So I’ve been kind of lax with talking about DC cos I was there an entire week and did so much it’s kind of overwhelming. It really is a great place though. However, it was so nice to get to Columbus, OH and then now back home to Ann Arbor that I have just enjoyed relaxing.
So DC…it’s a kind of small city, surprisingly. I’m not sure why I thought it would be huge, NYC style, but it definitely isn’t. But the weather was HOT and STICKY and delightful after Boston and its stupid rain. It was a little magical though.
I went and touched a moon rock the first afternoon I got there after struggling to find my way over to my hostel from the Greyhound. And I did other stuff but I was tired so I’ve kind of forgotten. There is also a really pretentious conversation going on over my shoulder in this (really cool) coffee shop I’m in at the moment, so I’m distracted. Sorry.
I got up really early to get a ticket to the Holocaust museum the next day, but even doing that, I couldn’t get in to the main exhibit until 3:45. Lame. So I sat in the Mall and read The Nine (HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend this, read it if you like history, courts and other important things) for a while, before immersing myself in Nazi Germany history. It was very heart-wrenching. I was lucky enough to be there on a day where a survivor of Auschwitz was giving a talk on her experiences, which was really hard to hear about, and very surreal seeing her tattooed number on her forearm, in her words, the only proof she has of ever being there. Her story was incredible – because her father valued languages so much, she could speak Hungarian (she was Hungarian also), German and English, which saved her life at least twice throughout her story. After hearing what she shared, I took a minute, then saw all this unreal propaganda that tracked the rise of Hitler to power. And finally I got to go into the main exhibit (it was PACKED omg, so many tour groups). Thankfully the vibe inside was so sombre they weren’t too obnoxious. But there were so many relics. I cried when I saw the pile of shoes, and the bunk beds. Anyway, it was a very powerful museum.
Saw a whole bunch of money being printed afterwards, the new $100 US bills and was disappointed with how lame people are that they would buy shredded money (they have over $77 million …ish I don’t know, I forget the exact number waste every day of money that doesn’t print properly.) Anyway. It was fun. Then I got lost on my way home and that was tiring.
To be honest from now on I’ve forgotten the order I did anything, so I’m just going to do another list. Sorry it’s not as fun to read, but otherwise I”m going to forget too.
* Eastern Market – it was delicious and fresh.
* Georgetown – it was cute and expensive.
* Arlington Cemetery – it was sombre and inspiring. It was also somewhat annoying because it was like, I don’t know Bikers weekend or something in DC and it was full of bikies and noise, which is fine, but also ruined the vibe a little. The changing of the guard was really cool.
* Memorial Day concert – it was AWESOME and very American. We had Mexican afterwards. Woops.
* Tour of Capitol building – it was big and airy and inspiring and a little rushed. But still very cool.
* Library of Congress – is something I had never thought to go to, and in fact in all my google searches of ‘stuff to do in DC’, it never came up. But it was AMAZING – the library is just beautiful, and the documents they have in there, and the reading room and the accessibility and the fact they add over 7000 new books a day…if you go to Washington, you absolutely must see this library. Even if you don’t like books. It was great.
* Newseum – this museum has re-directed my overall life goal. I have never seen anything I loved as much as this. I think I really appreciate living modern history more than like, I don’t know, old history. The Pulitzer Prize exhibit was unreal (if you haven’t, look at the pictures and read the stories that go with them – I must’ve spent about an hour or two in that area). There were pieces of the Berlin Wall, the handwritten ‘newspapers’ from the tsunami in Japan so that the people in the refuge shelters could know what was happening, the top of the North Tower from the World Trade Centre and amazing footage I’d never seen. In case you can’t tell, I was obsessed. The ticket was valid for two days too, so I went back. I could happily have gone three days. This is another, okay so the rest of DC museums are free and this is expensive, but it’s worth the expense.
* American History musem – by this point I was frickin over museums so I went inside and did the fastest museum tour ever in the world. I saw Julia Child’s kitchen, Dorothy’s slippers, the star spangled banner and some other museum type stuff and got out. But it was cool.
* Art Museum – I walked in and walked out. Couldn’t handle more museums. I did see some Picasso though.
* I decided it was time to strengthen my knee while in DC, so I went running again. It felt sooo good. It also hurt as well, but whatever. I really loved my almost-daily morning run past the Department of Justice, FBI building, IRS building, the Washington Monument, and all these other incredibly important and exciting areas.
* Monument tour – I had a weird and wacky (I debated for way too long just then over whether wacky has an h – wacky or whacky? I don’t know. I think it looks weird with an h, but it’s probably more right. You know what, I don’t care anymore. Feel free to correct me) tour guide, who took us on a decent hike through DC to see all the monuments. DC is very good and having lots of monuments and statues. He told us lots of stories but I forgot most of them. They were funny though. I also met a pilot and that was fun. It was a pleasant morning.
* One night me and two people I met in my hostel went for a walk to see the monuments at night. It was so beautiful, I’m so glad we went. Recommend with two ++.
* Even though I promised myself I wouldn’t, I shopped. At the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court was the most amazing thing, particularly after reading The Nine. You sit IN the court! So close to where all these amazingly important decisions about everything are made.
* Okay I’m over this. DC was cool. I did a lot of cool shit, the best was the Newseum, seeing the monuments at night and the Supreme Court. I would go again and do it all again. Museums can get tiring.