A couple of weeks ago I decided to be a DC tourist for the day. After all, there are often so many cool things to do in our own backyard (and DC is certainly no exception) that we never get around to doing them simply because they are in our backyard, and we figure we can do them anytime or we feel a little too cool to line up with the droves of tourists in our own stomping grounds. I, however, was becoming embarrassed that friends who came to DC for the weekend had seen more of the sights and knew about the city than I did. Therefore, I unabashedly threw whatever elusive coolness I possess to the wind and became a camera-toting tourist in my own city.
My friend David and I decided that if we were going to be tourists, we might as well go all out, so we bought tickets for one of those tour mobile buses that takes you around the city and tells you the history of the monuments and sights (it was a little embarrassing when the tour guide asked everyone on the bus where they had traveled from to see DC and David and I sheepishly muttered, "uh... down the road"). Our dear friend Hannah (the three of us were at IHOP in KC two years ago and Hannah was my wonderful roommate) came into town to tour DC with us- she was our cover for buying the touristy bus tickets, but I must confess that I had secretly been wanting to go one of these tours for months. Unfortunately, Hannah chose one of the coldest days of the year to visit, but we certainly weren't going to let a few bitter gusting winds stop us from conquering the city in a day.
Some of the highlights were the Holocaust Museum (it was fascinating and yet deeply grieving to my spirit to see how fast a culture could be incrementally and subtly persuaded of the "rightness" of such an inhumane false ideology- a.k.a. brainwashed), the Washington Monument (it is actually two different colors- this is due to a period of twenty-three years in the 1800s when they had to stop building the monument due to the city's limited finances and did you know there has been only one president to up in the monument- good ol' Harry S. Truman?).
Next we went to the "Pres' Crib"- the DC icon otherwise known as "The White House" (there was a reporter outside who was hoping we would leave after our tenth photo opt, but then he realized we were just getting started- even though we had already tried every photo combination of the three of us short of doing a pyramid in front of the White House. For some reason, I always have such a hard time convincing others that the pyramid is a good photo option. Any way, the reporter finally asked us politely if we could please be quiet for a couple of minutes while he got a sound check- fortunately I was able to get David and Hannah to settle down :), but I still did not get my pyramid shot),
One of my favorites was The Lincoln Memorial (one of our best presidents for sure, who penned the words that would not leave our minds the rest of the day, 'four score and seven years ago!") and of course the prestigious and stately Capitol Building (we got off here for photos because our tour guide assured us that another bus would be coming, but after we realized he was the same guide who had curiously told us different "historical" information about the sights than our other tour guides, we decided that he might not be the most reliable source. We realized that our options (and our coat linings) were thin- we had little choice but to battle the piercingly cold blustering winds, and so we began the walk back to Union Station- I suppose the fun photo opts at the Capitol and the sympathy that you will hopefully give us from our dramatic story were worth it though).
I am excited for my friends (a.k.a. you) to come and visit DC. I tried to memorize the tour guides' talks so that I can spout off the dates and historical significance of the monuments and museums (or if I forget, I can just make them up- I am pretty sure that is what our last tour guide was doing. Yes, he was the same one who told us another tour bus was definitely coming as he pulled away.) Let me know when you want to book your DC adventure in the wonderful white "grace happens" 4Runner tour mobile.