Starting somewhere close to Baltimore towards South, the nature seems to be more important in people’s lives, or at least that’s what I like to believe. We saw here the trees are bigger, the parks are larger and the grass is more appreciated. Flowers too.
When I thought about Washington I had in mind 3 things: the White House, the Pentagon and the Smithsonian museum (whole lot of them). Well, I definitely missed a few things like the Lincoln’s memorial and the Capitol.
Thanks to our lovely host, Victoria, we got a car, a couple of bikes, and a day to explore the city. Left at 7am from home and left back from Washington at 8pm. Emanuel from Cali, a friendly guy coming via workaway to the same house joined us. It was a busy day, but it was definitely worth going there in the early hours. We had a nice moment at the Lincoln memorial, before the buses of tourists flooded the stairs, the park, and the building itself. Then we had a nice breakfast on a bench in front of the White House (bread, cheese, ham and avocado – like a bo$$). We then got to the museums: The National Aquarium first (as Lucy wanted to see the fishes). The only thing is that the aquarium is no longer there. Two maps had it marked on different spots and none was a real building entrance. We didn’t waste much time, and got to the Washington Monument (the tall square building reflecting itself in the pool), then to the museum of Natural History, then the Air-Space Museum, the Botanic Gardens and a short trip around the US Capitol, which was under construction. We then got to Union Station and from there headed towards Chinatown.
Bikes were a very important part – saved us a lot of time. Looking for a real burger place close to the center is very difficult, unless you settle for the hot-dogs sold on the side of the street, or the sandwiches for which you had to wait about 30min in a line. Usually Chinatown is a good place to look for cheap stuff, including food – but this time I (just me) wanted a real burger. Probably not a very inspired decision, but we found the first burger place “Greene Turtle” when were already too hungry. The burgers were average at most. By the time we finished it was past 5pm so we got time to pick up some small parts from RadioShack and get back to the car.
On the way back though, we got stopped at the crosswalk by a police officer – the presidential suite was passing. 4 Harleys leading the way, 2 SUVs following, and then 2 limos. I saw Mr. Obama in the second limo, all alone, working on something. I feel so proud of it now! (I will sign autographs if you want – the man who saw the president). Emanuel was waiting for us at car, so we put the bikes in and went to the Pentagon (which was a bit out of reach just by bikes). Took a few moments to walk around the memorial of the 9/11 then drove back home. Someone slept like a baby the whole way.
There was still a lot of stuff to see in the city, so we tried to find a host for the last day. We received an offer from a friendly CouchSurfer – the first reply ever received to an open request. He drove us to his home in Takoma from Union Station in DC. Instead of heading back to the city, we just took the afternoon to relax and explore the parks of Takoma. Not a bad choice. A nap on the grass after a good meal was more than I expected. A few friendly chats with some folks around the city, an intense game of basketball in the park and a relaxed family football game among a latino family. We used the morning of the next day to check out the Postal Museum and send a few postcards (you might be one of the few lucky ones who gets it), then take a trip to Walmart to get some snacks for the road (bus trip for about 5hrs to Durham, NC).
Mission accomplished! Checked out DC and met my friend John!