We splurged a bit and stayed at a swanky, upscale hotel in Penn Quarter, which is just steps from the National Mall and the Capital Building. The hotel has a pet-friendly policy so Harry (or "Mr. Harry" as the doormen referred to him) was welcome to join us. On check in "Mr. Harry" received his very own water bowl, Voss bottled water and copy of Urban Dog Magazine - all hand delivered on a cloth lined tray.
Through a connection at the State Department, we were able to arrange a guided tour of the Mall with a Park Ranger. Ranger Mike chauffeured us from monument to monument and shared his wealth of knowledge at each of the monuments in a charming and insightful manner.
We hit the Jefferson, Washington and Lincoln Memorials. Then moved on to the Korean War Memorial followed by the Vietnam Memorial and concluded at the World War II Memorial.
We also visited the National Archives to view the Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I found it absolutely fascinating that our entire civiliztion and way of life is based on a four page hand written document.
Also on display were Ronald Reagan's Presidential Diaries. The diary was opened to his entries on June 4 - 6, 1984 and recall the 40th anniversary of D-Day were he spoke at Pointe du Hoc, France. The entry is profound and moving.
Of course I spent each morning running and found D.C. to be a great city for runners with ample green-ways and paths around the Mall and along the Potomac River.
"Life, liberty, and the pursuit..."
-Declaration of Independence