We drove into D.C. Friday afternoon and checked into our hotel conveniently located near the National Mall. I lived in the area for about 7 years after college so was excited to come back and see the monuments again! We decided to have dinner down at the National Harbor where a big, beautiful Christmas tree was displayed and changed colors every few minutes- our favorite was of course the red, white & blue tree.We had dinner at an Italian restaurant called Fiorella. Yummy food, cool atmosphere.
We relaxed at the hotel and went to bed early because the next day would be a long one. We were up at 5am and at the cemetary by 6:30 to make sure we were able to see all of the events. We had a perfect view of the crowds, bagpipes, and trucks of wreaths entering Arlington.
We headed into the cemetery with everyone else and lined up at one of the many trucks placed at different sections of the cemetery. They briefed the crowd on where and how to place the wreaths. After another 30 minutes or so the trucks opened and we were each handed a wreath to place at a grave in the designated section.
What a humbling experience. It was beautiful to see so many volunteers out there. Brad and I worried we wouldn't even be able to place one wreath (due to the high volume of volunteers predicted) and we ended up getting back in line 4 more times to place a total of 5 wreaths each, taking the time to read the stone and visit for a few minutes.
The cemetery beautifully decorated with wreaths:
We spent a total of 7 hours at Arlington that day. It was amazing to watch so many people come out and honor the fallen.
After leaving the cemetery we took a nap at the hotel and later had dinner and visited the White House and Capitol Christmas trees.