Monumental Thoughts turns 7

Happy birthday to . . . us.

Seven years of roaming the streets as a licensed Washington tour guide, seven years of blogging about what I see and learn. When will it end? I have no idea. Probably at least a few more years.

It was another interesting year. Hopes that political talk after the 2016 presidential election would end surely didn’t. Wow, people can be angry. I managed to dance around most discussions.

The Museum of the Bible opened in November to good reviews. I started picking up tours of groups coming to see the museum and using a guide around town who can talk about religion and our founding fathers.

During the spring school tours, two things came to mind. One, the eighth graders weren’t born on 9/11. Kinda blows the mind it has been that long ago. Two, these kids see John F. Kennedy as just a name in a book when we visit the eternal flame.

Personally, I’ve now seen 43 states after visiting Oregon, Idaho and Montana during a western swing that included Yellowstone National Park. I heartily recommend it, but dress warm even in the summer. We were in a snow squall in late June and temps never reached the 60s in three days. I also returned to New York City and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge.

As for blog stats, things were down a little. I think it’s because I blocked Russia and China users who repeatedly tried to hack into my site. I closed my photo tours site because of the hacking and merged it here. I also added a 100 exhibits to see at the Smithsonians list to the blog.

In 2017, 14,832 visited Monumental Thoughts.The blog, which is called a Top 5 Read by the Huffington Post, has now drawn 145, 832 viewers. Well, 145,833 since you’re now reading this.

Google was my best friend, sending 7,783 visitors while 3,751 came direct. Twitter sent 934, Facebook 556, Bing 326, Yahoo 252 and Pinterest 47.

Readers came from 102 countries topped by the U.S., Canada, Russia, United Kingdom and Brazil respectively. Washington, D.C. was naturally the highest amount of readers followed by Maryland, Virginia, California, New York and Florida, but all 50 states were represented, including three folks from Alaska.

For the seventh straight year, rocks atop stones explaining why they’re atop Arlington National Cemetery graves was the most read story. The Watergate steps, Court of Neptune fountain, finding a name on the Vietnam Wall and how many are buried at Arlington were the most read stories afterwards. Translation: Nothing written last year made the top 10. Hmm.

Well, on to year eight, though the winter freeze has touring on hold for awhile. Time for some rest.

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