As I adjust my travel strategies to make the most of each trip, I have broaden my choices of lodging. Marriott remains my first choice, timeshares, VRBO, other chains, friends' homes and whereas I haven't tried Airbnb yet, I just might, given the right circumstances. One way to provide me the most options is of course to open up my home to friends and relatives (those with timeshares get the fancy soaps and towels). Friends are visiting this Veterans Day weekend, so we headed off to the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Va. just down the road from the Quantico Marine Corp base. http://www.usmcmuseum.com/index.asp
I've been a few times and have driven by it on Interstate 95 scores of times with its exterior architecture designed to evoke the image of the flag raisers of Iwo Jima and it certainly does (see first photo below).
This is a very sophisticated museum with excellent and inspiring exhibits and is well worth a visit if you ever get an opportunity (admission is free, donations gladly accepted). It's never been crowded and is a pleasure to just immerse yourself in the impressive history of the Marines, truly making you proud to be an American. They have nice grounds with a walking path and a chapel which also hosts weddings. Two restaurants inside, a fast food and the Tun Tavern named after the site where the Marines held their first recruitment drive during the Revolutionary War. There are a few SpringHills and Fairfields up and down the Interstate within 8 miles and a brand new CY is due to open in December (and it appears to be on schedule) three miles down Rt. 1 and right behind the Globe and Laurel, a restaurant owned by a veteran Marine, Major Richard Spooner http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_T._Spooner which serves some fine sandwiches and brews along with the occasional fascinating story by the Major.
Some photos to give you a feel of the museum;
Driving north - the museum evokes the raising of the flag - Iwo Jima
From the Halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli
The original 2nd flag (1st too small) over Mt. Suribachi - Iwo Jima island
85 year old Frank Matthews who spent 28 days fighting on Iwo Jima
Tun Tavern (good food/brew), named after site of first Marine recruitment drive
Thank you Veterans for your service.