It’s time for you to see the Big Pineapple!
The Big Pineapple is a tourist attraction in The Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia, and it is quite amazing. From what I remember, there are several gift shops there, as well as rides, and many other things to do. I believe there are samples of fresh pineapples too – after all, who wouldn’t want pineapple to eat after seeing this?
I used to live in Washington, DC, just over 14 years ago. I recently went back to DC for the first time since I left the East Coast to move to San Diego, and it felt like I was there for the first time. This time I will spend almost three days in this wonderful city with my three kids. Below is a brief recount of my trip with some pictures that I took.
We flew from San Diego to Baltimore, Maryland and then caught an Amtrak train to Union Station. Once we got out of the airport, we had to walk just a few feet to catch a shuttle bus that took us to the Amtrak Station. There were trains just about every 20 minutes or so, and the train journey only took about 30 minutes or so, and the price was about $9 per person average (with a slight discount for kids). I had already made my reservation online with Amtrak. When I first stepped into Union Station on July 31, 2012, I felt some traces of familiarity – that this was a place that I had been to a long time ago, and that felt good – don’t know why. I was so excited in seeing this station again, and proud to show it to my children.
Another picture of Union Station
We stayed at the Grand Hyatt on H Street, NW, for two days, and I had decided that on the last night – on August 2nd, it would be safer to stay in Baltimore, Maryland, which was where the cruise we were taking on August 3rd was departing from. I had struggled with the temptation of staying in DC for an additional night instead, and taking my chances on the day of the cruise, but I decided that with three kids and luggage, I should not risk it – so on August 2nd, we would make the trip back in the evening at around 5:30 pm to catch the train back to Baltimore, MD.
That first evening we met up with an old friend of mine, and I saw her two kids for the first time. It was wonderful to catch up with her and for my kids to play with hers. We ate at a restaurant within walking distance of the Grand Hyatt called Zaytinya (a mixture of Turkish, Greek, and Lebanese cuisine) although it may have not been the best choice of dining, considering we had kids. Here are some pictures of the Grand Hyatt, which is a truly lovely hotel that is within walking distance of Union Station, the White House, the Monument, and many other sightseeing attractions.
I have so many more pictures of this beautiful hotel, but I may do separate posts in the future, that I will include them in. That night, after eating out, we took pictures with my friend and her kids back at the hotel (not shown here), before they left.
The next morning, after breakfast at the Grand Cafe at the Grand Hyatt, we took in some of the many sites of DC. Here are some of my pictures:
I’m not sure what this building was, but I was so happy to be here, and to begin my recording of memories, I must have liked the color, and the clock.
When I used to live here in DC, you could walk into the grounds of the White House without a problem, but now it has all changed. Ever since 9/11, security has been tightened, and you can not go into the grounds without contacting your Congressman at least six months before the date of your desired visit. I did not know this, so unfortunately, we could not go into the grounds or into the White House. So, here is Chandi outside the White House:
However, if you put your camera in-between the railings, you can get the White House without all those metal bars:
Then, Chandi had to go to the bathroom, so Renwick Gallery, one of the Smithsonian Museums came to the rescue. Here is Chandi taking a look at the artwork:
That’s me in front of a fantastic piece that I really loved. I think it may have been called “Autumn” or something similar – I just loved the colors, and stared at it for ages.
The picture below was taken at the back of the Old Executive Building, which is on Pennsylvania Avenue, next to the White House
This gave us another opportunity to view the White House from another angle, by just taking a short walk around the corner.
Okay, now onto some different attractions, and other buildings that grabbed my attention:
“Commerce Among Nations Should Be Fair And Equitable” – Franklin (as shown in the picture below):
It is so amazing that pictures can look so different from a different angle, or a few yards away.
This Memorial below was not here when I used to live in DC, it is absolutely beautiful!
Near Federal Triangle Metro Station on the way to the Old Post Office Building to get dinner
Do you know that we walked just about everywhere in DC? Well, at least to all the places that I have shown here. We walked from Union Station to our hotel, from the hotel to the White House, and from the White House to the Monument, and then to Lincoln Memorial, and also from Lincoln Memorial to the Old Post Office Building, and then back to the hotel. That was a sample of just one day’s worth of walking!
Back at the hotel
It is now Day Three, and our last day here in DC. These are today’s pictures:
Chandi’s best place in DC was the Botanical Gardens, she was so happy here, and I didn’t have to ask her twice to smile, unlike in many other pictures!
near the Botanical Gardens, and the US Capitol
Not the best of pictures, but this was at the entrance of the US Capitol.
A lot has changed in regards to the entrance into the US Capitol too. Just like the White House, you can’t just go into the grounds or up the stairs. Now the entrance is all the way at the back, and I didn’t seem to recognize the part that we went into as I have been in this building before years ago. Now you can’t go into where Congress is passing laws unless you approach your Congressman (I believe six months in advance, just as with the White House).
We were lucky to get tickets for the guided tour (free), the last tour of the day was at 3:35 pm.
This picture was taken in the taxi on the way to Union Station
I know that some people can get bored of seeing the same places over and over again, but not I. I love seeing the same sights, and it seems that each time I see one of my favorite places again, it’s definitely just like being there for the first time. I did feel some nostalgia as I saw familiar places again (such as the White House, the Capitol, and Union Station – I’ve seen them all previously, but as I said before, it really felt like seeing DC for the first time – I just really enjoyed my visit.
And so the journey ends to Washington, DC for this time. However, I have a strong feeling that this won’t be my last time to DC – I just have to visit again. Thank you for reading, and I hope you liked my post.