You can tell that my original intention for recounting this trip was going to be a daily update with time stamps and a narrative about my experiences. That desire ended when I realized that a few days in, not only had I not written anything since the first day, I didn’t even know what day it was. I could tell you the time, of course, but only because I wear a wristwatch. The wristwatch didn’t know what day it was either, even though I kept checking.
My days were pretty much the following: wake up in a dazed stupor, shower, slug down some coffee, march on to a dizzying array of museums, memorials, and/or national monuments. Then food, then back to the hotel, where I tended to pass out in bed, often still with my clothes on and my contacts in. There was so much to do and see and experience and so much walking to do it all. It reminded me more than a little of my trip to San Diego for ComiCon in 2012.
Literally everything in DC is dedicated to the memory of somebody; at one point (and I swear to God this is true), I tripped over a sidewalk panel outside the Newseum because the edge was raised out of the ground. I looked down and saw that I’d tripped over a memorial that was dedicated to some guy. He also had a bench dedicated to him.
I was literally tripping over memorials.
I’m in Rochester, New York, for a few days to visit family before my flight back to Tucson. Here’s my recollection of events as best I can recall:
- Thursday: Arlington Cemetery
- Friday: Bureau of Engraving and Printing, White House, Library of Congress, Marine Corps Band
- Saturday: Museum of Natural History
- Sunday: Smithsonian Museum of Air and Space, MLK Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Lincoln Memorial
- Monday: Capitol Building, National Archives, Jefferson Memorial, FDR Memorial
- Tuesday: Washington Monument, Holocaust Museum, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, World War II Memorial
- Wednesday: Smithsonian Museum of American History, Newseum
I’ll focus on some of the highlights that I haven’t already discussed.
The Capitol Building
It was amusing visiting the Senate and House galleries while the Congress was not in session, if only because I was able to crack wise about how just as much is getting accomplished whether they’re in session or not.
The Museum of Natural History
I think I read every single display in that entire building. It took about six hours. It was totally worth it.
The National Archives
Someone really should have taken better care of the Declaration of Independence. The poor thing is barely readable these days.
It’s exactly as uplifting as you would expect, but still worth the trip.
I almost skipped this one since I was pretty tired at the end of the trip, but this ended up being surprisingly entertaining. The Pulitzer Prize Photo Gallery and the 9/11 exhibit were both very powerful.
If anyone is curious about the specifics, feel free to ask in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer.