Pizza and Pigskins Tour

At long last, my Pizza and Pigskins Tour begins June 26 and runs through December. We’ll tour Georgetown for 30 minutes and then stop for lunch featuring the best pizza in town. See Our Tours above for details.

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Museum of the Bible is a real beauty

The first thing you notice upon entering the Museum of the Bible is the ceiling. Sometimes it’s flowers, sometimes it looks like the Sistine Chapel. But, it’s the most amazing video board I’ve ever seen.

Turns out that’s just the start for Washington’s newest religious museum.

The elevators have three large monitors with museum that make you feel like you’re in the Holy Lands. A table suddenly has foods for meals that look so real you’re ready to eat. And throughout the facility are videos of past Biblical re-enactors talking about their lives.

It’s pretty cool.

My favorite part was on level three that is a re-creation of the Holy Lands in the Old Testament. It’s something straight out of Disney that provides a real feel of village life.

The museum also has large rooms of bibles of different faiths. Tapestries that double as video screens. A jail cell that tells stories of forgiveness.

The museum is a mixture of past relics and current technologies. We spent four hours, including lunch that is a quite unusual but delicious menu complete with boxes (not bottles) of water. That’s a long time in a museum for me and we missed a couple areas. Oh well, I’m sure there will be return trips with family and friends.

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Grace Church in Georgetown

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Third Infantry — Rock of the Marne

I love monuments that come with explanations. This granite marker in Arlington National Cemetery not far from the Tomb of the Unknowns explains why the Army unit is so important. I’ll simply let it explain itself.

“The 3rd Division was organized at Camp Green, N.C. on 23 November 1917. All units of the division were in France by March 1918. The division entered combat in May. On July 15 it distinquished itself in defense of the Marne River at Chateau-Thierry, forty-five miles northeast of Paris. This act earned the division the proud motto, “Rock of the Marne.”

“The 3D Infantry Division fought with distinction in World War I participating in four amphibious landings in North Africa, Sicily, Italy and France. The division played a crucial role in the defense of South Korea. It returned to Germany in 1957 as part of the NATO defense force and was there when the 3D Division Memorial was dedicated on August 15, 1990.”

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Admiral still leads way for Peru

Entering the Peruvian embassy on 17th and Pennsylvania Ave. NW means getting by Miguel Grau first.

The magnificent bust of the country’s person of the past millennium dominates the doorway. There wasn’t room to put it elsewhere and what the heck – he was a big deal.

The marble base says “Gran Almirante” (Great admiral) and “Al Caballero de los mares” (To the Horseman of the seas) for the man who led the Peruvian Navy until 1879 when killed at naval Battle of Angamos by an armored-piercing shell during a war with Chile. In fact, there wasn’t much left of Grau, who is now interred in El Callao, Peru. He was called “The Gentleman of the Seas” for his compassion during battle with Chile while holding off the opposing invasion for six months through his stealth attacks on opposing ships.

The Peruvian embassy and chancery was built in 1910 as a private residence designed in Italian classicism. The Australian government sold it to Peru in 1973.

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Bishop’s Garden at National Cathedral

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Happy Memorial Day

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The boxer and actor

One of my favorite stops while walking through Arlington National Cemetery is just below the Tomb of the Unknowns where heavyweight champion Joe Louis lies next to famed actor Lee Marvin. Maybe it’s just a good spot to catch your breath before scaling the final walk to see the Changing of the Guard, but it’s also a good two-fer.

Louis was a Technical Sergeant in the U.S. Army while Marvin was a Private First Class in the Marines. Both served in World War II. Louis joined in 1942 and served in the Special Services Division and was best known for saying, “Lots of things wrong with America, but Hitler ain’t going to fix them” and “We’ll win, because we’re on God’s side.” He was withheld from combat for fear of being targeted by Germans. He earned the Legion of Merit before discharged on Oct. 1, 1945. Of course, he was also heavyweight champion boxer of the world.

