Have I ever told you about my slight Abraham Lincoln obsession?
When I was about 7, I found an old children's biography that had been my Dad's about President Lincoln and it grew from there. Since then, the Civil War (or the War Between the States, as my Papa calls it) has always been one of my favorite subjects to read and learn about.
I even had a Civil War coloring book as a child…which, as Hanna will gleefully tell you, I wrote I Love Lincoln in at some point.
Yes, I was a bit of an odd duck.
I memorized the Gettysburg Address for fun when I was about 10. I've watched Ken Burn's The Civil War more times than I can count (and still learn something new every single time). On the list of historical figures I'd most have to have dinner with, Abraham Lincoln is right behind Jesus and tied with Laura Ingall's Wilder.
So, when my Dad mentioned we'd have about 6 hours to see Washington, DC and that we could hop on a trolley, I had one thought: Lincoln.
One thing we learned rather quickly about train travel (at least in the US) is that the schedules seem to be more of a goal than something to count on. We were on time…mostly…but often only after making up track during the night. Whether or not we'd have that 6 hours to explore DC wasn't something we'd know until we pulled into the station.
We did have plenty of time to catch the trolley, visit the Air and Space museum and jump off at the stop with the Lincoln, Vietnam and Korea Memorials.
And I did get to have my moment with Mr. Lincoln, after climbing all of those steps in all that humidity.
It was just a bit overwhelming. No ugly-sobbing-cry like at Laura Ingall's Wilder's home, but more of almost a reverence.
Washington, DC in itself felt very much that way for me. This is where Kennedy's casket was carried, here is where Union troops were billeted, this is where Martin Luther King stayed before giving his I Have A Dream speech…the history is overwhelming.
6 hours isn't enough to see our nation's capital by any means…I could have probably sat at the Lincoln Memorial for that long and people-watched. But it is enough to get a taste – and to start planning a longer trip.