Author Archives: Rick

I’m now a certified National Cathedral guide

Ever want to visit one of those old European cathedrals without needing a passport? Come to the Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in Washington. Commonly called National Cathedral because the Episcopal church welcomes all and serves the … Continue reading

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Eisenhower Executive Office Building

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Stephen DeCatur House remains special

Stephen DeCatur must have been one cool cat, if not an unlucky one. After fighting in the War of 1812 and later facing pirates off the Barbary Coast, DeCatur used the “prize money” from Congress to build this three-story brick … Continue reading

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What’s on the radio?

During the dark days of the Great Depression and World War II, Americans huddled around their radios hoping for the latest news and a little inspiration. The fireside chats by Franklin Delano Roosevelt were staples of listening from 1933-45. The … Continue reading

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Daughters of the American Revolution

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What’s the most photographed statue in town?

Nobody really knows, but if it’s not Abraham Lincoln at his memorial than it’s surely Andrew Jackson here in Lafayette Park. Why? First, it’s a great statue. Second, it’s right by the White House. Third, it’s a dynamite shot, especially … Continue reading

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The Awakening now entertains tourists

For 36 years, a 70-foot statue has been trying to get up in the morning. Guess I’m not so slow after all. The Awakening is a 70-foot statue of a man trying to get up from the earth. There are … Continue reading

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Nighttime at the Willard Hotel

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A winter’s peek at Sir John Dill

Why would anyone walk Arlington National Cemetery in January? It’s the best time for photos. This photo above of Sir John Dill would be impossible when leaves are on the trees. By looking for the statue from a non-traditional angle, … Continue reading

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John Wingate Weeks worth a side trip

It’s funny how you can walk by something regularly, but come a different way one time and see it entirely differently. That’s how I stumbled upon the magnificent grave of John Wingate Weeks, a former Secretary of War who’s a … Continue reading

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The Occidental

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Wandering on a cold winter’s day

It’s hard to be alone with your thoughts at Arlington National Cemetery for much of the year. Nearly four million people visit with crowds heavy from March to December. But January is the best time to visit if it’s not … Continue reading

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Firefighter monument suddenly No. 2

I’ve determined Washington Post columnist John Kelly secretly wishes he was a Washington tour guide. If not, he’d sure make a fine one. (Must be career wanderlust. As a Washington Post Express sports columnist, I always wanted to be a … Continue reading

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Small places I love in town – Lincoln portraits

My favorite places aren’t the biggest attractions, but the smaller venues.The personal connections. It’s what makes travel fun. Maybe that’s why I like covering teams just as much on non-game days as the games themselves as a local sports writer … Continue reading

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Monumental Thoughts turns 8

Happy birthday to Monumental Thoughts . . . again. I’ve just finished eight years of tour guiding and writing this blog, which is mostly a journey of continued learning. Last summer saw my 1,000th post of the sites and sights … Continue reading

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Reagan National Airport in gingerbread

Inside the Willard Hotel is a gingerbread version of Reagan National Airport as you head from the lobby to the cafe. Please, don’t eat it. The entire Willard Hotel pastry staff, headed by executive pastry chef Jason Jimenez, pastry cook … Continue reading

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Willard Hotel at Christmas

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Willard Hotel at Christmastime

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Merry Christmas from Monumental Thoughts

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Merry Christmas in Washington

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