Marvin enlisted in 1942 and served with the 4th Marine Division in the Pacific. He was shot twice during the Battle of Saipan, severing his sciatic nerve and hitting his foot. He was medically discharged in 1945. Marvin earned multiple medals, including a Purple Heart. He’s best known for becoming an actor in 30-plus movies, including the crusty colonel in “The Dirty Dozen.”

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World War I Memorial

World War I Memorial

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More than a pile of rocks

The grounds of the Organizational States of America are filled with artwork. One looks like a pile of rocks. That’s because it is.

According to a nearby marker, the stones are an Inuksuk — “A northern stone land marker used by the Inuit for navigation, communication and to mark hunting and fishing grounds; it symbolizes the traditional Inuit way of life.

“Canada presented this Inuksuk to the Organization of American States to celebrate its 20th anniversary of membership and to underscore its commitment to the hemisphere. This Inuksuk was built in April 2010 by artist Peter Irniq.”

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John Glenn: From the stars to Arlington National Cemetery

Growing up in the 1960s, our heroes were astronauts. Men were going to the moon. The moon! Today, space exploration seems doable, but back then they were flying in outer space with less technology than in our cell phones.

My first trip to Arlington National Cemetery after the 2018 winter break meant finding astronaut John Glenn. He lies about 50 yards southwest of the Memorial Amphitheater in Section 35, grave 1543. It’s a five-minute walk from the Changing of the Guard.

Glenn’s grave included five pennies atop the marker, which is an old throwback to paying the ferryman to take you to the afterlife. Today, it means anyone came by and wanted to say hi. It’s like leaving flowers.

Glenn lived quite the life. A Marine Corps colonel, Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth, spinning past three times in 1962. He was a U.S. Senator from Ohio from 1974-99. In good health all of his life and even flying into his 80s, Glenn died on Dec. 8, 2016 at age 95.

As fellow Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter hailed Glenn’s first space launch, “Godspeed, John Glenn.”

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Gen. Pershing and World War I Memorial

General Pershing

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Who loves pizza and tours?

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X marks Deep Throat’s spot

As a journalist in town for more than 40 years, this is my holy ground. A parking garage where secrets that brought down a president were told.

Military folks love the World War II, Korean and Vietnam Memorials. Nurses want to see the trio near the Vietnam wall. Political buffs head for Capitol Hill.

Well, I’m an old newspaper man in this town. A sports columnist for the 106.7 The Fan nowadays, but I’ve been there and done that for several papers since 1978.

Watergate was the biggest story of my teen years. I’ve wanted to be a newspaper reporter since 1972 when seeing my school paper. It coincided with Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein breaking stories about the Democratic headquarters break-in at the Watergate hotel that ultimately led to President Nixon resigning.

Everybody wanted to be an investigative reporter. It didn’t matter that I cover sports. There are shadows wherever you work. My first big scoop was in 1986 over a high school recruiting scandal. Over the years, I spent my share of time in late-night meetings in public places getting information long before days of cell phones made clandestine meetings less necessary.

I stopped by the parking garage on Nash St. in Rosslyn where a historical marker was erected detailing where Woodward met “Deep Throat,” identified as FBI official Mark Felt in 2005 before his death, a half dozen times from October 1972-November 1973 for information. Parking space 32D. It’s still there.

It was brilliant – hiding in plain sight, as I like to say.

The marker on Nash St. in Arlington, Va. just down the quiet street from the Hyatt bordering Wilson Blvd. says:

“Mark Felt, second in command at the FBI, met Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward here in this parking garage to discuss the Watergate scandal. Felt provided Woodward information that exposed the Nixon administration’s obstruction of the FBI’s Watergate investigation. He chose the garage as an anonymous secure location. They met at this garage six times between October 1972 and November 1973. The Watergate scandal resulted in President Nixon’s resignation in 1974. Woodward’s managing editor, Howard Simons, gave Felt the code name “Deep Throat.” Woodward’s promise not to reveal his source was kept until Felt announced his role as Deep Throat in 2005.”

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Brookside Gardens

Brookside Gardens

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Visiting Congressional Cemetery

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By George – it’s General Washington

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Colonial surgeon’s tools

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Colonial troops at Mount Vernon

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Mount Vernon – Call to Arms

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