shouldn't take photos of them honoring stuff like that. The day we spent in Arlington they had 26 funerals scheduled!
I have to say I had a great trip.
It's always sad to pack up our hotel room. I love just looking outside at the different sights and spend lots of time quiet and observing things. The hotel in Washington DC was awesome! I really liked the design of my corner light in our room. I think of this right away when we talk about Washington DC. I would recommend this place to anyone.
Hyatt Centric Arlington. It was right next to a Metro stop at Rosslyn so we could take breaks easy during the busy days.
On our road trip home we stopped at the Flight 93 National Memorial for the afternoon. I completed my Jr Ranger badge completely on my own and saw what happened when those people saved the US Capitol from a hijacked airplane. I learned a lot about the individual I chose to study for my badge. I learned that the airplane pilot was a Dad and he learned to fly airplanes when he was 16 years old. He went to fly in the military. I followed his journey while learning about that day. We could see a big rock and a hole where the plane hit the ground in Pennsylvania.
My accomplishments so far. I have done a lot of work to earn these