Washington, DC for the day

For our last day in Baltimore we decided to catch the MARC train down to DC.
All flags were flown at half staff because this was the Friday following the Monday of the Boston Marathon bombing.  You will notice all flags in my pictures from this day are the same.
Most of the day was spent walking around, but we did manage to go into one museum.  Here is the Capitol building from where we started off our walk from the station.

A little closer.
The cheery blossoms were in bloom still, so that was a nice treat.  Hopefully ours will be there when we get back to Japan.

We were surprised to see this tree sculpture here because we saw an identical one (same artist I believe) in Seattle.

I had no idea kale was now being used as a decorative plant!  It even had a sign next to it identifying it as kale.
The one museum we went into and walked around was the Museum of Natural History.
It was super busy with school class trips.
If you have never been, the front entrance has this giant elephant inside.
Don't jump!

It's the okapi!  I have had the chance to see a live one at the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo.  I love this animal.
We also stopped by to check out the display on earthquakes.  There were 3 drums rolling and recording seismic activity in 3 locations- Alaska, California, and Japan.  The big jumps in activity are on the Japan roll because that morning we (although we were in the US) had 2 7.0 earthquakes.
You can also see on the screen all of the recent earthquakes around the world.
Next, we toured through the gem collection.  Some were really crazy looking.

I love the rainbow of colors.

Here is the Hope Diamond.  It was very hard to get a clear picture.  I really liked that it spun around inside the case so everyone on all sides could get a view.
After the museum we headed to find a place for lunch.  We found Elephant & Castle, which was packed so we figured that was probably a good choice.
Ryan started with some French onion soup.
Then he had a grilled cheese.
I had a crab cake sandwich and some salad.  It was good.  I am sure there were better places around, but this was good and worked out well for us.
After lunch we headed to the Washington Monument, which is currently under construction after the east coast earthquake last year.

The we headed across the mall and over to the reflecting pool and Lincoln.

At the start of the reflecting pool is the war memorial.

Here we are passing along the reflecting pool on the way to the Lincoln Memorial.

Looking back at the Washington Monument and the Capitol building.

This is a pretty good shot looking back from the Lincoln Memorial.
Can you believe I have been to DC so many times and I think this is the first time I have ever seen the Lincoln Memorial?  I have no memories of this, so I made sure to check it out.
After nearly 9 miles of walking and sightseeing, I was ready to get back on the train and head back to my mom's house to get ready for our trip to Florida.

QUESTIONS:  Have you ever been to Washington DC?  What is your favorite historical site?