Library of Congress

Did you know: Library of Congress is the second-largest library in the world by number of items (164 million+).  The LOC has over 118 million items on more than 500 miles of shelves.

Interesting treasures on display.

The Library of Congress is home to an eclectic collection, with books ranging in size from a tiny copy of “Ole King Cole” to a five-by-seven-foot photo book filled with color images of Bhutan. Some items, like a Gutenberg Bible and a rough draft of the Declaration of Independence, feel right at home in the historic library. Others, like Rosa Parks’s peanut butter pancakes recipe, are a bit more unexpected. Additional noteworthy artifacts include Bob Hope’s joke collection, George Gershwin’s piano, and the contents of Abraham Lincoln’s pockets the night he was shot.



Address: 101 Independence Ave SE, Washington, DC 20540
     8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.


Scottish Rite Freemasonry Alexandria, VA

Scottish Rite is one of the two branches of Freemasonry in which a Master Mason (Third Degree) may proceed after he has completed the three degrees of Symbolic or Blue Lodge Masonry. (The other branch is known as York Rite consisting of Capitular and Cryptic Masons and Knights Templar.)

Scottish Rite includes the Degrees from the Fourth to the Thirty-third, inclusive. The moral teachings and philosophy of Scottish Rite are an elaboration of the basic Masonic principles found in Blue Lodge or Symbolic Freemasonry. Sometimes likened to a “College of Freemasonry,” Scottish Rite uses extensive drama and allegory to emphasize the content and message of its degrees.

the most visible and least understood appendant body of Freemasonry, the Scottish Rite isn’t particularly ancient, and it didn’t come from Scotland. It is technically a concordant body, because some of its degrees continue the story of the building of Solomon’s Temple started in the first three lodge degrees. The Scottish Rite appears in a major role in Dan Brown’s novel, The Lost Symbol.

Freemasons For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Some of my favorite pictures from our visit.

Address: 1430 W Braddock Rd, Alexandria, VA 22302
Monday 8AM–4PM
Tuesday 8AM–4PM
Wednesday 8AM–4PM
Thursday 8AM–4PM
Friday Closed
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

The National Museum of the Marine Corps

A lasting tribute to all U.S. Marines–past, present, and future.  This well designed museum is hosted on 135-acre site adjacent to the Quantico base.

The Museum’s  exterior soaring design resembles the image of the flag-raisers of Iwo Jima.  The interactive exhibits are state of the art and innovative.

Never seen before and one of a kind artifacts allow visitors to immerse themselves in history.

Address: 18900 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Triangle, VA 22172
9:00 AM (0900) to 5:00 PM (1700) every day except Christmas Day. 
Admission is free.
Opened: November 10, 2006


Fort Washington, Maryland

Pack a picnic and take advantage of the shade.  There is a $10 entry fee good for multiple days.  The path to the lighthouse is pleasant and the view of the city is picturesque.  Most of the buildings are not open to the public however plan on spending an hour or better walking around the grounds.  This would be the perfect day picnic with the family.

Mailing Address:
13551 Fort Washington Road
Fort Washington, MD 20744
Phone: (301) 763-4600

The Visitor Center and Historic Fort are open daily 9:00 am – 4:30 pm.

Clara Barton

We know her as Clara Barton, but her full name is Clarissa Harlowe Barton. She was named after a character from the novel Clarissa or the History of a Young Lady, which her aunt was reading when Clara was born in 1821.

– Clara became a teacher at the age of 16. Later, when she was 30, she opened a free school in Bordentown, New Jersey.

– She also had a job as a clerk in the U.S. Patent Office.

– When the Civil War began, she worked as a battlefield nurse. One of the soldiers to whom she tended told her, “This is the second time you saved my life.” He then explained that she had been his teacher in New Jersey.

– Clara was first introduced to the International Red Cross when she visited Switzerland while recovering from a nervous breakdown after the war. She suggested starting an American Red Cross to President Chester Arthur, he loved it. Clara was named its first president in 1881.

Her property is closed due to much needed rennovations.

Sully Plantation Chantilly, VA

Sully Plantation 

The earliest recorded claim to the land was made by the Doeg.  Later the Lee family of Virginia owned the land from 1725 to 1839. Richard Bland Lee did not build the main house until 1794. Following the purchase by William Swartwort in 1838, Sully was used as a home, a working farm, or both by a series of private owners. Then in 1958, Sully was acquired by the federal government as a part of the area to be used for the construction of Dulles Airport.

3650 Historic Sully Way, Chantilly, VA 20151-3037

National Portrait Gallery

8th and F Streets, NW Washington, DC 

Home to several exhibits including:
■ America’s Presidents
■ The Struggle for Justice
■ Portrait Connection
■ Special Exhibitions
■ American Origins, 1600–1900
■ One Life
■ American Experience
■ Folk and Self-taught Art
■ Graphic Arts
■ American Art through 1940

Did you know:
The original residents of the buildings were employees of the US Patent Office.


Virginia Holocaust Museum

Core exhibition

Located on the first floor of the museum, the core exhibits narrate the history of the Holocaust. As visitors progress through these exhibits—and chronologically through the events of the Holocaust—they are presented with a glimpse into the systematic destruction of European Jewry. 300 artifacts and the testimonies of local Holocaust survivors expand upon this history, representing the tangible and personal realities of this event.

German Güterwagen

In 2004, the VHM acquired an authentic “goods wagon,” or freight car, used during the Third ReichAlexander Lebenstein, a local Holocaust survivor, worked with the museum to bring this important artifact to Richmond. Visitors have the opportunity to enter the artifact and imagine the conditions experienced by the people transported in this type of rail car.

Ipson Saga

At the center of the VHM’s core exhibits is the story of a single family, the Ipsons. The Ipson Saga exhibition shares the experience of a family of local Holocaust survivors whose confinement in the Kovno Ghetto and harried escape to a farm in the Lithuanian countryside highlight the constant dangers Jews faced during the Holocaust.

Nuremberg Courtroom

Defendants in the dock at the Nuremberg Trials

The Nuremberg Trials were the first international trials of major Nazi war criminals. As such, they served as a major source of documents and testimony for early Holocaust scholarship. The Nuremberg Courtroom exhibit gives visitors the chance to see a full recreation of Room 600 at the Palace of Justice, used during the International Military Tribunals, and to experience the gravity of the trials. The Nuremberg Courtroom exhibit was opened to the public by Virginia Governor Tim Kaine during a ceremony in April 2008.


Location: 2000 E Cary St, Richmond, VA 23223

Edgar Allen Poe

Edgar Allan Poe daguerreotype crop.png

Edgar Poe

January 19, 1809

Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.1849 "Annie" daguerreotype of Poe
Died October 7, 1849 (aged 40)

Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.October 7, 1849 (aged 40)

Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.

Spouse: Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe(m. 1836; d. 1847)

Edgar Allan Poe (/p/; born Edgar Poe; January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American writer, editor, and literary critic. Poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and the macabre. He is widely regarded as a central figure of Romanticism in the United States and American literature as a whole, and he was one of the country’s earliest practitioners of the short story.Source:

Favorite Quotes:
“I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.”
“I have great faith in fools – self-confidence my friends will call it.”
“Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see.”
“The best things in life make you sweaty.”
“I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat.”

Author of
The Raven
The Tell-tale Heart
The Black Cat and Other Stories
The Mystery of Marie Rogêt

Location: 1914 E Main St, Richmond, VA 23223