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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Trip Report: Washington, DC

I always schedule a trip for post Tax Season. It's something to look forward to while I'm staying up till 10pm on a Sunday night working. I've done the Oregon thing a couple of times... Scotland and Ireland... St. Louis. (what do most of those trips have in common? YUP a marathon). This year... without a doubt... the trip is the Grand Canyon Trip... but, when The KoB offered to let me tag along on his work trip to DC last week... it took me about .02 seconds to start packing a bag.


I'd gone to DC for the day a couple of years ago with my friend Jeff. I was visiting him in Charlottesville and I was in the early stages of my Lincoln assassination obsession, so we basically just hit up Ford's Theater, had lunch and dinner in the city, walked around the mall and drove back to Charlottesville. The last time I had a proper trip to DC was when I was in the 8th grade with my family. That was fun and I remember spending all day everyday wandering around the city and in museums.

This time it was nice, because I had a fair amount of time on my own to explore (while the KoB was working), but then got to participate in some planned events with The KoB's work. 

On my own, I spent most of my time wandering around the National Art Museum and Portrait Gallery where I was ABSOLUTELY thrilled to get to see 4 paintings from my favorite artist, Edward Hopper.

 White River at Sharon
one of my favorite paintings of his.

Cape Cod Morning
So cool to see one of his most famous works in person.

I also meandered around the streets and did a little shopping. It was perfect. I also really enjoyed the dinner and Bike Ride with The KoB's work. I hadn't been on a bike in about 25 years and while it was SUPER fun... it was also SUPER uncomfortable. I'm not sure if there is something wrong with my ladybits or if I was sitting on the bike incorrectly but holy shit my groin/crotch bone is STILL sore from that ride.

Thankfully no pictures of me wearing a helmet and
awkwardly sitting on a bike exist. 

My favorite part of the trip, though, was the run that The KoB and I did on Saturday morning. Saturday was a free day for him... so we slept in and spent about 90 minutes running around all the monuments and memorials in DC that we wanted to see. It was amazing. We hit everything that we missed on the Bike Tour... Jefferson Memorial, FDR Memorial, MLK Memorial, DC WWI Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial. It was perfect.
It's funny.... I always kind of think that most memorials at first glance are too garish for what they represent. For instance, the WWII Memorial... when I looked at it from the sidewalk, I was like... uhhhh... gawdy. But then as I went down and walked around it... I couldn't help but be moved. Sure, aesthetically it might not be the most attractive memorial in the world, but, I guess at the end of the day... that's not really the point. The point is what it represents and giving you a chance to reflect and give respect.

I did love the Korean War Memorial and was incredibly moved to walk around it, seeing the etched faces in the wall staring back at me. And there was a group of Veterans there visiting THEIR memorial. I was totally overwhelmed. You can't help but think of the sacrifices that were asked of these BOYS. I mean, they were just kids! What the hell was I doing when I was 19/20?? I was schlepping to class a few hours a day during the week and sleeping in till 1pm on weekends and drinking and eating my ass off. I wasn't worried about fighting a war. It makes you feel so privileged and embarrassed.

And the Vietnam War Memorial is especially moving to me. My dad was drafted to the US Army during the Vietnam War and by some cosmic act of fate, he was spared a trip to Vietnam and instead was stationed in Alaska during his service. It isn't lost on me how incredibly lucky he was and I am because of that. As evidenced on that wall, so many others weren't that lucky. 

Anyway... I might not agree with the act of war or the intentions or actions of our government most of the time. But, I am forever grateful to those who have served and who actively serve our country. Their sacrifices are not just noble and selfless, but so goddamn brave.

Washington DC is such a cool city to visit. All the free museums and monuments and memorials. It was a really fun trip!

 Smithsonian Castle.

The Gettysburg Address etched into the wall
at the Lincoln Memorial

My favorite building in DC, I think.
The Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

1 comment:

Carina said...

I used to live there, but DC still impresses me every time. Sooo much to do.