Washington, D.C – 2/16/13

We are now three months into the New Year and so far it has been pretty exciting.  I got plenty of other things planned, and now I will be doing more travelling for work.  When I say more I mean my new home with be the seat of an airplane.  I just hope I get some down time to explore the cities I am in.  First let me backtrack a couple weekends ago to my first visit to Washington, D.C.

Let me start with my complaints about D.C.

  1.  Traffic – I can’t believe how much traffic there is in D.C.  It is worse than any other city I’ve been to.  I had to add an extra hour on travelling to get to my destination
  2. Construction – Everywhere I go there was construction.  My friend told me this is normal in D.C.
  3. The Washington Monument – I understand that it is still winter, but I have never seen so much poop in one place before.  You couldn’t even walk by the water because of how much bird poop was present.
  4. The White House – Not D.C.’s fault, but mine and Hollywood’s.  The White House is tiny, thank you movie magic for making it look huge.

I am not angry about my visit; please don’t think that, these are just my observations.  I guess I always had a different idea of what D.C. is like.  This city has so much foot traffic I would’ve thought it was a lot different, but it had a feel, to me at least, of why would people want to live here?  This sounds bad.  Let me start over.  I enjoyed D.C.  I want to go back because there is a lot to do.  Just don’t imagine it to be how you see it in movies or television.

My journey started with my friend and me going to Arlington, Virginia.  My other friend recently moved there for an engineering job in D.C.  We arrived on Friday and then Saturday hopped on a bus to the subway, or has they say Metro, and in a total of 10 minutes from his place we were in D.C.  Pretty nice commute if traffic isn’t bad.

We did a lot of walking.  Saw all the major structures and tried to see every exhibit.  It was chilly and by night it was freezing, but we kept going.  From about 11 am to 10 pm.  As I said before construction is everywhere.  Even the Washington Monument was under construction from the earthquake a few years back which stopped visitors from getting remotely close.

The Lincoln monument was a highlight as was the Vietnam War Memorial Wall.  Strangely, after I took the picture below, I looked left at the names and oddly enough the first name I see is Vincent.  Talk about odd.  We then made our way to the White House, which you can’t get that close to.  Also cops patrol the area 247.  Once we got to the back, there was a protest in pursuit.  Looking at the picture I took, they even had their young ones participating, again odd.

This was an interesting stop.  Looking at the back of the White House, I saw a couple of armed men patrolling the grounds and one walked in front of me.  It is weird to see this in public because these men are armed with heavy artillery.  I understand why this has to be, but seeing it in front of you puts it into reality.  Also I spotted a couple of “soldiers”; I guess I could call them that, in civilian wear.  The one was watching the protest and acting like he was talking on a cell phone.  Once he was done, he looked at me for a while because I was watching him and then left.  I guess he was there to make sure nothing got out of hand.

Moving along, while my friends found somewhere to eat, I watched street performers.  They did a great job drumming and surprisingly the crowd watching was enormous.  After some food and a few bars for my friends, I tried taking my first night shot.  I think it came out alright, but I don’t think it helped I did it in the middle of the street.  Taking pictures at night is still a fear of mine, but I will get use to it sometime.

I want to state again that D.C. is a great place to visit, but if you are visiting for the first time, be prepared.  It isn’t like any other city.  Also there are many, many, many museums and exhibits and they are all free!  At least the ones I went to and I barely scratched the surface.  There is so much to learn about history from these exhibits that I had knowledge overload.  My friends agreed, after awhile you see so much and read so much that you can’t take anymore in.  D.C. is not a day trip, to fully see everything, make it a weekend trip.

Lastly watch your speed.  While driving in I saw a flash of light.  No it wasn’t a UFO or the government tracking me, it was a camera catching me speeding.  As I said before with construction, it is a mess down there that finding a speed limit sign is impossible.  I didn’t think I was going that fast either, but no point in crying about it.  You got me once D.C. but you won’t get me again when I come back.

“What is past is prologue”

MAP: http://maps.google.com/maps?rlz=1T4PRFB_enUS507US507&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=The+White+House&fb=1&gl=us&hq=The+White+House&hnear=The+White+House&cid=0,0,8167675777476425407&sa=X&ei=-2QzUYunCey40QHRt4GYAQ&ved=0CKQBEPwSMAA

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