I can’t believe another week has now passed since I last blogged! What the eff!? I’ve been home from Washington for 3 weeks and I’m only now getting around to blogging about it. Terrible. Chalk it up to the old adage of “Better late than never”
My father’s-wife was recently (speak October) re-located to Washington D.C for her work. From what I had heard she had a great position there, and a very nice house in Alexandria, Virginia but up until now I’d never been there. My dad actually still lives in Germany at the moment, so the two of them have a sort of long-distance marriage. At the beginning of this month he was going to be spending a few weeks in Virginia and spontaneously invited me to fly down and visit.
I took Friday off work and left early on Thursday to catch an evening flight.
Been-ah (*names have been changed) had to work during the day on Friday so my Dad and I got up early and drove into D.C with her in order to get in a full day of sightseeing. Our first stop was the United States Holocaust Museum. I mentioned in a previous post that one of my main reasons for wanting to see Washington was the museum. It did not disappoint. ß That’s probably an inappropriate comment, I apologize. Anyway, we got there an hour before it opened because we had heard that the line builds quickly and they give out times entrance tickets
We ended up spending about 3 hours at the museum, touring it from top to bottom. Literally. I must say it was very well-organized and very informative. I’ve been to other Holocaust museums around the world and studied quite a bit about the topic in University, but this one was one of the most in-depth. We weren’t allowed to take pictures, not that I probably would have anyway, but every few exhibits there would be walls with influential and powerful quotes – which I found very moving and effective.
After the museum we simply walked in silence a little bit to absorb what we had just witnessed.
After lunch we decided to buy tickets for one of those “hop-on-hop-off” tours. Now, generally I find them extremely tacky and would not be caught dead seeing a city this way, BUT given that I only had 2 days and the fact that most things in D.C are not in walking distance, I relented.
My main sightseeing requests were the White House, Capitol Building, Library of Congress and the Washington Monument.
The White House ended up being smaller than I expected, and the Capitol Building a lot bigger. Very strange. We didn’t have enough time to do actual tours of the places, but even seeing them from the outside was good enough for me.
My absolute favourite thing in D.C (hands-down) was the Library of Congress. I should first explain that I have a fascination with books and libraries. That doesn’t mean I’m necessarily a book-worm, but I find something very powerful about wandering the stacks of old Libraries. This may have something to do with the fact that I’ve spent the better part of my life either playing or studying in a library – but that’s open for discussion.
This place was magnificent. Marble floors and tapestries as far as the eye could see. The actual “reading room” was off-limits to cameras, but if you Google “Library of Congress reading room” you can see what it looks like. I would move to Washington just to be able to spend my time studying at that library. Sad but true. We walked through "Lincolns Library" which features historic first editions of thousands of books. Some dating back to the 1600's.
Even the outside of the building was amazing, and I can imagine it is used quite frequently for wedding pictures.
After a full-day of sightseeing, I fell into bed completely exhausted.
The next day was spent much more leisurely by sleeping in until 8:30 (!) and then taking a tour of various Embassies in Washington. These were also mostly off-limits to cameras, but suffice to say it was very interesting to see how some countries are represented around the world.
All-in-all I had a great time in Washington, and would definitely go back in a heart-beat. I also recommend it as a tour stop for anyone visiting that part of the United States.