By now, I’m on the east coast enjoying the cold, unwelcoming weather that it has to offer. I actually had to buy a jacket. In June. However, a few weeks ago we were in Washington, DC, for a definitely-not-vacation. It was a definitely-not-vacation because it was ostensibly a way for the Other Half to show me how to use and ride the subway. It was a learning experience, and definitely not just an excuse for us to go on another vacation in only a month’s time. Regardless of my reasoning, we decided to do the monument tour while we were conveniently located in the nation’s capital.
If you know us, you know we like to explore profusely. To that end, we actually found somewhere to stay that required a 1.5 mile walk every day to the metro station. We saw some very brazen birds (and squirrels), the surprising presence of poison ivy, and a lot of these pretty little flowers:
We decided to do the monuments oddly. We got up very early in the morning just after sunrise, took a look outside the window, and it was already cloudy. Yes, that’s right, that supercell I was running from had followed us all the way from the midwest. Luckily, it didn’t look like rain yet, so we saddled up with a gallon jug of water and some granola bars to start walking. We started at the Jefferson Memorial. He’s one of my favorite people ever, so we took lots of pictures.
One of the reasons I like Thomas Jefferson so much is his way of putting great thoughts so eloquently. For instance, instead of ‘change can be good,’ he wrote:
From Jefferson, we walked up the river on the Rock Creek Trail and ran smack into a whole lot of tour buses that were just starting their morning stops. We ran the other way and wound up at the George Mason memorial, which was very peaceful (and also covered in lots of juvenile birds begging from their parents).
After a few restful moments, we continued on toward the Roosevelt Memorial, which is absolutely gorgeous. There are four areas, one for each of FDR’s four terms of presidency, and all of them filled with quotes and waterfalls.
After taking bets on which one we would get to next, I totally won since we wound up at the Martin Luther King, Jr., memorial, which the Other Half hadn’t seen before.
We actually saw the Capitol building (with construction) on the way to the Washington Monument, but I decided that was a good enough view for me. Especially since they had construction everywhere. Including the reflecting pool (which apparently had a leak).
We actually hiked up to the zoo on the Rock Creek Trail, which was very nice and peaceful as long as you ignored the road beside you. By the time we got done at the zoo, the storm had finally found us, so we stayed in for dinner and waited until 1am to go back out. For future reference, there were a grand total of maybe 8 people outside, along with a red fox doing stair climbs on Lincoln, a opossum crossing the road, and a lot of rabbits and mockingbirds.
The memorials are awe-inspiring during the day, but after dark they’re downright amazing. The lights and fountains highlight the importance of the people honored in them. For the memorials with statues of people (I’m thinking you, Korean War Veterans Memorial), the facial expressions become eerily lifelike. I do highly recommend walking around the memorials at night; it’s definitely an experience.
Also, for the record, we calculated up the distance we walked over the three days we were in DC, and the answer was 40 miles. I feel like my feet may never stop aching (And yes, you, the marathon runner. Yes, you. No judgements, please). Next week, I’ll tell you what other trouble we got into.