ms. fresh fish

DC Roll-up
August 2, 2007, 6:34 am
Filed under: travel

Alright, alright… I give in.

My recent trip to DC was great. While I was there for a course that took up about 87% of my time, luckily I’m fast like lightning and was able to get in most of the sites. It was very reminiscent of my Chicago strategy over a year ago. Not reminiscent in this trip was my blogging commitment. Last year – every day I was there, I blogged. That’s what happens when one has a) a laptop, b) free wireless in the hotel, and c) no one to ease the loneliness.

But I digress.

I accidentally did most of DC the first night I got there. I thought I’d just check out the White House, but considering it would already be 7 p.m. by the time I got there, I’d probably just head back to my Arlington hotel straight away. Of course I didn’t. Of course I figured I’d just book it over to see one more site to make the trip that much more efficient. No map, no tour book, just one podcast of a “Walk in Washington” and I was off. Turns out it’s pretty hard to miss the monuments… because they’re bloody GARGANTUAN. I had no expectations of size and grandeur. I’m a Canadian; we build stuff humbly here (ok, except for a few obvious exceptions).  

I found the Mall and started my stroll. While I was watching the dodgeball game in one of the open spaces, I felt the sudden need to turn around. Given the extent to which I go through life with blinders on, this is really something people.

And there it was. The peen. Staring back at me.


I know it’s the “Washington” monument, but given those two red lights at the top that blink like evil little eyes, watching and tracking your every movement, I can’t help but think there’s a certain VP right now who doesn’t need a little monumenting, especially since it’s so a propos in terms of overall sensation of fear and creepiness.

As I followed the path (that’s what I do, like a good little grrl), I then stumbled upon the Vietnam Memorial. I can’t even make fun of this one. It’s incredible in its seemingly politically-neutral yet painfully stark, simple message. All I can say is that pictures don’t do it justice.  

And then, to the Lincoln Memorial – but a stone’s throw from the Vietnam Memorial (alright, so you might have to be Peyton Manning to get that throw there, but you get my point). I kinda loved this one too, despite my well-formed and oft-discussed, er, issues with Americana in general. It’s size is ridiculous and that alone should have made me vomit with principled disgust. Thing is, I’m no stranger to a little drama and I definitely don’t shy away from someone else providing it to me in pure, spectacular form. So, instead of being offended by its enormity, I relished in it. I ran up those stairs to get to the spot where not only Martin Luther King, Jr had spoken of his dream, but where Reese Witherspoon had finally been accepted by the Hill staffers via the long-awaited non-harrassing snap cup. Sigh.

To the left of Lincoln is the Gettysburg Address and to the right, his second inaugural address. Lesson: The USA once had a very good reason to be patriotic. I get that now.  I also get why Ford wanted to create “the Lincoln.” Sturdy, strong, blah blah blah.

It was now getting very dark and while I’m generally not afraid of “stranger danger”, being in one of America’s most violent cities, I decided now might be a good time to remove my head from my ass (given that both were solo on this adventure) and book it to the metro at Foggy Bottom. The walk brought me past the infamous Snow Fence Monument, the State Department (barricaded, obviously) and through to the George Washington University campus, which is when I decided I need to go back to school, to GWU, at that campus.

Oh dear… so much more to write about. This is the problem with blogging… once I start, I cannot stop. I’ll work on a more concise entry encapsulating the rest of the trip for tomorrow.


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