My trip to the Washington, D.C. area was incredible. I’m really appreciative that I could tag-along with Husband. Our accommodations at “The Facility” were great and the staff was gracious and hospitable. While Husband was stuck inside getting trained and educated on God-only-knows-what, I was having the time of my life!

This might sound a bit strange considering I spent two full days in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area exploring the National Mall (monuments), plus the Smithsonian museum (stay tuned for those pictures!), my favorite was Mount Vernon, George Washington’s famous mansion and estate located on the Potomac River.

I was the first to arrive at this grand estate and waited patiently for the staff to open the big entry gate (which just happened to be named the Texas gate, as it was a gift from the Texas Free Masons ….. ka-winky-dink?!). After paying my admission fee, I was graciously escorted by a lovely lady named Elaine who gave me a personal tour of the welcome center and then a private showing of the 22-minute video in the very large auditorium.

I really loved all the personalized treatment, can you tell?!

One of the highlights of my time spent at Mount Vernon was the river cruise on the Spirit of Mount Vernon, a very large passenger cruise vessel. As I was walking around the lower garden areas, I saw her approach the dock and quickly made my way port-side to board her.

You know that personalized, special treatment I said earlier? Well, it got even better on the boat …. I was the *ONLY* passenger aboard!!!!!!!!

Not joking. Just me on the Spirit of Mount Vernon taking in the sights of the Potomac River and Mount Vernon. Can you say spectacular?!

It was so personal that the Captain narrated the tour by saying:

Nicole, on the left side of the boat is Virginia and the right is Maryland. During your visit today, I highly suggest driving down the George Washington Memorial Parkway.

After my lovely (and very personal) cruise along the Potomac, I was famished. Luckily, the Mount Vernon Inn & Restaurant was happily awaiting my arrival. The wait staff wore traditional clothing and all of the food is prepared with fresh produce grown on the Mount Vernon property. I ate the Tavern Salad, complete with roasted turkey and vegetables raised in the same gardens I had walked around earlier. It was dee-lish.

After lunch, I took the Captain’s advice and drove the George Washington Parkway towards Washington. The scenic drive was absolutely gorgeous. I should have stopped and taken pictures, but y’all will have to trust me …. it was beautiful!!!!!

Once I arrived in the D.C. area, I drove by the Pentagon (seriously LARGE building!) as well as Reagan International Airport. I swear, the planes were close enough for me to touch their wings. My next destination was Arlington National Cemetery.

Upon my arrival, and walking through the throngs of visitors, I finally made my way outside the visitor’s center and onto the path towards the Tomb of the Unknown to watch the Changing of the Guards.

After watching the Changing of the Guards, I began making my way back towards the visitor’s center. You have to understand something, the cemetery was CROWDED. There were people everywhere, except the moment I heard click-clock-click-clock. Suddenly, around the bend, I saw six horses pulling a carriage with a casket covered with a U.S. flag.

The moment was indescribable. I was instantly a witness to this individual’s funeral procession. I stood there and watched this scene, and didn’t move until they were completely out of my sight. It was a moment I’ll never forget.