monkeyinabox: look here....or you could just go through life and be happy anyway

the daily banana

The DC Wrap Up


Elton John once sang Someone Saved My Life Tonight

Well, time slips away when you are having fun. I thought I would have time to do the final write up for the trip, while on the trip, but that didn't happen, so back to last Friday.

Friday was going to be a long day. Rather than deal with driving to the city or trying to get a parking spot by the Metro station after 8am, my dad drove me to the stop. This meant getting up early and heading out to hit some rush-hour traffic. Soon enough I was on the Metro train cruising along at 60 MPH or so. Those suckers haul.

I made it to the city and headed toward the Washington Monument. I saw the ticket area to ride up to the top and quickly got in line. This was a good thing, since once in line I got one of the last tickets. I had some time to kill before I could ride up, so I next went over to the Bureau of Printing and Engraving (the place where they make money the old fashioned way: they print it). The highlight of this was the 6'-6" ceiling height. Oh God, my neck will never forgive them. Did it make me want to buy bags of shredded up money they misprinted? Nope! Bring on the Bayer Aspirin. I did ask why they couldn't afford higher ceilings, but the tour guide missed the sarcasm. You soon find in the DC area there's a lot of stuff that gets lost in translation.

After the torture tour was over, I headed over to the Washington Monument, where I figured the headroom had to be better. Oh, did I mention the best part of all these tours since those kind folks decided to crash airplanes into buildings, is that you get to go through security at every monument, or historic building (hell, I even had to go through security to get into The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center that as far as I was concerned, had a food court and bathrooms). Back to the Washington Monument, the ride up was pretty fast. The elevator operator seemed to be in a daze, with his speech. It's nice to see that working in the W.M. is just about as exciting as McDonalds to some people. Once at the top, you get to peer out some rather small windows that have a nice thick scratched up plastic covering. Great for pictures, or seeing if your contact lenses are in your eyes straight. The ride down was the best part as you get to see some of the detail work (carvings, dedications, etc) on the inside of the marble, granite, and sandstone blocks. Very cool indeed.

After touching the ground again, I headed off for some more museums and such located outside the Mall area. My stomach was also telling me it was time to eat as well. I started to see what I could find as I walked around. I already mentioned that the Reagan building had a food court, but I figured I could do better than Subway, or at least get something different. It's not such a big country when you travel all the way across it and get the same stuff you can get here. After walking around too long I finally settled on this place called Au Bon Pain. You know any place that has pain in the name, can't be all bad. I'm sure it's French, but I saw no French people inside. My server's name was Mastawasha. Yes, I've heard of Masta P, but not Mastawasha. That was one thing I noticed was I saw many names I had never heard of before while on this trip. Bend is not very diverse, if you didn't already know.

I wrapped up the afternoon seeing a few more sights and made my way towards the Metro station to catch the train to RFK Stadium for the Nationals baseball game. I met my dad at that stop and we headed into the stadium to watch the Orioles come to town. Yep, my second Orioles game and I think I might be their good luck token, because the won again. The game was rather uneventful. There is supposed to be a rivalry between Washington and Baltimore, but it was not very extreme. The brats were tasty at least.

We headed back to the crowded Metro station to catch the 45-minute ride back to the car. The most eventful thing was some woman going crazy at the parking lot, because I think she expected the parking to be free since late Friday night was a weekend in her books. I'm not sure if it's worth getting that worked up over $3.75, but it must have been to her.

Saturday was to be a less busy day back to DC. This time I got to drive to the Metro stop, which meant some fun on I-95. I guess once you've driven I-5 in Southern California, nothing scares you, so I just cruised on down the road. Of course there's not one second where you think 'thank God I don't have to drive this everyday'. It always makes Bend traffic seem not so bad to go somewhere else where the population is much larger.

The second day of my solo DC visit, involved hitting most of the Smithsonian museums along the Mall strip. Lot's of art, lot's of old airplanes, and lots of dinosaur bones. I did get a chance to see an IMAX 3D version of Alien's Of The Deep, which I had been wanting to see. The final stop in DC was my visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (and no Oprah wasn't there). Wow, this was an amazing exhibit. It's always hard to see stuff like this and wonder how it could happen. It did. And that's the point of the museum. People can really do some horrible things.

Sunday featured a breakfast buffet that puts all others to shame. Champagne anyone? Of course it all evens out when you get to spend about 7 1/2 hours on airplanes heading back. The theme of the return trip seemed to be sitting next to smelly hairy guys and getting squished. They played a heavily edited version of King Kong, which was about the perfect length, if I had been sitting at home, but on a five-hour flight why make it shorter? Oh yeah, keeping it family friendly. Hell, at least it wasn't Big Mommas House 2 again. So while I was happy to be off the plane, I think a small piece of me remained on board and is still flying around. At least I don't have to suffer the airline food. Oh yeah, they don't give you that anymore either. Travel rules, and in the words of Rick Steves, 'Happy Travels'.

Posted by monkeyinabox ::: |


Dingo said:

You wrote this a year ago today. Was your heart breaking?

monkeyinabox said:

Yes. Sometimes you really never know how much you miss something until it is gone. A lot of great memories from that trip from an amazing place. Always hard to come home after being in a place so wonderful.

Post a comment

Remember info?