I spent Thanksgiving weekend in Washington DC. No, I don’t exactly have family there. My friend Anne has lived in DC for four years. For four years, every time I saw her (mostly in New York), I said a variation of this: “I would love to visit you! I need to make that happen!” I meant it too, and yet it never happened. Now that Anne is likely moving to NYC in 2014, I was seriously running out of time. A deadline- alas, that’s so often what it takes to get me in motion.
Our friend Julia, who lives in LA, had a conference in Baltimore the week of Thanksgiving. Anne, Julia, and I have been friends since we were little girls. Our friendship can legally buy cigarettes and watch porn now. Eighteen years of friendship means these girls are truly like sisters to me. As an only child, siblings are a part of family I had no choice but to choose myself. Perhaps the best choices I’ve made in my life. Thus it was like I was visiting family in DC. Everything fell into place and three girl friends gathered in our nation’s capitol for Turkey Day.
The one and only time I visited this city previously was on an 8th grade class trip. Myself and 30 of my pimply, pubescent classmates traipsed around countless monuments and sites. What a contrast to my experience this time. The day after Thanksgiving, we strapped on our walking shoes, bundled up against the lower-than-NYC temperatures, and dedicated ourselves to playing tourist.
The National Monument framed by a enthusiastic segue tour. Yep, you see that correctly, these tourist are wearing Batman and Superman outfits complete with capes that billowed in the wind. I wanted to judge them for their choice of transportation, but I love any one that choses to laugh at themselves. Plus this tour group put a big smile on my face. Be less judgmental- perhaps a New Year’s resolution?
This picture is an exact replica of one I took on a disposable camera in 2000. Why do we take pictures like this? A google image search would yield thousands far superior. I want to prove I’ve been here? I want to post it on my blog? Well, here we are.
The reflecting pool between the Monument and the Lincoln Memorial was partially frozen over. Something tells me ice skating is strictly forbidden. We stood and watched a little boy hammering his foot against the ice, the result a leg-size hole and one soaked shoe. He did not fall in. I wonder how often that happens!
This World War II Memorial had yet to be built the last time I was in DC! Completed in 2004, it was a long time coming. Respectful, eye-pleasing, if impersonal was my impression, but we only walked through. So many memorials, so little time- the sun sets so early this close to the winter solstice!
It’s quite a trek to the Jefferson Memorial, but it was worth it. Glorious in the waning sun, the columns catching the light and casting shadows. The day after Thanksgiving is a rare occasion when it the place is not flooded by school groups and tours. Anne told a great story of coming to this memorial with her boyfriend and having a simple kiss greeted with a dozen 8 year-olds cheering, “CONGRATULATIONS!”
It was refreshing to be in a city where I had utterly no familiarity. That hasn’t happened in far to long, when I stopped to think about it. Washington DC is so full of iconic images. Any car ride or walk we took, there was something to see. Round a corner- there’s the Capitol! Look out the window, oh, there’s the White House!
So glad I finally made it to DC, while I still had a lovely host to stay with!
It’s plain to see I had a wonderful holiday. Which begs the question- How was yours?