We headed out for the Zoo around 8:00. We stopped in the Woodley Park neighborhood for breakfast and got to the Zoo just after 9:00. I had read online that the walk to the Zoo from the south was uphill, but it wasn’t any harder than the hills within the Zoo. Actually, some of the hills in the Zoo were hard going pushing a stroller. The first hour was like a quiet walk in a park, there were not many people out. At 10:00 several bus loads of school children arrived and the atmosphere changed. We have been to the Fort Worth Zoo, and the National Zoo is almost equal in comparison. Construction is underway on a new elephant habitat which looks to be impressive. The orangutans have two areas which are connected by cables suspended over the visitor pathway. This guy was hanging out watching people walk under him.
None of the Smithsonian Museums charge an entry fee (the Zoo is part of the Smithsonian), but they make up for it by charging amusement park rates at their cafes and gift shops. So be prepared to spend $10+/person.
This was the first time my son had seen any animal other than dogs or ducks. It was all very exciting for him, especially the hippo and elephants. By 2:00 he was exhausted, so we headed back to the hotel for a nap.
Later we went back to the Mall, walked by the Washington Monument and down to the World War II Memorial. This is a beautiful monument. We spent quite a bit of time here reading all of the inscriptions and looking at all of the relief sculptures.
Everyone at the Viet Nam Memorial was quiet and respectful. I have heard the numbers before, but walking along that wall and seeing name after name after name had more impact than I expected.
The Lincoln Memorial was crowded. Photos always make it appear to be a long climb up the steps, but it’s really not that bad. Of course, with the stroller we took the elevator up, but I walked down. Be sure to go to the south side of the steps (left side looking toward the memorial) to go through the memorial information center. This room shows the other design submissions and construction information. My husband, who has been here twice before, never knew this room existed. We only found it because it is also the location of the elevator.
The Korean War Memorial is haunting. It includes a platoon on patrol, a granite wall with war-time photos etched into the face, and a small infinity pool.
If you take the path on the south side of the field between the Korean Memorial and the World War II Memorial (not along the reflecting pool) you might notice a small colonnade in the trees off to the south. This is actually the World War I Memorial. It was built in the 30s, so the inscription says World War Memorial. I am saddened by the state of this memorial. It is in desperate need of restoration. It seems so insignificant that most people either take a picture from the path, or only glance as they walk by.
By this time it was getting dark, so we headed back to the hotel by way of the White House. I was able to get a decent picture of the south entrance.