Maybe it was partly because of the crowds of school kids walking in groups along the sidewalks, but Washington DC felt a little like a school field trip. We walked from professional street to professional street, finding the memorials, museums, monuments, historical sites, and significant government buildings. The clean city, bustling with suited businesswomen and men, looks and feels like a city deeply inspired by the creation of concrete and the Constitution.
We arrived in the morning, and when we told the man in the parking garage what time we’d be back (we assumed around 3:00 or 4:00 since we wanted to make it to New Jersey by nighttime), he asked, “Are you here to sight see?” We told him yes. “Well, you’ll be here until nine or ten at night at least,” he warned. We looked at each other and smiled: “We’ll be back soon,” we assured him. We didn’t rush to the point of not enjoying the day and the places, but we rushed so that we could see as much as possible in the one day we had there. Like kids on a field trip, we marched along the sidewalks to find things like the U.S. Capitol, U.S. Supreme Court building, Library of Congress, Lincoln Memorial, the White House, Washington Monument, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial. We even made it to the Smithsonian and the United Stated Holocaust Museum, which were both unbelievable. Even though the White House and the Lincoln Memorial probably should have been my favorite parts of the day, I have to tell you that my actual favorite part of the day was seeing Julia Child’s kitchen in the Smithsonian, closely followed by our time in the Holocaust Museum, which revamped the feelings already fresh in my mind after visiting Anne Frank’s house in Amsterdam a few months ago.
Tired, thirsty, and hungry (we skipped meals in order to see more places faster, and we didn’t buy drinks because they are just too expensive!) but with a new and profound feeling of genuine Americanism, we made it back to the parking garage around 4:30. The parking attendant just smiled, nodded, and handed us back our keys. “Now that’s some quality speed sightseeing,” Rachel said as we packed back into the car and headed to our next destination.