My niece recently joined my parents for a weekend visit to our home. My parents have visited us so much that sightseeing is not a priority anymore. While my niece has experienced "tourist D.C.," many of her sightseeing visits were when she was younger. I wanted to hit a few landmarks while she was here.
She mentioned the monuments, which we both remembered with a bit of a laugh. When she was probably 9 or 10 years old, she visited me and I took her to walk around the monuments in the evening. I thoughtlessly allowed her to wear flip flops, which caused an enormous blister. I received quite a talking to by my sister. I could only plead ignorance. I was not a mother at that time and had no common sense about such matters.
We decided to repeat an evening tour of the monuments, because the monuments are at their most beautiful lit up at night. I reminded my niece (now well into her twenties) to wear good shoes and we set off for the Lincoln Memorial on a Sunday evening. The evening was beautiful and we walked through the Vietnam Memorial, then to the Lincoln Memorial and finally to the Korean War Memorial (which is particularly amazing at night). At that point, we checked on how much energy everyone had and decided to walk on to the World War II Memorial. I remember my Uncle (who was a World War II veteran) being concerned at the time the memorial was built that it would clutter the National Mall and create an obstacle to the beautiful sight lines. Happily neither of those concerns proved to be a problem due to the very open design of the memorial.
Monday morning we decided to go to the Library of Congress. Their first public tour of the day was at 10:30 a.m. and we wanted to be there for that. We parked across from the Folger Shakespeare Library, which is one of our favorite placed in D.C. and only a block from the Library of Congress. To our surprise, crowds were lining the sidewalk leading to the Supreme Court. As an attorney (though not practicing), I was a little embarrassed to realize that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline case was being heard that day and I had no idea it was happening.
The tour, which begins with an informative film, provided an excellent history of the Library as well as the history of the building itself. The tour guide explained much of the imagery in the design and showed us some of the highlights of the Library's collection. The tour was thorough, while not being overly long for the children in our group. I highly recommend the Library of Congress for anyone visiting the D.C. area. It sits right behind the Capitol Building and is an easy stop for anyone visiting the major tourist attractions in Washington, D.C.
Of course, currently the Library of Congress and pretty much everything else in D.C. is closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. If you are looking for something to read at this time, I recommend using overdrive.com or the Overdrive app. This is not a sponsored ad for Overdrive. I simply have found it is a great resource for ebooks or audiobooks. Overdrive is tied to local libraries, so if your library participates, you can enter your library card number to check out and access books online. It is completely free to you. You don't even need an eReader. You can access the books on your smartphone or laptop. I have used Overdrive to find audiobooks for trips and to download an ebook in a waiting room when I have forgotten to bring my book. Most of us don't want to run to our local library right now. Overdrive is a wonderfully germ-free way to check out books.