After three back to back National Park visits, Eric and I were happy to get a little city time. Both of us had been to Washington DC before and had very fond memories. Since it was on our route and we had some room in the budget, we rented an Air-bnb and enjoyed another vacation on our vacation.
The in-law unit we rented was luxurious. It was small, but well decorated, and I was so stoked to have a plush bed and a hot shower. You don't miss a real bed when you are camping until you have it again. The night before we left Shenandoah it had rained, and once again, we were clouded in. Everything was perfectly drenched in the morning, which made it real easy to pack up and get ready for a hotel living space (sarcasm).
Regardless, we packed up camp for the last time for a while and headed two hours east to D.C. We got into the place in the afternoon, and enjoyed the monthly shower of longer than 4.5 minutes and donning clean pajamas. Luckily, Shenandoah had coin operated laundry available and we were able to wash everything the day before.
The first night of 'inside time' usually comes with extreme lethargy. It is like all the times you wanted to be lazy at camp but couldn't, you know, because bears, all comes out after that first shower. So we enjoyed a frozen pizza cooked in the closet toaster oven and some stupid TV shows before an early bedtime.
The next day we woke well rested and walked to the Metro station near Virginia Square. To see all of D.C. in four days is a bit of an undertaking, so we set our sights to seeing a few highlight museums and most of the memorials on the Mall. Luckily, I had a chance to visit for a week when my sister, Lauren worked in the city. That week, thanks to my amazing tour guide, I was able to enjoy the highlights of the city and the surrounding area. Eric also was able to get the grand tour when he was much younger, so we focused on revisiting certain areas to experience together. Even with four days, it was tough to see all the museums without rushing. It was important to both of us to enjoy and read all the exhibits we wanted to because the next time we would be back to the city would most likely not be for a vacation, unless we have children.
Over the next four days we stuck to the same basic routine. Wake up, walk to the metro, spend all day in a museum or monument, get back for dinner, shower and sleep. It was simple and delightful. We were able to really soak in the Air and Space, Smithsonian Natural History, National Gallery of Art, Botanical Garden, Library of Congress, and the National Mall lawn and gardens. Eric's favorite part was being able to sign up for a Library of Congress Reader card, just in case we needed to do some extensive research, you know, for fun (there is TOTALLY a map on the back of the Declaration of Independence!). It actually was pretty neat to do, and even more difficult to navigate because the Library of Congress apparently operates like the Ministry of Magic (or what I think it looks like in my head) and everything you need is on separate floors behind nondescript doors. Our reader cards and some astronaut ice cream were our only souvenirs...and the astronaut ice cream did not last long (ate it immediately leaving the Air and Space museum.)
On our last day we took our skateboards with us and were able to cover more ground much faster. It is a walking city, yes, but to see all the memorials would be a long ass day of pounding pavement, so skateboarding was way more efficient and fun.
I was happy to visit a few that I had not seen before like the Thomas Jefferson, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial around the Tidal Basin. I was surprised how much I was affected by some of these monuments. Once again, the Korean War monument almost made me cry, and I felt a heavy grief for all those effected by that war, and all the other wars in our history, that I can never understand. The MLK and Roosevelt monument made both of us feel angry, disappointed and sad regarding the current state of our country and it's population. I was filled with so much pride walking through and reading the words of these men, knowing that they guided our county towards peace, acceptance and conservation. Then, I was ripped back into our current state of affairs by shame, embarrassment and anger at who was 'leading' us now, and the fact we weren't actively fighting against the state of idiocy that is blanketing to our country. Shit, our current President can't even say full sentences, I sure hope nothing that spills out of his dumb ass mouth ever gets carved into marble.
At least I can vote in Florida this year.
One evening, I did take the time to go dancing. When I was more into swing dancing years ago, I remember people talking about the huge dances held weekly at the Jam Cellar, with up to 400 people on any given Tuesday. Well, even when I was a swing nerd it was past it's revival prime, and now interest in Lindy Hop is dwindling even more. I still enjoy going to the dances, but going to this dance in particular really drove home that I have outgrown it. Dancing will always be a hobby of mine, but I left the Jam Cellar with it's maybe 120 attendees, most new dancers, feeling it was time to move on and find another scene for that outlet. It will still be an event I look for as we travel, because it is fun for me to do on my own and easy to find, but when I settle next I won't make it a priority.
We left Washington D.C. feeling refreshed and relaxed after having a break from the cold, rain and camping life. Our next stop will be more luxury as we enjoy a string of visits with Eric's family before we fly off to Hawaii!
Song: This is America – Childish Gambino (perfect time for this song to come out)