I did it! I feel better. Okay, not really. Not TOTALLY. But I didn’t really get out of bed all day yesterday and I slept in past noon again today, so I decided to make the trek to downtown DC.
I pulled it together at roughly 3:00 p.m. and headed to the Metro.
For the record, I still kind of hate public transportation. Even though I have semi-successfully navigated metros in Paris, Montreal, and New York (all in the last six months) it still kind of confuses me, and I always end up going the wrong way or getting on the wrong train at least once per city. Thinking about it gives me mild anxiety.
Another thing that gives me anxiety is trying to find parking in a big city and parallel parking when you’re holding up traffic, and also I hate paying for parking and thinking about exactly how many minutes I have until I have to be back at the car. So, yeah, the Metro it was yesterday.
Besides standing at the kiosk trying to figure out if I should get a daily pass, a weekly pass, or some sort of other pass for an excruciatingly long time, I successfully got on the Metro going the right direction and got off at the right stop: the Smithsonian stop.
Having no idea where to go from there, I meandered up the steps, and lucky me, I could see the Washington Monument from there. Seemed as good of a place to start as any.
I walked to the Washington Monument, saw signs to the Lincoln Memorial, passed through the WWII memorial on the way. Eventually found an Information Booth and got a map, then cruised through the Vietnam Memorial on the way to the White House.
Once at the front of the White House, there were tons of Secret Service guys yelling at people to move off the sidewalks and stand back and there was a lot of chaos and no one really knew what was happening. After a bunch of police motorcycles rolled by with there lights on and more commotion, the Secret Service guys let us continue doing our touristy things. As I was crossing the street, someone asked the big Secret Service agent who had been yelling at us what was going on: Obama had just come home for the evening.
To be honest, by the time it was all over, I was hungry. By the time I found a sandwich, I realized all the Smithsonians were closed for the evening and the sun was going down.*
And to be extra honest, I didn’t care. I was tired again. And I’m dedicated to not wearing myself out here. I got on the Metro and headed for “home.” And, of course, it was the wrong Metro…
* Travel Tip: unless you want a hot dog, there are not a lot of food choices in the area; you are going to have to walk a bit.