May 12, 2011
By Judy J. Pinegar
Arriving at Dulles International late Wednesday, John and I were picked up by John’s daughter’s husband’s mother, Pat who drove us to Dale City, Virginia, her house, to be our base for the trip.
Sleeping to an embarrassing 11:00 AM local time, and after breakfast, we were dropped by Pat at a train station thinking to go late to Washington DC. NO Deal… it was a commuter train station. After reading all signs in the building and outside (the office [and bathroom] was closed from Noon to 3:00 PM), we decided our only option was a local bus to Quantico VA, about 15 miles south of our location. A helpful bus driver (and all of the passengers) encouraged us to stop first at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, off the Jefferson Davis Highway at the “Triangle.” A brief walk and we see the beautiful first view of the Museum.
After a quick visit to the Mess Hall, we spent a couple of hours in the museum.
Knowing we had to catch the local bus to go to the town of Quantico, we walked back to the bus stop, and with impeccable timing, the bus was there within 5 minutes (pure luck on our part). I was hoping to see the FBI training center and other sites I had read about (crime novels), but I was disappointed as the bus went through trees and more trees, with some turnoffs we didn’t get to take, until we got to the tiny town of Quantico. One of the residents told us it was “the only town in America totally within a Marine Base”… and indeed that was what we found. No museums, lots of housing, lots of barbershops, lots of military clothing stores, a few restaurants, and not as many bars as I had expected. Really very quiet.
But we toured the town, found a place to eat and were back at the bus stop by 8:00 PM for the ride back to the Woodbridge Train/Bus Station.
At least we were successful in doing something with our first half-day in Virginia! On to DC tomorrow… this time with an early wake-up call.