Gettysburg, Washington DC and Mt. Vernon….then south!

We enjoyed a free night at the Comfort Inn in Mt. Pocono.  The pool and hot tub were enjoyable, and we were ready to leave after our free breakfast (I call it free, but we earned points over a few years!)

Leaving the foggy mountain area, the first mistake we made was entering the Pennsylvania Turnpike at an E-ZPass only entrance.  Suffice it to say that I worked for the next week on the phone and the internet before getting it settled!

Scrapple and local eggs for breakfast - yum yum!

Scrapple and local eggs for breakfast – yum yum!

Our first stop was at Heintzelman’s Meat Market in Leighton, Pennsylvania.  Denis was looking for scrapple, and they make their own.  We were given lots of samples, and came out with fresh local brown eggs, Lebanon Bologna (pronounced  “Leb’-non ba-lo-na” per friends we met from that area), which is so tasty (kind of a bit like salami, but sweet and oh so good!), scrapple (of course), their own bologna ring, and fabulous Smoked Cooper Muenster cheese.  Ready to pull out a $30 bill, we were so surprised we got it all for just over $8!

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After sampling shoofly pie and chicken corn soup, found a nice RV park and enjoyed a quiet evening before heading out to explore the Pennsylvania Dutch country and took a Farm Tour.

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Street scene near Bird-In-Hand

Street scene near Bird-In-Hand

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Portable chicken coop!  What a unique idea, pull it around with the tractor, spreading your chicken manure automatically around the fields!

Portable chicken coop. What a unique idea, pull it around with the tractor, spreading your chicken manure automatically around the fields!

Lancaster Pennsylvania Amish Farm

Lancaster Pennsylvania Amish Farm

Amish School House: typically about 30 children attend these schools scattered throughout the countryside. They only attend through eighth grade, then a girl at 16 can become an assistant, then teach at age 18.

Amish School House: typically about 30 children attend these schools scattered throughout the countryside. They only attend through eighth grade, then a girl at 16 can become an assistant, then teach at age 18.

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38,000 Amish in the area, so saw plenty of buggies, and teams or horses working in the fields.  On the farm tour, we stopped at a store, where I got a doll and homemade root beer.

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We went to a beautiful farm and got ice cream.  Best and creamiest ever – from Jerseys.

Lapp family dairy farm milk bottling operation

Lapp family dairy farm milk bottling operation

We learned that when the Amish buy a tractor, they have one year to change out the rubber tires for metal tires. We learned lots of things.  Our tour guide talked non-stop for a couple of hours!

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After stuffing ourselves at a Smorgasbord, we headed south for Gettysburg.  After getting information at the Visitor’s center, we drove through the National Historical Park.

Gettysburg National Military Park

Gettysburg National Military Park

On to Greenbelt Park in Maryland, our home while we explored the DC area.

Our home for eight nights in Greenbelt Park (National Park Campground near Washington DC)

Our home for eight nights in Greenbelt Park (National Park Campground near Washington DC)

Our first task was to get our Senior Metro card.  A nice employee gave us a free pass to the Metro Central station in DC where we got our pass and explored the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.  We hit most of the memorials and walked our socks off the first two days.

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Walked from the Jefferson Monument around the Tidal Basin past the FDR Monument.

Smithsonian Natural History Museum

Smithsonian Natural History Museum

The Hope Diamond

The Hope Diamond

The Viet Nam Veterans' Memorial Wall

The Viet Nam Veterans’ Memorial Wall

Walking back to the metro Saturday, we noticed the street in front of us was closed off by police, and the whole block patrolled by bicycle officers.  Walking a little further, noticed a helicopter on the south lawn of the White House.
President Trump is in the helicopter heading right for us!

President Trump is in the helicopter heading right for us!

Sunday was a special day heading north for our morning church meeting, then across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and down to the Maritime Museum.  When we arrived a boat tour on the Patriot was heading out so we grabbed our coats and hopped on.

