DC is great so far; we’re staying in a cute little B&B in a convenient neighbourhood that isn’t too touristy. We ARE at the top of a three-floor building, so I’m pretty winded by the second landing, but that’s a small inconvenience – and hey, I’m pretty well winded all the time anyway these days. So far, we have museumed and museumed and museumed. The ‘National Mall’ is huge (especially when it’s hot and humid out there, and even more so when you’ve got my current physique) so we’ve been attacking it in bits.
The first day, we saw the Air and Space Museum (most visited museum in the world) and visited the American Indian Museum for lunch. (Yes, we did go to a museum just for lunch, and yes, I know it’s politically incorrect to say ‘American Indian’, but that’s what they call it!) The cafeteria there is interesting because they have different foods and ingredients according to native people of different geographical areas (Plains, Meso America, etc.) We also checked out Capital Hill, which I am pleased to say – believe it or not – has a worse lawn then ours. Yes, hard to imagine, but true.
Yesterday we strolled (rather, Johnny dragged me) around the White House, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial (it is a federal offence to climb onto his lap), and several war memorials. We stood where Martin Luther King Jr. did his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech – or, if more recent cultural references are your thing, where Forrest Gump talked about his experiences in Vietnam and was reunited with Jenny in the Reflecting Pool. Either way, these Americans like to do things up in a big way, and it’s pretty impressive to see. In the afternoon we went to the Holocaust Museum, which was really well done – and while depressing, totally worth going to.
Security is really high around here. There are police cars randomly parked all over the mall, and you have to go through security checkpoints to get into any building – even the cafeteria where we had lunch yesterday. Being naive Canadians we had to wonder what the terrorists could do to our paninis, but then, we’re not used to living in some multicoloured state of alert. I WAS permitted to bring my bottled water into the Holocaust Museum, but only after taking a drink of it first in front of the guard, to prove it wasn’t some sort of explosive.
That’s all for now… still proudly Canadian!