Trinity conquers DCA
Wow! This is my first TravBuddy entry in nearly six months, and of that I am both saddened and ashamed. I had to hold off traveling for awhile, because of the mountain of debt I created from traveling last summer, added to by the fact that I hardly worked at all in the fall (because my airline furloughed half it's employees). I couldn't bear to sign on to TravBuddy at all during this time, it made me too sad. But my tax return took care of the credit cards, I'm working normal hours again, and the universe has hit my reset button. I'm ready to start saving up to eventually create a brand new travel debt this coming summer! I have my priorities... Anyway, I NEEDED a day trip. I think a part of me wanted to go just so I could show up here and write about it.
Donkey asked to take this picture so he could send it to Elephant.
But mostly, I needed it for a mental adjustment. I start to lose it if I go too long without leaving my city. Also, it needed to be a DAY trip, because I'm still kinda broke. And by "kinda" I mean "completely".
We decided on DC because it was President's Day, and we had three days off of work/school. It was significant to the day, and Trinity wanted to be able to write something extra cool in her journal at school about her long weekend. We packed up Teddy and Donkey, our two traveling stuffed animals, our books to read on the plane and an extra pair of shoes, and we were off. It was our first time flying on an Embraer and it was better than I expected. But I had low expectations. The flight attendant was a little too talkative with the other non-rev sitting across the aisle from me (we were in the bulkhead).
Hollywood homes of the rich and famous
I swear she didn't shut up the entire time. It was good that I was reading a collection of articles rather than a book, because I had to read multiple paragraphs more than once due to her incessant yapping.
When we go to DC we learned that the Metro had scheduled maintenance, which threw me for a loop because we only had about five hours to spend in the city, and now that was reduced to four because of the additional half hour it took to get on a train to a bus to a train again. But I lacked anything to complain about. I got to see some other parts of DC that I wouldn't have otherwise. We went, of course, to Smithsonian. The day before, we went online and looked at web sites, and debated over going to the American History Museum or the Newseum.
We chose the American History Museum, partially because it was free, and partially because we wanted to see Kermit the Frog, I mean, the collection of letters written by Abraham Lincoln. I had somehow figured out that by getting on a second random shuttle at Pentagon City, rather than the designated blue line bus, I could get within walking distance of the Smithsonian stop without having to wait ten minutes and then be taken to another subway stop. I don't know where we ended up exactly but it was closer to the Capitol, and we just walked along the mall to the museum from there. It was truly a beautiful day! We seriously could not have asked for a better day. The sun was shining, it had to have been at least in the mid-40's. All I brought with me was a sweatshirt and a hoodie, plus the phony sweater I had to wear over it to non-rev, but I ended up with the sweater tied around my waist, it was that warm.
The man who will shoot you in the leg if you jump the fence
We went inside the museum and stood in the security line. You walk through a metal detector and they hand search your belongings, etc. After we got through,I swear to you the guy behind me asks the security guard "What exactly are you looking for?" I had to stop myself from laughing out loud. Actually, I did not stop myself. I absolutely laughed out loud. Trinity, on the other hand, has tact. She didn't laugh at him, instead she moved away and then quietly said "What! Hello...weapons???" Haha. I have to honest with you, we did not last long inside the museum. It was at least 150˚ in there. We did see Lincoln's letters and marveled at how illegible his handwriting was. I'm pretty sure Trinity's teacher was impressed with whatever she wrote in her journal about it.
(She will bring that home Monday...I think I'll post what she wrote here!) We saw the ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, can I tell you they are filthy. These things are more worn than the Skechers I've owned and worn every day since 2002. Trinity said "Oh my god, how long did it take them to film that movie! They're so dirty!" We did see Kermit, and got an extra bonus of seeing Oscar the Grouch! He was right next door to Kermit, in a case with the puffy shirt from Seinfeld. We weren't going to play the same game we played on our last trip to DC, where we couldn't find any food, so we followed the smell of food to the Star and Stripes Cafe located inside the museum. I have no idea what our food cost me, but it was overpriced. It wasn't that it tasted bad or anything, I just know that they could charge just about anything for food in DC and people will pay it.
there is a button on that thing. I pushed it, hope it wasn't a doorbell.
As a matter of fact, I'm going onto whitehouse.gov after I'm finished here and asking President Obama to do something about price gouging in the tourist areas of DC. Kidding aside, I don't really care. I mean, we sat near a window and ate lunch with the Washington Monument looking over us...not too shabby for a Sunday afternoon.
We left there and wandered over to the White House. This was our third visit to DC, and our third visit to the White House. But it was the first time we got to see the front entrance (or is it the back entrance, I honestly have no idea). The other times we were there, everything was closed off all around it, and we had to walk around. This time we just walked right up. I appreciated the new vantage point, even though I knew the President was in Chicago.
my fave pic I took this trip
At least I was until a squirrel walked out from the White House lawn to the sidewalk at my feet, and I had to run away. We walked to the back (or front) so we could take pictures. I keep telling everyone that there were more people there this time than there were when Bush was President.... but that's actually a big fat lie. There were just as many people as there were the other times I was there. The bomb guy was missing, but now there is a guy with an Obama symbol with 666 in the middle. People did look/act a lot more excited than they did the last time I was there. For example, when Bush was President, tourists who gathered in front of the White House would say "Excuse me. Could you take a picture of me please. Thank you." Now people were like "Could you take my picture? Do you want me to take your picture here? Oh wait, that one turned out crooked, let me take another one for you!" We left, and then Trinity remembered she had worn her Hope shirt, and she wanted to have that showing in a picture, so we went back again.
Teddy is hogging the cookies
And then we went back to the airport. The train detoured to Rosslyn, and that was so worth it! Inside there is the longest escalator in the entire world. I'm not exactly sure if that's a fact, but I couldn't believe my eyes. Normally, when there are several stories of something, esclators are broken up into flights that sort of zigzag around. I was not expecting to see an escalator of this size of it when I turned the corner, and neither did the other tourists who got off the train with me to be herded to the shuttle, because I could hear an audible gasp when they saw it too. I felt embarassed to be a part of that sound, even though I did make a sound myself. I was thinking it, though. I couldn't bring myself to stop there and take a picture.
that's me, and that's the Capitol (no really)
So I just stood still on the escalator for the half hour ride. I felt like I was on a ski lift.
We had literally perfect timing to the airport, we got to the gate about 20 minutes prior to boarding. We didn't have any time to eat, so I actually paid for two meals on the plane. Whatever it takes to keep this airline in business, man!