Beautiful homes along the river on our boat tour

Beautiful homes along the river on our boat tour

Denis checks a crab pot

Denis checks a crab pot

 

Soft-shelled crabs at the Crab Claw Restaurant

Soft-shelled crabs at the Crab Claw Restaurant

Monday, thinking this was our day for our White House tour, we got up at 5 am, drove (about 2 miles) to the metro station, and were outside the White House visitors center before they opened.  We had the date wrong, so walked to Ford’s theater and got a tour there, the highlight being a park ranger presenting a one-man story of President Lincoln’s assassination.

Upper right was where President Lincoln was assassinated. The original picture of President Washington was where Lincoln had placed it.

Upper right was where President Lincoln was assassinated.
The original portrait of President Washington was where Lincoln had placed it.

We found a fabulous French bakery and enjoyed a break munching on a baguette.

The museum of the Bible was recommended by a friend, and so glad we visited!

I couldn't read it, but enjoyed seeing the old Bible scrolls.

I couldn’t read it but enjoyed seeing the old Bible scrolls.
The Museum of the Bible.

The Museum of the Bible.

Such an interesting display of old bibles.

Such an interesting display of old bibles.

5 am the next morning, we were ready with our invitation, ID, and not much else in our pockets (no purses or bags allowed).  Interesting process to get into the White House.  Our names were on an invitation list, and that was shown to get into the line, and twice after that with our ID.  After that, two security areas (like TSA), and finally, we could walk through the public area at our own pace.  Security people were everywhere and acted as guides and experts to ask questions.

Deanne and Denis in the White House!

Deanne and Denis in the White House!

Back to the French bakery for a baguette break, and the DC Circulator bus to the Capital for our tour there.  That security took the last of our baguette (thankfully we’d already scarfed most of it!).  T0ured there, which was so interesting, then took the tunnel to the Library of Congress which was beautiful.  Also saw Thomas Jefferson’s library.

Capital Building Washington DC

Capital Building Washington DC

Thomas Jefferson's Library

Thomas Jefferson’s Library

People working in the Library of Congress

People working in the Library of Congress

Beautiful ceiling and pillars in the Library of Congress

Beautiful ceiling and pillars in the Library of Congress

The following day we took the Metro to Arlington Cemetery, then a bus tour, where we arrived at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier two minutes before the changing of the guard, so got to see that.  We got off at the Kennedy memorial and walked to section 60, where we visited the grave site of Annette’ s brother-in-law.

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Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery

President Kennedy's memorial, the eternal flame, and Robert E Lee's home

President Kennedy’s memorial, the eternal flame, and Robert E Lee’s home

Weather was fantastic.  A little drizzle on Monday, but other than that some clouds in the morning a couple of days, but cleared off so nicely every day.

Our last day, we were done with all the museums and monuments we could take in.  We did laundry, I went to a gym, we filled with propane, visited the Post Office, had lunch out, and were back to our campsite ready to enjoy the afternoon in our gravity recliners, topping it off with a walk through the woods.

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A leisurely morning, waiting for the peak traffic to let up, and we were southward bound!  Arrived at Mt. Vernon when they opened and enjoyed a very well-done movie about George Washington.  We walked the grounds, down to the wharf, through the old gardens, barn, and then went on a tour through the Mansion.  Fascinating and a beautiful view of the Potomac River.

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In the garden at Mt. Vernon

In the garden at Mt. Vernon

View of the Potomac River from the front porch of the Mansion at Mt. Vernon

View of the Potomac River from the front porch of the Mansion at Mt. Vernon

South, south, and more southing……… saw some damage from the hurricanes along the freeway in North Carolina and South Carolina, and were happy to get back into sandals as the temperature climbed.  After 87 degrees, we were happy to arrive at Denis’ cousin in Ormond Beach Florida and hook up to Air Conditioning!  This morning dawned beautiful and sunny and with a cooler forecast.

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We will enjoy a couple days of 75 degrees before heading for Iceland, England, and Rome!

 

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