Tuesday, April 04, 2006

a view from our nation's capital...

DC 4-06
Originally uploaded by S'mee.

(cue "Hail to the Chief") We were told that, indeed, the very day we arrived was almost the peak of the blossoms. So when I woke up the first morning I went for a walk on what was described on virtually every form of media, "THE DAY". Yup, lots o' cherry blossoms on lots o' trees. I took the liberty (snicker) of snatching up all kinds of purty pictures of them. And, for all the MAJOR hype they give these truly exquisite trees, it is unfortunate that the bulk of them surround the part of the inlet that is encircled by monuments.

"But why?" you ask, "would that be a problem? Most of the tourists and residents would find that to be a central location and convenient for viewing!" Well, dear tourist, for those very reasons. You see for every blossom on a tree there are an equal and thensome person count; resulting in the perfect opportunity to take out pretty much 68% of the junior high school spring break tour kids along with their 1-15 ratio of chaperones; plus the other spring break tourists; and the folks such as Thor and I who were booked to experience this autobotanical treat whilst learning more about the bin-niss. This mathematical equation results in a gazillion people all trying to view the same trees in the same spot. Yikes-ola!

I kind of wish these trees were everywhere. There are a few scattered here and there, however, they tend to be a tad more spectacular along the "lake" crowded against each other and reflected in the waters thereon and framing said monumental attractions. I was fortunate enough to be staying in a hotel where the capital was a block from us. There were enough trees there to get the sensation of the "holiday", however, I must admit, even being in a tourist trolley (yup, actually did that) and riding rather quickly by the trees while viewing them from street distance...still very pretty.

One thing you learn about DC is that it is a walking town. Everyone walks and they walk everywhere. That being said, the traffic is horrendous! It is in a constant state of "jam" just about 24-7 during this particular week. If you are in a car, understand that you will be in that car and make about as much ground length distance/time as if you were walking. The smart people in this town ride bikes, scooters, or BIKES. Or the subway; which rocks. The deal is this: There are so many things to see that every hotel lists itself as being located "within walking distance of the mall, complete with it's museums and government buildings!" They never tell you that the mall is 87 miles long and the government buildings and museums aren't all lining its' edges, but in fact can be a block or two, or five, this direction or that; and walking can mean walking all day and then finishing up your day with a $65.00 cab ride back to your hotel which is now not within walking distance. It's like tourist crack. You go to one building and then you just keep going and going and thinking to yourself it is fine. Your legs don't register just how far you have gone. Your brain takes over. Your camera is overwhelmed and under loaded. Just about the time you think you are getting to the good stuff, you find more, walk more, need more batteries. I took 239 photos in one afternoon. I mean, really people, crack.

Then there are the other -"further from the hotel"- must sees. Arlington, Old Alexandria, Dupont Circle, Falls Church, Foggy Bottom, Chevy Chase (seems to be a theme these days), Mount Vernon and well you can actually make a day trip out of going up to Baltimore, Down to Virginia, or even out to Altlantic City like our friends did. Personally I do like to take the car out and drive. I love to walk around the National Cathedrial (where all are welcome...even the LDS missionaries I saw there!). If you ever get the opportunity I suggest an hour or two there...very cool. Dupont Circle (area) is also awesome. Most of the Embassies are there, along with gorgeous homes, shops and restaraunts. The Temple is near Chevy Chase, also a beautiful neighborhood. And, although I did not get an opportunity to "go in", I finally found Gallaudet, while Thor found every other major University in the tri-state area. Go somebody! I think one of them had a turtle as a mascot, and then there was George Mason(? - you cannot believe how many "george" things are here...nuts, Georgetown- named for the king, not the president...go figure.) who was in a final four thing.... I am in unfamiliar territory here so I am going to stop; but it was HUGE for all the people we met who lived there.

It is obvious from reading the above, history is not my thing. I enjoy it, I am fascinated by it while I am in it's presence. But it's not my thing and no, I don't remember dates, or names. Events? Yes, those I remember, the why, just not who shot whom and when they shot.

Been three times now and could still go back and enjoy myself more. DC. Darn Cool, for s'mee.

add to sk*rt


chronicler said...

I can't believe you didn't go to Cake Love! Sigh.

Nice write up now I know where to go when we get to visit #1 and her husband.

s'mee said...

I KNOW! What was I thinking?! Duh, I completely forgot about Cake Love *and* the Squished Penny Museum, what a dork.

Guess it gives me something to do when I go back again nest time.

Amira said...

I love Washington DC. I'm lobbying for my husband to go back to school at Georgetown so we can live there for a year. Wouldn't that be great? And now that we're expert walkers, we'd be all set.

s'mee said...

DC would be an awesome place to rear a couple of kids... so many places to go and see and do, and most for free or minimal cost. If you lived there you could set up a grid and just take entire days to cover areas at a liesurely pace. The perfect place for home schoolers. Heck I remember the day I went through the Holocost Museum I was there for about 7 hours and felt rushed. (btw, the LA version rocks as well) On top of all the history is the cultural stuff, the food stuff (thanks chronicler!) and all the funky stuff that seems to gravitate to large diverse cities.

Pack your walking shoes and get those transfer papers in!