11 January 2012

Living the Dream Along Independence

We decided to go home (my home that is) for the holidays. I have always loved going back east in the winter, despite our frigid temps during this time of the year. I will say, though, that we were rather lucky with 50+ degrees for several days during our two weeks away.

I love the adrenaline rush I feel after we land at Reagan and we begin our drive into DC.

Seeing all of the signs for streets leading to the White House

and Congress

make this gal a VERY proud Washingtonian. Ironically, I always took it for granted that we lived among the monuments and landmarks that many families around the world used their life savings to visit. When I moved away from the DC area, at 26-years-old, I appreciated my former backyard a lot more. So much so that I moved back and settled in Alexandria, Virginia for a little bit.

The homes in DC are very rich in history and all around Capitol Hill are a treat to drive by.

check out these preppy pink steps at a home on The Hill
Today we decided on a specific destination. If you park in a lot near the Jefferson Memorial,

and walk across the Tidal Basin bridge,

you will come upon the new Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial at 1964 Independence Avenue, SW, which also refers to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The memorial stands at 30 feet tall and was designed by the ROMA Design Group and sculpted by a prominent Chinese sculptor named Lei Yixin.

It was very special for our little guy to visit the King Memorial, especially since my family has a connection with the King family dating back to their Spelman & Morehouse days of the 1950s in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. King's sister, Christine King Farris, spoke at my aunt's funeral a few years ago and autographed copies of her book about Dr. King to all of the grandchildren in our family, thanks to my mother.

Dr. King's likeness is carved into the "Stone of Hope"

The memorial faces the Jefferson Memorial across the Tidal Basin

The Memorial is across the street from the Washington Monument,

which I pointed out to Cameron. I wonder what goes through his little mind when he is looking at all of our tall monuments and buildings in DC.

Before we crossed back over the Basin, Little Kipster enjoyed a little Mommy time

And time with Daddy.

We headed back up Independence to the Capitol so our little one could see where Mommy had her first job. I loved riding the underground subway that ran between the Capitol Building and the senate buildings when I had to take briefing books to Senator Kennedy on the senate floor.

watching one of many planes flying overhead
You can see that our little Texan enjoys making the nation's capital his personal playground!

All of that running around worked up an appetite, so we headed across the Potomac River to my old haunt in Old Town Alexandria.

It was time for a taste of Texas at the Austin Grill, where I used to eat many years ago. When I was living here in the '90s, I never thought I would have a child who would share a name with a street I traveled along every day.

can you make out the name of the sign over Cameron's shoulder?
Full from a hearty meal and tired from a lot of walking, it was time to head back to my family's home. Tomorrow we will ride on an indoor train. Come on board with us in tomorrow's blog.

rikki ragland,
the preppy debutante