Raise your hand if you scroll right through someone’s travel recap posts unless you a) are going to said location very soon, b) someone who was on the trip with them, or c) are looking to postpone working/studying/sleeping. Because of that I am going to bullet point and make brief my recent trip to Washington, DC. I want to recap it for sure and share my mostly Instagrammed photos, and also give out what I think are valuable opinions.

  • I went with my friends Kara, Jennika, and Valerie to see our friend Rae who moved to Silver Spring in the early fall. We booked our flights with US Airways out of the Columbia Metropolitan Airport. I was excited to fly from CAE (first time anyone’s ever said that?) because I really hate the 1.5 hour drive back from Charlotte after a tiresome flight. Valuable opinion: Don’t fly US Airways because they Are So Terrible. We got delayed by multiple hours on both flights. The one on the way back was cancelled entirely and was a hellacious experience. Valuable tip: Don’t get delayed in CAE, their food and caffeine options are insanely limited. But the airport itself is clean, and largely uncrowded. If I ever fly again I’d like to fly in and out of there more frequently on my future travels.

This was before we departed from CAE. (Photo via: Kara)

  • Valuable opinion: The White House tour SUCKS. We had one lined up for 7:30 a.m. on Saturday and spent more time being hassled by security than in the house. It was an East Wing only tour, self guided, and the signs in the rooms were the same as on the brochure they give you. We could have looked at photos online and gotten nearly the same experience, though it was cool to think that we were walking on the same floorboards and hundreds of very important and historical people. But, valuable opinion: the Library of Congress tour was cool because the architecture, art, and attention to detail was insanely beautiful. Our docent seemed like he was bored with giving his recited speech over and over, but even with ignoring him a little, I got my money’s worth (free) out of it. Finally, a valuable tip regarding going in and out of these government buildings: make sure to wear jackets that are easy to remove, and do not take a bag.

 

  • Valuable tip: The museums were really awesome though. On Saturday after the White House, we went to the Museum of Natural History and saw some boring stuff (boo single celled organisms!) and awesome stuff (stegosaurus yay!). My feet were hating me by the time we got through the evolution part and I sat down every chance I got.

 

  • I’ll touch on the food in another post, but we ate at an Ethiopian place in Silver Spring. Apparently Ethiopians are the hot minority in the metropolitan DC area. Who knew?
  • “This mall sucks, there isn’t even a Starbucks here!” Hahaha, that quote is still killin’ me. Jennika said that (in jest of course) at the National Mall, which I knew was just a large grassy area, but we didn’t realize JUST HOW LARGE until we walked all the way across it to get to the Washington Monument on Monday. It kept moving farther and farther away, I swear. Valuable tip: Things in sight are not as close as they appear.

is about as far as

or at least it felt that way.

 

  • Sunday we enjoyed the Museum of American History and kept saying we were going to “Carrie Bradshaw’s computer,” an exhibit we were all excited to see but couldn’t find. Now I know why.
  • However, Julia Child’s kitchen was there, and valuable tip: It’s totally encased in plastic, which I don’t know why but I didn’t expect. There was also a sizable display devoted to food in America that I roamed around and lingered over more than anything the entire trip. Julia Child may have been a jerk about vegetarians, but there’s no denying her contributions to the way we cook and eat today. Seeing her workspace made me feel a close, deep connection to her and everyone else who loves the process of preparing their own sustenance.

 

  • Falling asleep outside a museum gift shop gives your friends license to take photographs with you while you’re unconscious. Valuable opinion: they suck. but it’s still hilarious. Photos to come.
  • The Metro is a cool thing, it moves a mind boggling amount of people around every day, but I don’t think I could live somewhere with it. Funnily enough, I felt like Columbia needed more public transportation when I got back from Portland. I don’t know what made me feel differently about the two systems, but I just… no. I wouldn’t want to do it. Not valuable opinion: I want to be an instantly gratified American who doesn’t have to rely on schedules and other people not shoving me around when I want to go somewhere. We did have one insanely hilarious conductor on one ride. “Safety tip coming up… SAFETY TIP: there are 24 doors on this train, spread out and use them all. Spread out. Spread out and use them all. SAFETY TIP!”

 

  • It’s fa-reaking cold there in January to a South Carolinian who hates anything sub 60 degrees. And even if you’re freezing, you can still be sweating in your leggings, leg warmers, and jeans layer extravaganza, which leads to unpleasant rashes and chafing.

  • Valuable opinion: Even though this trip was a bit grueling in terms of weather, transportation issues, and unfamiliarity in a new city, I’d definitely try to go back to DC someday soon to explore more things, but not when it’s cool enough to need a jacket.