Thursday, September 22, 2011

Another City Crossed Off My Bucket List

As you saw in the last post, Jim Jones Burnt My House Down, a concert was the reason that we drove up to Washington, D.C.

But you know us, we have to squeeze as much adventure into one day as we possibly can.




We left for Washington D.C. really early in the morning on the 17th. We were staying at a hotel downtown, and we wanted to make sure we had enough time to get settled and scout out the club where we were seeing the concert.

Chuck hadn't been to D.C. in 30 or so years, and I've never been there. He said what he remembers about the place is that it was really hairy driving through there, and that there's a lot of crime. He'd never made it to the tourist attraction part of the city.

Even though I was excited about going up there, those first two sentiments put my ulcers to work.

I was way more worried about driving into the crazy traffic of D.C. than I was about the crime, but still. Chuckles had me convinced I'd get mugged as soon as I stepped out the car door.

"Oh look Chuck, it's the White-"

"Give me all your money."

Yeah.

Anyway, we had borrowed a friend's GPS to help us get around. We'd never tried one of those before. Normally, I'M the GPS.

I was both jealous of the device and comforted at the same time.




Who does this little computerized, disembodied female [bitchy] voice think she is, trying to steal my navigation job? Chuck depends on me dammit!

But then, if she didn't give us a "right....turn...in...5...miles..." once in awhile, we'd get a little worried. When is she gonna talk to us again? Will she abandon us when we need her most??

We had a love/hate thing going on.

Traffic wasn't too bad until we got around Richmond, Virginia. I'm SO glad I don't live in that place. I've been past Richmond twice, and it was ridiculous both times.

If I had to commute through that horrendous gridlock every day I'd shoot myself.

In fact, it was worse there than when we got into D.C. This is where we were most hoping that the GPS would help us out.

The hotel was north of the National Mall, where all the touristy stuff is. And in between that, there are a lot of traffic circles (I believe some of you call them rotaries or roundabouts) and one way streets and such.

Even with the GPS, we took a wrong damn turn. The Voice would say "Make a slight right" and that wouldn't help because there are three 'slight right' forks in a row, all close together.




Then the GPS quit talking. She just gave up, the fickle bitch.

At least she could have given us a, "You took the wrong turn....you're fucked."

Da-da-daaaaa!!!!!!!!!! Kyna to the rescue.

I dug out my map, and navigated us safely (although a little frantically) through downtown D.C.

We got to the hotel, and discovered there was no place to park. We knew parking was scarce in D.C., but we would have sworn they said there was parking on the hotel website.

Luckily we finally found a spot on the street near the hotel. And luckily it was the weekend, so parking time limits don't apply.

This was where we stayed:



This part of downtown was filled with attached row-style houses, like the brownstones you see in New York. But much more colourful.

Chuck won't let me paint the house yellow


I love a red door


And a blue door



They were really awesome looking, and the landscaping in D.C. was amazing. Even with these tiny, postage-stamp front yards, the residents would create a distinctive garden.

There were rosebushes everywhere. I was particularly delighted by this, because just six hours south where I live, roses don't do so well. Black spot disease abounds.

Anyway, once we got situated in the hotel room, Chuck looked at me. I looked at him.

"Wanna do it?" he said.

I smiled because I was hoping he'd feel that way. "Are you sure you're feeling up to it?"

"Yeah, I think I am." he said.


Wait...


You're not thinking that he and I...


Yes. Yes you are, aren't you??


Get your minds out of the gutter. Honestly...Chuckles and I have been together 7 years. Do you think we'd get into the hotel room and want to immediately shag like 17-year-old kids?

No!

We wanted to go see the White House, bitches! And we had a few hours to kill before we had to get ready to go to the concert. If there was to be any shagging done, it would be after the show.

The hotel we picked was about 14 or so blocks from the National Mall. For some people that might not seem like walking distance, but for us that was the way to go.

Friends suggested we take the metro, but we like walking because we get to see more of the city that way. Chuck calculated that we walked 7+ miles that afternoon.

The street we were on led us straight to the front yard of the President's home.

First glimpse of the Washington Monument, the WH is just through those trees...





A happy girl


I actually can't believe that we could go right up to the gate to take pics. There were Secret Service agents everywhere of course, but still.

Chuckles and I were in awe.




Whatever you think about the state of government right now, or what your opinions are of the current President, I don't care.

There's so much history in the place. History that's close to us.

Chuck's a descendant of two Adams presidents, on his dad's side. John Adams was the second president of the United States (1797–1801), and the first to inhabit an unfinished White House.



John Quincy Adams, his son, was the sixth president of the United States (1825–1829).



JQ was also the first sitting president confirmed to have a daguerrotype taken that is still in existance, in 1843.



Chuck inherited the Adams' hot temper, gift of gab, stubborness, John's short stature and John Quincy's facial profile. He didn't inherit the hairline however, and I'm thankful for that.

Anyway, it was neat thinking about all that whilst standing in front of the gates of the place.



This is the best shot I got, through the bars of the gate



From there we walked around to the other side of the White House past the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. A Secret Service guy/tour guide told us the Vice President has an office in there.



