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Brandon and I have spent the past week in Washington, D.C. celebrating Agriculture Week.  We were recognized on National Ag Day as one of the 2010 Outstanding Young Farmers couples, and have enjoyed seeing the sights and sounds of D.C.  This has been my first time in Washington and I have really enjoyed being surrounded by our country’s history.  Following is a list of 7 things from our capitol city that really left an impression on me.   In no particular order, of course.

7.  The architecture.  I loved, loved the attention to detail in every column, tile, door, and painting.

6.  The Archives of the United States.  I got goosebumps as I viewed the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the U.S. Constitution.

5. The Library of Congress.  Thomas Jefferson’s collection of books was amazing.

4.  The Holocaust Museum.  This powerful display is not only seen with the eyes, but heard in the silenced crowd of hundreds, felt with a heaviness in the air, and smelled through wafts of leather, wood, and tears.

3.  Arlington Cemetary.  An amazing tribute to those who have served our country.

2.  The metro.  What an efficient, inexpensive, and easy way to get around the city.

1.  High heels!  I give the women in this city so much credit for spending day after day in heels!  One day and my feet were swollen and blistered.  I can’t wait to see my running shoes again 🙂

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 Our family vacation this summer was to Washington D.C. We haven’t taken a big trip for a few years, so we were pretty excited. Fortunately the trip lived up to all our expectations. The kids really enjoy history, especially American history, so it was rewarding to see the excitement on their faces when they were actually able to see many of the sights they’ve read about.

 We stayed in a hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, just a couple of blocks from the White House, so we walked just about everywhere. On our first day as we walked to the Capitol for a tour, Brett turned to me and said, “Now I know why they call it Capitol Hill.”. Yes, you do walk up a hill to get there. As we toured the Library of Congress, Adam was impressed by the fact he was looking at books that actually belonged to Thomas Jefferson.

 The kids will probably say that the monuments were their favorite and they truly are awe inspiring. We saw them during the day and at night. I think nighttime is my favorite. The lights shining around and through the memorials make them even more impressive and add a certain serenity to them. It seemed like no matter where we went, you could see the Washington Monument, which is fitting for our first president and the city named after him.

 One of the highlights had to be viewing the original Declaration of Independence. That really made history come to life for the kids. For those of you that have seen the movie National Treasure, you know the Declaration of Independence has a role. The kids commented on how the actual room where the Declaration of Independence is kept is not as well lit as in the movie. Ah movie magic.

 I feel fortunate that we were able to take this vacation. Our kids grew in their knowledge of our country and its historical roots. They had experiences that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Vacations are important not only for what we learn, but for the time we’re able to spend with each other as family. As I turn the page on the calendar, there is only one month of summer vacation left. But what a great summer it’s been.