Well, at the ripe young age of ... I finally made it to Washington, DC. I went for a nursing technology conference along with two colleagues and Jen. Jen and I had the first day pretty much free, so we toured the city. Jen missed the eighth grade trip to DC because of gymnastics. And me? I was living in La República Oriental del Uruguay.Anyway, if you think you're up to it, here is the Heyman abbreviated foot tour of Washington. (I say abbreviated because we only hit a small percentage of the sites. Still, it's at least six miles, and took us six hours to do.
Heyman Abbreviated Foot Tour of Washington, DC.
- Start from the Arlington Cemetary Metro Station.
- Tour the Arlington Cemetary. Be aware that going to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier or Kennedy's gravesite adds at least a mile of walking inside the cemetary.
- Walk across the Potomac to the Lincoln Memorial. Hey it doesn't look that far. From the Parking Lot, it's a little more than a mile. Notice that the memorial refers to itself as a Temple. Also notice the fasces standing guard outside and that Lincoln's hands are resting on fasces, leading me to call it the Temple to American Fascism.
- From there, bear left toward the Vietnam Memorial.
- Continue on to the World War II Memorial.
- Continue the loop back up to the Lincoln Memorial and stop at the World War Memorial along the way. It's very peacful.
- Now continue on to the Korean War Memorial. I think this was my favorite memorial. There are three parts to it: statues of soldiers, a granite wall with images etched into it, and a fountain. The wall is quite striking with its ghostly images. The pictures show up the etchings much more clearly than they appeared in real life.
- Now cross the street and go to the Tidal Basin to see some Cherry Blossoms (assuming they're in season--they weren't for us).
- Walking along the basin, cross the street and go around the Washington Monument, the most phallic structure in DC. You can get (free) tickets to go up inside the Monument, but they were sold out days in advance of our arriving. A high school group was playing Big Band Music in the nearby bandshell.
- By this time, about four hours will have passed, and you're probably hungry, so head up 15th street passing the Treasury building on the left where Geitner and his minions are hatching their evil inflationary monetary policy. On the right is the Old Ebitt Grill, so stop in and have some lunch; you might just rub shoulders with some Whitehouse staffers or media bigwigs.
- Now walk around the entire Whitehouse, being sure to notice the protesters that no one else is noticing on the north side. Slightly anti-climactic if you ask me, although they do have some pretty flowers.
- Now head down to the Smithsonians (plural, because they are plural). The first one is the Museum of American History, but I suggest skipping it. It's a madhouse full of kids everywhere. I thought we were walking into the Superbowl, judging by the roar of the crowd.
- Then walk over to the Museum of Natural History where Ben Stiller works nights.
- From here, I'd like to see the Capitol, but Jen says there is no way she's walking another mile down to the Capitol, so instead cross the "Mall" to the Smithsonian Institute (called the "Castle" by some tour guides) and peek inside.
- Along the way stop and take a picture of the Capitol. Under no circumstances must you ever go into the Capitol lest you offend the sensitive probiscis of Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid.
- Head to the nearest Metro station and head back home.
I hope you brought some good, broken-in walking shoes, or tomorrow your fee will hurt, and you might just have some blisters. Oh, and bring sun screen if the sun is out (the great irony of of living in South Florida, driving a convertible to work every day and getting sunburned in DC).