Monday, February 24, 2014

Road Trip - Washington DC

Hi folks!

We're baaaaaack.

5000 plus kilometres. Weather that went from -15C to +28C. A winter storm that shut huge parts of the country. Eight states. And all sorts of adventures.

We left Canada at the crack of dawn on Feb 8th and headed straight for Washington DC. Nine hours later we were checked in, unpacked and strolling to Georgetown for dinner. Doug had been to DC many times before but this was my first experience in the capital. To prepare, we had watched Season One of House of Cards and Season One of West Wing. So I was all set to go and fully expecting to spot Frank Underwood or President Bartlett on every street corner.

We went to Whole Foods to stock up on a few things. We also went to Trader Joes. I had heard about this store but never been to one. I'm definitely a fan. All sorts of health foods, delicious snacks AND a decent bottle of red wine for $2.99. Sold!

Sunday morning, we got up early and headed out for a run. Doug took me on a route that took in all the major sights. It would have been too cold to walk it all but exploring at a running pace was quite comfortable. Not our fastest 10k ever but certainly one of the most interesting and historic.

The Capitol Building

The Canadian Embassy. 

The White House - which really is a lot smaller than it looks on TV. 

From the front. They were preparing for the arrival of the French President (without his wife) and all the local papers were a twitter with the scandal of it all. 

On our run we also saw the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, the reflecting pool ('member that scene from Forest Gump where he and Jenny run through the water?), and all of the museums in the Smithsonian. 

We spent the afternoon exploring the Museum of Natural History (my choice!) and Doug did a fabulous job of listening to me natter on about genomes, mammals, marine creatures and how to tell if an animal is a predator or a prey based on where their eyes are positioned on their head. 

The marine exhibit. All my marine biology knowledge came flooding back as we explored. 

Remind me never to take on a great white shark. 

The three special exhibits at the museum. There was so much to look at that we never made it to any of the ones they were advertising. 

Monday, we were up early and, having mastered the subway system, were making our way back downtown. Doug had booked us a tour of the Capitol Building. We joined a tour group, made our way from room to room and I learned all about the House and the Senate. I think I may have actually figured it out. 

This room had paintings of historic moments around the walls as well as statues to represent each of the 13 original states. 

The ceiling could rival (almost) the Sistine Chapel.

The details were exquisite and everywhere we looked we spotted more intricacies. 

Rosa Parks - the latest statue added to their collection. 

After the Capitol Building tour we headed across the street, by way of an underground tunnel, to explore the Library of Congress. 

And at night? Well we headed to the Verizon Centre to watch the Georgetown Hoyas take on the Providence Friars. My first NCAA basketball game. 

Washington DC was as wonderful as I expected it to be. We could easily have spent a week there. Sadly, and yet happily, we had many more stops on our journey. We also knew that a major winter storm was brewing and scheduled to hit the Eastern US on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday. So we packed up, headed to bed, and planned to get out early Tuesday morning to beat the snow. 

1 comment:

  1. Welcome back! It sounds like you had a nice trip. I, too, am a big fan of DC. Loads of museums with spectacular art. Nice areas for running. Good fun. Friendly people. I try to make it there every year.

    I'm a little scared that you're using "House of Cards" and "West Wing" as the basis of your understanding of American politics. It's neither as dysfunctional or idealistic as either of those two. Neither is it at the happy medium, though.