Friday, October 28, 2011

Walking through Washington

An Honest Man

Last week I found myself in Washington on a business trip and decided to take advantage by soaking in some of the touristy spots. The first night was spent walking up and down M Street through Georgetown. The area was hopping but that was no surprise given that Georgetown University is nearby. Lots of young bodies grazing the late night shops, coffee holes, and watering holes. Surprisingly there were few actually English/Irish style pubs on our route but we made due with a good old American sports bar.

No Firearms School Zone and Fallout Shelter
Vietnam War Memorial (the wall) World War II Memorial

The next night found me strolling the grounds surrounding the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (the Wall), the World War II Memorial, and then back to my hotel before the witching hour. Though I felt safe enough throughout my night's journey it was obvious that as the last rays of sunlight descended there was a changing of the guard as the day's inhabitants headed home in their fancy business suits making way for an assortment of zombie like characters pushing shopping carts and babyless strollers. Out of my element, I darted back to the Starbucks near my hotel where I fed off their free wifi and coffee before retiring for the night.

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On my last day I spent the morning walking the alphabet streets until 10am when all the museums opened. Now the beauty about Washington is that they have this area called the National Mall that runs east of the Washington Monument and is home to several Smithsonian museums. Oh, and they're free once you clear the metal detector. This indoor adventure had turned out to be a great plan as the weather had changed from sun to a little rain. I managed to make a whirlwind tour of both the Air and Space Museum and the Natural History Museum. Both deserved better than my speedy walkabout but that said, I did manage to squeeze in an IMAX show of the Grand Canyon. Before long I was back at the hotel packing up and checking out before my 2pm late checkout. With suitcase in tow I decided to hop on the Metro to Arlington Cemetery to visit the grave of JFK and the tomb of the Unknown Soldier (of which apparently there are plenty). A great plan, if only in concept. As it turned out the streets of Arlington Cemetery aren't exactly ideal for pulling a small luggage bag with hard plastic wheels. I must of passed 50 signs reading, "Silence and Respect" followed by awkward glances from school kids and war veterans alike. Oh well, obviously I wasn't loud enough to wake the dead.

Silence and Respect JFK's grave

Arlington Cemetery crossroads Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Washington Monument JFK grave

Map of downtown Washington DC:
Washington, DC

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