Staycation – Arlington National Cemetery

I’m a Virginia-girl, born and raised. One of my very favorite places to wander is the Arlington National Cemetery. Some might find it odd that I spend some of my free time in a cemetery, but there is something so peaceful, quiet and calming about it. I’ve visited cemeteries in New Orleans, Paris, Boston and probably a few other places I’m forgetting about, but Arlington National Cemetery will always hold the #1 spot in my book.

Sunday was a gorgeous day spent meandering through some of the Arlington historic spots with my mom, before we had a little dinner and movie date. It was one of the nicest days we’ve had in a while, sunny and crisp. We made our way from my place up to the Netherlands Carillon – a really cool bell tower that has one of the best views of DC. I love running along the paths here, and usually run through the memorials at least once a week. Catching a glimpse of Lincoln, the National Memorial and the Capitol is a major perk of living so close to DC!

Netherlands Carillon

Netherlands Carillon

Gorg view from the Netherlands tower

Gorg view from the Netherlands tower

My exploration buddy

My exploration buddy

From the Netherlands, we made our way through the Cemetery up to Robert E. Lee’s house. Or, as some may call it, “Bobby’s place” :). The gravestones toward the middle of the cemetery are so distinct and unique. These seem to be older and for generals and higher ranking military officers.

General's Quarters

General’s Quarters

Bob's place.

Bob’s place.

From the house, you have an even better view of the city, the Potomac river and the Jefferson Memorial.  You ca see all the way to Maryland!

Memorial Bridge, my FAVE.

Memorial Bridge, my FAVE.

A mini monument with the full size in the background.

A mini monument with the full size in the background.

After perusing the Lee house, slave quarters and gardens, we stumbled upon a great tribute to unknown soldiers (no, not the tomb).  I really liked this monument a lot, and I think it was the first time I’ve ever seen in! So much to discover. I grew up just east of Bull Run, so particularly interesting as a VA girl.

Civil War monument

Civil War monument

On our way down the hill, we took a quick detour to see the Kennedy grave sites and the eternal flame. I read online that in the 3 years following Kennedy’s assassination over 16 million people visited the site. That is absolutely amazing.

Kennedy & the Eternal Flame

Kennedy & the Eternal Flame

Arlington Cemetery is one of the spots in DC that I just cherish. I love walking through the paths, catching a glimpse of the rows of white tombstones when I’m on a plane or running the path along the edges of the property. There is something about the magnitude of service and dedication that the men and women buried in Arlington gave to America that at the same time weighs heavy on my heart and gives me a sense of peace. I can’t quite explain it.

One last stop at Iwo Jima concluded our impromptu Arlington tour.

Iwo Jima in it's glory

Iwo Jima in it’s glory

I love being a tourist in my own city!

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