Today was my last full day in Washington DC so I decided to do all the things that I had not ticked of my list. So the first thing I did was take a taxi to Washington Monument to get tickets for a visit to the top. I arrived just past 10 am, which normally would have been too late to get tickets but this week was very quiet with the children back at school and congress still on holiday. My tickets were scheduled for 230 pm so I had time to go to the National Archives to see the original declaration of independence and the constitution.
As usual in DC entrance was free, the documents were kept in the rotunda under subdued lighting to protect them and two security guards stood either side of these magnificent documents. It was very exciting to see the words that formed this great nation. Having been through all the historical sites, such as Williamsburg, Yorktown etc. it was nice to see the documents that resulted in this nation’s personalities and events. Unfortunately photography was not permitted so I was not able to take any photos.
I then visited Fords Theatre, which is where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth in 1865, while sitting in his box watching a show. I was then able to visit the house opposite where the injured Lincoln was taken and where he finally died. The museum was very well designed and I got a good understanding of the life and achievements of Abe Lincoln and life in Washington DC at the time
It was nearly time for my scheduled visit to the Washington Monument so I made my way on foot arriving about 10 minutes early. We were shepherded into the base of the monument to take the lift to the top, which took 70 seconds. At the top there were four sides, each with two small windows affording spectacular views across DC. I took sensational photos of the Capitol, Lincoln's Memorial and the White House.
To complete my last night in DC I took a taxi to my favourite area, Georgetown and had a drink and a plate of oysters at sequoia. I then had dinner in my favourite DC restaurant one more time, the Farmers Fishers and Bakers restaurant. I just loved this place.
I learnt that waiter staff in the US are paid a very low salary and depend on tips to make their earnings liveable! The expectation or norm is to leave anything between 15% and 30% depending on the level of service you felt you received! When you consider that state taxes are also added to the menu prices the final bill can be far higher than you are expecting. This made me feel abused and my purse continually under assault.
To complete my final evening I took a slow 2 hour walk covering about 5 miles back to my hotel and bed.