This blog is a reprint of my internet journal from 2001 to 2002 in which I documented my "vagabond" solo journey in a Chevy Conversion Van tracing my roots. I not only traced their paths and found their homes and final resting places, but I did extensive genealogical research in court houses, libraries, historical societies, genealogical societies, cemeteries, and talked to the local people. I traveled with a laptop to upload my notes and photos, and use e-mail. It was a fantastic journey which lasted two years. I had no other home except my van to sleep in...just a bed and video player. My household goods were put into storage for two years. My mail was delivered to me at general delivery when I phoned "MailBox, etc." and told them where to send it. At night I stayed in campgrounds, motels, friends' backyards, friends' homes, and those of the few living relations I've tracked down. As I traveled I collected so much genealogy information, that I had to get rid of items that I had originally thought essential to my travels (like a microwave oven). Between ancestral sites, I visited any tourist sites I could find and got to know alot about the USA. This was a trip of a lifetime and I'm still sorting through all the wonderful memories, photos and invaluable genealogical data I found. I will post to this blog as I can - one or a few days at a time of that journey from 2001 to 2002

Saturday, September 18, 2010

18 May 2001 - Friday - Wash DC

--Continuing my exploration of Washington DC back in 2001

     I've been waiting for this day - the day I had a ticket from Senator Inouye to tour the White House.   I got to the White House about 8am and there were many people in line already.   But I was lucky to have the ticket and not wait in the line at the visitor's center for a possible ticket.  While I was in line, President Bush left in a Marine helicopter to go to Pennsylvania to talk about the energy situation.  He didn't stop to say hi.-  ha ha.    The White House was fantastic.  I was happy to see the rooms I'd seen on television.  Now when I see interviews, or press conferences, etc at the White House, I'll maybe be able to think that I'd been in that very room.
Donna at the White House after a rain

View from the White House
There are tours of the FBI Building, so I took one.  I waited about an hour but it was worth it.  There was a fire arms demonstration, and then we passed through a museum type area, and then through the labs where they test DNA, hair, fiber, paint, etc etc samples.   There were hundreds of pistols and rifles categorized for use by the technicians to compare with weapons used in crimes.
FBI Building - Wash DC - line for a tour

Ford Theater - Pres. Lincoln's box seat
I was able to get into the Ford Theater where Abraham Lincoln was shot in 1865 just as the Civil War was ending.  It is a National Historic Site, and 700 people can fit into the theater and see the presidential box where Lincoln was sitting and the balcony from which John Wilkes Booth leaped to make his escape with a broken leg.  A ranger told the story of that evening and brought it to life.  There is a museum below the theater, and the Peterson House is open across the street where Lincoln was taken and kept in bed until he died at 7am the next morning.
                           Peterson House - Where Lincoln Died                          
Room where Lincoln died  - Peterson House
Zipping over to Arlington on the Metro, under the Potomac River, I visited the Women in Military Service at Arlington National Cemetery,  then took the Metro back to the Roslyn station where I got off and visited the Newseum -- or a museum for the News.  Quite interesting.  Needless to say I was exhausted from all this running around.   When I got back to Bev's we decided to go out and have Mexican food.  It was great!
Arlington National Cemetery - Women in Military
"Newseum" Museum of the News Media - Arlington VA

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