The place is a freakin' behemoth


The other side of the White House. There were a lot more tourists standing around, and where you could stand was more controlled



From there, it was a relatively short walk to the Washington Monument. What struck me on the walk was all the different people from around the world that surrounded us. People speaking in all sorts of languages, and all of them had the same awed/happy look on their faces.

I loved it.

We walked past a young Scandanavian couple taking pictures (the pretty girl was doing handstands with the Washington Monument jutting up in the background).

I was jealous that I wasn't lithe enough to do handstands in MY pictures with it, but I did the next best thing.

I can almost hear the chorus of, "Only Kyna..."


Normally, you can go up inside the WM, but because of the earthquake that happened in August, it's closed to the public at this time. There were some cracks in the tip. (Insert dirty joke here.)

We were happy to take pictures from afar, and I got some nice ones...






I like this one with Chuck, but oops! I cut the tip off. Ouch.



From there, we decided to walk down to the Jefferson Memorial.

The JM is kind of out of the way from the main part of the mall. You have to walk across a bridge to get to it, and the path is lined by tons of Yoshino Cherry trees.



We already had walked a ton, and still had to visit the area with the Lincoln Memorial (that was what I really wanted to see) on a limited amount of time.

If we'd had more time, we'd definitely have gone over to see it, tired from walking or not, and maybe even rented a paddle boat. But as it was, I had to take more pictures from afar.







The famous cherry trees


Probably the longest walk of the day was from the path to the Jefferson Memorial to the Lincoln Memorial.

The LM is surrounded by war memorials. That's where the WWII Memorial is, The Korean War Memorial, The Vietnam Memorial and the Vietnam Women's Memorial is. This is also where the famous Reflecting Pool is located, and the site of Martin Luther King's legendary 'I Have A Dream' speech.



We came upon the WWII Memorial first. The sun was just starting to come out for the day, and the temperature outside was beautiful.













The weird look on my face is due to the fact the Washington Monument has just erupted from my head



That's better


The walk down the path from the WWII Memorial to the Lincoln Memorial seemed soooo long. Along the way, we noticed that the Reflecting Pool had been torn up. We were pretty bummed about that. That was probably the most disappointing part of the visit.



We found out that they started tearing it up last year because of numerous leaks in the pool, and damage it's sustained over the years. We're going to have to revisit when it's back.

Anyway, when we got to the Lincoln Memorial, I knew we'd come to my favourite part of the visit, even sans Reflecting Pool.




There were assloads of people there. Multiple couples having their wedding pictures taken. It was crazy and surreal.

We climbed the steps, and I was in awe. I felt like I was in a movie.

Most of you men probably don't notice there's a President in this picture, but there is...I also have a face


I love this look on Chuck's face, he's as stoked as I am



This was a great moment for me, I felt like I was the only person in the place




Right after that last picture was taken, Chuck's phone rang. It was his best friend Bob, who Chuck's known since he was a teenager.

I told him he should answer it.

"Hello? Hey man. What am I doing? I'm standing in the Lincoln Memorial, dude. I'm looking at him right now..."

That was pretty awesome. I think it took Bob a second to process it.

The cool breeze up there felt fabulous, the view was amazing.






I never thought in a million years that I'd get to visit Washington, D.C. Let alone stand in front of Lincoln in the Memorial. This was definitely my favourite part of the visit to the National Mall.





On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at the Vietnam Memorial Wall. That was pretty sad.



All those names...I got kind of choked up.






After that, we had to get something to eat and go back to the hotel to get ready for the amazing concert we attended.

I wish we'd had more time to see things like The Capitol, The Smithsonian, and other cool shit. We did drive past The Pentagon on the way in and out of the city.

That was crazy, I poked Chuck and yelled, "Holy crap, it's the fucking Pentagon!"




I'm so sophisticated.


But that's why you all love me so much.

9 comments:

John Gray said...

bloody hell
I had to have a break for the loo halfway through the blog!
not a city I am familiar with but I enjoyed the visit!!!

Kyna said...

It was mostly pictures...you must have a peaunut-sized bladder!

:P

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

One of my favorite local girls in the shadow of the Great Emancipator. Our takeover is nearly complete.

Rory Grant said...

That was an awesome Blog post - Loved every bit of it! Washington DC is now on my bucket list!

I had no idea you could get so close to the front door!

Rory

Marguerite said...

Thanks for the virtual tour of Washington. Had no idea there were so many public monuments and buildings there. That was quite the afternoon.

Gary said...

That was a brilliant post! I don't think we need to go there now after such a great guided tour. Yes, you do have a face as well, lol....Chucks a lucky guy!

Jennifer said...

Lol, your comments section is almost as funny as your blog! Great post. I was there 30 years ago and you make me want to go again.

The Idiot Gardener said...

Washington DC, eh, and you never even got mugged? You're not really trying, are you.

In some of those pictures, Chuckles looks like a little kid when you first show them a dissected frog!

Becca's Dirt said...

Loved the pics Kyna. Looks like you two had so much fun. I would love to visit DC.