I love the national monuments here in Washington. They are always spectacular, noble, and sort of awe-inspiring in many ways. Every time I go I find myself pensive, simply strolling around or sitting and just thinking, letting my mind relax into that zone where you roll from thought to thought with no controls whatsoever. Tonight I visited the monuments for what I suspect was the last time in my freshman year of college. We didn't go to all of them, but we did hit the World War II Memorial, one of my two favorites (the FDR memorial is the other). Night is, I think, the best time to visit the memorials-- after about 9:00 or 10:00 PM, things quiet down a lot. The tours leave, the regular tourists head back to their hotels (or most of them anyway), and the monuments are left to rest. One time I was at the Jefferson Memorial at about 11:00 at night, and no one was there but us and the security guards. It was a weird and wonderful experience.
Anyway, I was really happy tonight. Because the last several times I've gone to WWII, the lights in the fountain have been off, but tonight they were back on. It was gorgeous. I just stood there next to the fountain and stared into it, transfixed by the beauty of the light and the water, behind which was the Lincoln Memorial, and the cool night air. THEN, when we were walking down the Reflecting Pool toward the Lincoln Memorial, we saw some baby ducklings asleep next to their mom. It was so cute, and a nice happy little reminder of springtime.
PS- Benihana in the Georgetown Park Mall = wonderful Japanese hibachi place in DC.