Living in DC has afforded us incredible opportunities to explore US history live. Jackson has visited numerous war sites, some of the best museums in the nation, and homes of a few founding fathers. Unfortunately for him, he will remember about as much as I remember living in Boston as a toddler. Nilch. Oh well. All this culture must be affecting him in some sort of positive way.
Mark had Veterans day off, and we also knew that all National Parks were free. Woo hoo! Except, we didn't want to go further than an hour away from home--which meant we'd either be going to National Parks we'd already seen, or to places that were free anyway.
We found some interesting historical sites we had never heard of before, and despite their being in SE DC--the side of town that is not quite as... stable--we decided to risk it and go see what the sites had to offer.
Remember this man from black history month back in 8th grade? He was pretty much amazing.
Fredrick Douglass was a self educated slave who eventually escaped slavery and became a famous equal rights activist during the mid-late 1800s. "Self educated," meaning he taught himself how to read and write... which means a lot to me as a 1st grade teacher. Truly a phenomenal man. Who would have known the house that he last lived in just happens to be in Washington DC?
After he died, his second wife had the foresight to understand his mark on history, and preserved almost everything in the house--to the point of building a second home for herself behind the original home. We've certainly seen a lot of houses that famous people lived in, but this was the first that we've experienced that was preserved from the death of the person.
The home doesn't seem to be the most popular tourist attraction in DC, but I feel like I'm out to turn that around! It is located on its own little hill that has this view of the city:
Anacostia, has a bit of a rough reputation, which might be why this house is not 1st on everyone's touring agenda, but this little gem offered free admission and a private tour. Not bad. We LOVED it, and would highly recommend it as a must-see in DC.
Since we were in the area, we checked out the Kennilworth Aquatic gardens, which boast ginormous tropical lilies in the spring. We weren't quite as enthusiastic about this find--and feel we might petition the government to cut its spending, but we could imagine it being kind of cool when the lilies are blooming, but for now... the best we got was this Monet in the fall picture.
We managed to do all of this in the morning, and get back in time to greet my dear cousin Heidi who came to visit! Jackson was as friendly as normal and wanted to let Heidi know he trusted her enough to feed him ;)
We had a lovely, lovely time with Heidi, and are looking forward to seeing her again next week for some intense eating during my FAVORITE holiday, and maybe we'll sneak in some football... go cougars!
More memories for Jackson to forget :)