This day was a whirlwind of activity and I’m, quite frankly, running out of steam (and so are you, probably) so I’m just going to break it down into a bullet list:
- Library of Congress tour- Wow! I’m so glad that we did this. The Library of Congress is a BEAUTIFUL building. It’s really quite an amazing operation that they have going on there. Well worth the time it took us to get there!
- Newseum-only museum that costs money that we went to. Very well done. It’s really a history of the press and they had some really neat videos. They also had original newspapers with headlines from famous events in history, an 80 foot movie screen that had an interesting film about political ads, an FBI exhibit that featured the Unabomber’s cabin, and a gut-wrenching Pulitzer prize winning photography exhibit.
- For lunch, we went to a place and we disagree on the name. It’s either Balls or Meatballs. You might ask, “Why would two vegetarians go to a place that obviously serves meatballs?” Well, kind sir, it’s because they had…lentil meatballs. Before you make a face and say how disgusting that is, they were actually pretty good. So good, in fact, that I have a bag of lentils burning a hole in my pantry waiting to be made into lentil meatballs. If it all shakes out okay, I’ll give you the recipe.
- We wanted to like the Smithsonian Air and Space exhibit, but we just couldn’t. After seeing how amazing the Natural History museum was, the Air and Space seemed like it was stuck in the sixties, and not in a cute, hipster way. We took a few pictures and got the heck out of there.
- Hirschorn Museum (another Smithsonian art museum)- We stopped in here because they had some sort of “sensorial” exhibit that looked cool. Unfortunately we weren’t impressed with the white room with neon lights or the dark room with mattresses (that were surely full of lice and were definitely full of high school kids). We did walk through blue rubber tubes that were hanging from ceiling to floor. That doesn’t sound exciting? Don’t worry. It wasn’t.
- American History- Alex was almost dead at this point. I was leading my corpse of a husband through the American History museum so that we could catch a glance of the original Muppets and Betsy Ross’s flag. The most memorable part of this little excursion was me sending some cheater-head high school kids to the back of the line to get in. “Sorry, kid. DO I LOOK LIKE I WAS BORN YESTERDAY? YES? OKAY, WELL…LINE’S BACK THERE.”
- Nap (at the hotel)- self-explanatory
- Dinner at Fuddruckers- we waltzed on over to Chinatown for a special event (see next three bullet points) and searched for a place to eat. We ended up at Fuddruckers, which was the only chain restaurant we ate at the entire time we were in DC. We bought veggie burgers and had sweet potato fries. Alex also tried to take a woman’s food (whose name also happened to be Alex).
- The reason we went to Chinatown is because I had seen a poster about a circus parade. Elephants were going to walk through the streets of DC. Isn’t that just wild? I know it sounds kind of lame but hey! When in DC…
- I had forgotten to mark the parade route on our map, but I didn’t think it would matter because we could just follow the hordes of people. Unfortunately, when I remembered the corner we wanted to be at and we walked there, there were approximately 4 people waiting. It looked like we were waiting at a non-existent bus stop. What’s funny is that two runners ran by us and then backtracked to ask, “What’s everyone waiting for?” Oh, you mean everyone as in the four people that are sitting here? We’re waiting for an elephant parade. There was a really cute family that was waiting. The little girl kept bothering Alex and I with questions but I think she really just wanted some of my junior mints. She said, “I’m big but my brother still hits me and I cry.” She also did some Ballet moves for us where she got on her toes and then, when I told her that I didn’t think I could do that, she said, “All you have to do is think”. Good words.
- The actual parade was…disappointing. There were elephants and clowns but there was no high-school drum line, so not a good parade. It lasted about six minutes and the street sweepers that were literally on the heels of the parade were kicking up some really delicious smelling elephant dung so we high-tailed it outta there.
- Visiting the memorials AT NIGHT- we then took the Metro to the Smithsonian station, which drops off on the Mall. While this sounds like it would be close, it’s deceptively far from anything on the Mall (except the museums). We walked past the Washington Memorial, past the World War II memorial, and made our way to visit old Abe. Unfortunately, after the 90 mile bike ride up Kilmanjaro to see Mount Vernon, walking a bazillion miles wearing shoes that have no arch support on our first day, and generally trying to be cheap by walking everywhere, my legs finally gave up. My knee hurt when I moved it…so I walked like a pirate. We went up those stairs at the Lincoln Memorial and then we made a slow crawl to the nearest Metro station, where of course, the escalator was broken. I had to tell the people clamoring down the stairs behind me to go around me CAUSE I’M GONNA BE HERE A WHILE. Then we got to run to our train because we were too far down on the Metro platform. When we got off at our home station, I limped pitifully, expecting to be mauled by homeless people who prey on the weak, but we made it back to the hotel, where I promptly collapsed into a coma.
I had these grand visions of us checking our suitcases in early at the airport and then going back out to Alexandria to sightsee a little more but my bum knee destroyed all my hopes and dreams. That and we slept in until 10:00am and our flight was at 1:00. We just bummed around the airport and played games on Alex’s Kindle. The flight was uneventful and free of dry-heaving. We did get in trouble with a male flight attendant because we asked for our free soda after they stowed the drink cart, even though everyone around us had gotten them. He clicked his tongue and said, “Oh, you were sleeping”. Obviously, flight attendant, we were asleep, since Alex likes to hand the lady next to us her diet Coke and I like to ask questions like, “Do you have root beer?” while we’re sleeping. Alex’s sister was kind enough to come get us. When we got home, we immediately went to Cheddars because we were starving and the only thing we had in the fridge was a clove of garlic.
DC: Concluding Thoughts
- I’m jealous of the public transportation system there. I know, I know. Dallas is more spread out than DC but I wish I could just hop on a nearby DART station to go to work. I love that it makes you get out and about. I think about how many days I spend inside and the only sunshine I get is the trip from my car to inside my work.
- Traveling as vegetarians was easier than we thought. I brought a gigantic bag of trail mix because I was certain that no one in DC would serve vegetarian fare. We actually ate really, really well while we were there. In case you get any ideas, I did not lose any weight, despite all that exercising I did. The food was good, but good food is good for a reason. We only had salads one night. The rest of the food was fried vegetables in some form or another. To be frank, the amount of calories and oil we ate was slightly less than it would have been if we were eating meat. The stop at Whole Foods to buy some snacky fruits and bread was a good idea. We weren’t tempted to eat junk in our hotel room because we had some healthier options. I don’t know if I mentioned this, but I packed a ceramic knife and a small cutting board in my suitcase so that we could slice our tomatoes and core our apples.
- My husband is my best friend. I don’t care if that makes you throw up a little in your mouth. There is no one else that I could spend that much time with and still not want to punch them in the kidneys. We laugh a lot.
- My wardrobe leaves alot to be desired. I dunno. Being comfortable has always governed my clothing choices and I’m not sure I can ever leave that fully behind but…I also don’t need to look like I’m pregnant AND full of tumors when I’m on vacation.
- While I’m not always impressed with the work that is done there, our nation’s capitol is very impressive. I appreciate that many of the attractions are free and open to the public. Alex and I were there for five full days and we still didn’t get to do everything we wanted to. Overall, this was an excellent trip.
Thanks and gig ‘em.