Saturday, March 10, 2012

Washington DC is Fine by Me

Daffodils are the happiest flower and are also my favorite. It was very warm in DC while I visited. One day it was even 70 degrees!!! 

View of DC from Anacostia.
If you ever go to Washington DC make sure to pack good shoes. I walked over 20 miles in 3 days (yes I mapped my walk) and had numerous blisters all over my feet to prove it. Basically I had to invest in some quality off brand neosporin and band aids to counter these walking wounds. It wasn't even that I was wearing bad shoes either, it was that I walked over 20 miles in 3 days (one day wearing my backpack with everything I brought on the trip). Keep in mind, this is not because I didn't make use of the metro and buses, I definitely did, but like most big cities you just end up doing a LOT of walking. Needless to say I felt like a walking champion by Sunday despite being super sore and somewhat limping to my gate at the airport.

What I loved most about my time in DC was that I was able to experience many different sides of it and had the time to do so. I spent a majority of my time on the Mall exploring the FREE museums, but I also had the opportunity to explore several different neighborhoods ranging from Anacostia to Georgetown. I was also able to crash one night at one of the LVC houses in DC and had the opportunity to stop by LVC's headquarters just to say hi. What an excellent city to be a volunteer in.. there's so much going on and a lot of it is free!

The National Gallery of Art. I was able to get my art fix for the weekend!

Here are some of the highlights from my trip: (see also my post about the Holocaust Museum here)

View of the Mall after Sunset from the Lincoln Memorial.
The Mall:

My naive self decided I was going to walk the full length of the Mall, you know, because it really doesn't seem that big on a map. BOY WAS I WRONG! IT IS 2 MILES LONG of pure walking! I did not know this when I started off on this adventure, but once I started I was determined to finish. Conveniently I was able to meet up with one of my college friends, the one and only Evan Larkin, who accompanied me on this walk and we made it to the Lincoln Memorial right as the sun was setting.

The People:

A large portion of my time in DC was catching up with people I haven't seen in ages and hearing their take on the city. As one friend was explaining to me everyone in DC feels entitled to something. For example, one acquaintance I met up with is currently interning at the capitol and was sharing with me some of her struggles there. For instance, when asked to give a report on a foreign policy about whether the politician should vote a certain way she made an elaborate pro/con list explaining how it is really important to vote no. Instead the politician completely disregarded her work and said "yeah I'm going to vote yes anyway because I think I can get the government to pay for a trip out there." UHHHHHH... Are you kidding me!?! That's our tax dollars!! I guess that's politics.

The Wright Brothers' Plane at the Air and Space Museum

Another really interesting thing about DC is the license plates. For example, right on the DC license plates it says "No Taxation without Representation," which is ironic because DC is heavily taxed and has ZERO representation in congress. Didn't America separate from England so that we could have representation? What is wrong with this current picture in our nation's capitol? Speaking of license plates there are also a handful of diplomat cars that have blue license plates which basically means they can disregard any of the traffic laws. In these cars diplomats can park anywhere at any time, cut off pedestrians, and who knows what else. I mean it makes perfect sense.. lets have all these traffic laws and then have hundreds of cars THAT DO NOT FOLLOW THESE RULES.


The Lincoln Memorial as the sun is setting.

Washington DC is very different from New York City in that it is so much cleaner probably because it has 3 million less people! DC is definitely a realistic city that is down to business and everyone has their agenda to be somewhere or do something. It's a place where you could become comfortably invisible if you wanted to. Although DC may not have half the energy as New York City, there is something strangely comfortable about it in a cold, dry sort of way. It has the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor and a lot of young people in between who really can't afford to live there. I would go back. Definitely.

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