Washington DC was a big deal for Jordan. He really wanted to stop here and I did too, but this was really Jordan’s thing. He loves history and talking about it, so this was a big deal for him. I was excited too, because you always hear about DC and it’s really an amazing place. We stayed in DC for two full days so I’ll have to break this post up a bit.
We arrived in DC around 8pm. We were staying with Peter, a distant relative of mine and he had dinner all ready for us when we arrived. After dinner we hopped in Peter’s car and he showed us around the city a bit. That was great because Jordan got a feel for the streets and where things were. He’s much better at retaining that sort of information than I am. One thing I noticed about drivers in DC, they’re very aggressive; there’s no hesitation when they’re about to cut you off, they just do it. But there’s not a lot of honking or angry yelling. That was interesting for me living in Washington State where it’s all about hesitating and waiting.
After our little car tour of the city we went back to Peter’s house, settled down in our room and went to sleep. The next day is when all the fun began.
We left Peter’s around 9am. We drove our car to Union Station where we could park all day for $19. We walked to the Capitol Building and took some pictures, then we started to make our way to the Smithsonian Museums. We stopped by the Botanical Garden on the way. There were dozens of beautiful orchids and the air was so thick and fragrant. It was really lovely in there.
The first museum we went to was the Space & Air Travel Museum. It was interesting, but not my favorite. They had some interesting exhibits but as a whole it wasn’t really my thing. After that we went to the Natvie American Museum for some lunch. Jordan had some frog legs, which were alright, but not very filling and I had a huge “Indian Taco.” It came on fry bread and was topped with buffalo chili. It was really delicious. Especially the fry bread. Jordan went and got a piece for himself.
After lunch we stopped by the Smithsonian Castle for a gander at Mr. Smithson’s grave. We didn’t stay long, because our next stop was one of my favorites, the National Museum of Natural History.
I love natural history museums. I could spend hours in them, there’s so much to see and learn. I love it. This one had some really amazing fossils and dinosaur exhibits. We bought a couple of tickets to see the Imax movie “Dinosaurs in 3D: Giants of Patagonia.” Our show wasn’t until a bit later though so to pass the time we went to the National Archives.
The line for the “sightseeing side” of the National Arachives was practically around the block, so we went around to the research side. We signed in, which was a very in depth and lengthy process. We finally got in to use the computers, and started researching our families. I had a hard time because I don’t know where my grandparents were born, so I made some guesses to see what would come up. I got a few things, but nothing I didn’t know before. Jordan had a bit more luck, but I was getting bored, since I didn’t really have anything else to look up and felt silly typing in the same names.
We signed out and went back to the Natural History Museum and watched our dinosaur movie. It was interesting, but very archeologically based. There wasn’t much recreating of the dinosaurs world, which was what I was expecting. But it was still fun to see.
We walked to the Washington Monument and admired that for a bit. We couldn’t go up because it was too late in the day, they’d already closed up. But we stood at the base and stared up at it. It’s amazing the size of it.
From there we walked through the World War II Memorial and down the Reflection Pool towards the Lincoln Memorial. This was one of Jordan’s big highlights. Lincoln is one of his heroes, so he was very excited to see this. After reading his speeches, which are engraved upon the walls we started to walk towards the White House.
Along the way we came across a pedi-cab, which is basically a bicycle with a seat behind it. We took that the rest of the way to the White House because I was getting so tired. It’s pretty awesome how pedi-cabs can weave easily in and out of traffic, which was pretty awful at that time of day. Our cabby was really nice and had some interesting things to say about the city. He was nice enough to take us all the way to the visitors center.
We made our way to the South Lawn and took as many pictures as we could before our camera died. After admiring the White House we trekked past the Department of the Tresury towards our dinner choice.
There was a large crowd outside the restaurant. It would be about an hour wait. We had chosen the Old Ebbit House, which is the oldest saloon/restaurant in DC. Based on that fact and the fact that I didn’t want to have to try to find another place to eat we waited. We ended up waiting about an hour and a half. Apparently it’s a very popular place. It was worth the wait though. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was charged with enthusiasm and happiness.
After dinner we took a cab back to Union Station and to our car. We drove past the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial to see them lit up at night. We made it back to Peter’s house and fell into bed exhausted. I tried not to think of the next day and how much more walking we were going to be doing.