The Memorial Day weekend has always been great fun for us–three days that include the “opening day” at our swim and tennis club, our local Memorial Day Festival and parade, and weather depending, a chance to get the bicycles on the trails. Quite often we head to DC to enjoy biking around the monuments and watching the tourists stumble around all hot and sweaty, just trying to figure it all out–for us it’s the perfect kickoff to summer! This year we didn’t think we would be able to find time for the bike ride, but apparently “mom rocks” and I have us so much on schedule for the move that we awoke to the realization that we truly had nothing to do today.

Posthaste we loaded the bicycles onto the vehicle and zoomed downtown for what we hoped was a parking space at Teddy Roosevelt Island.  Brief delay on the GW Parkway when it closed to let the dozens of Rolling Thunder participants drive through, but in good time we were parked and ready to enjoy our Nation’s Capitol one final time for three years.

My first photo stop was the Memorial Bridge, always photogenic.

The Korean War Memorial has always been one of my favorites. The artist captured the misery of the conflict so poignantly with the human element.

From the east side of the under-construction Reflecting Pool we made our way to the new and controversial Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.  I have to say that I’m not as moved by this as maybe I should be.  MLK, Jr. looks more cross than serious, and the surrounding walking space around the monument seems disconnected from this giant hulk of stone.

The Tidal Basin is so often ignored when the cherry blossoms aren’t in bloom…
…and I’m sure many tourists have never even seen the other gift from Japan that sits nearby.

Up next was the FDR Memorial, a rambling creation that invites the pensive.  Once upon a time visitors were permitted to splash about in the water features, but I’m guessing that privilege was abused since signs prohibiting wading were abundant.  Too bad.

I also like this memorial because it reminds us about the power behind every man’s throne. 🙂
From the FDR Memorial we cycled around to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial on the other side of the Tidal Basin. No matter where we were though, that recognizable icon was our compass.
En route to the Mall for lunch at the National Gallery one could spy gaggles of motorcycles, their riders basking on the greenspaces in the hot sun before the rally.
Our final stop was the WWII Memorial. One of the most recent, it’s a beautifully constructed open rotunda that invites exploration.
There is so much to look forward to in Austria, but I’m glad we had this cycling trip to look back upon.