Monday, December 14, 2009

Washington, D.C. December 2009

Recently, I spent a week in our nation's capital. It was an interesting place in early December. If you are planning a trip there, I would say it's definitely I nice time to go! Since it's the off-season as far as tourism, I got to see a lot of things and barely waited in line anywhere. It snowed one day when I was there, but it wasn't like Colorado snow. The rest of the time was pretty good weather, although it is a lot more humid than I am used to, so it felt a lot colder than it was. Other than that, though, all the seasonal decorations were up, and the town looked beautiful.

I toured the White House, and had an amazing time. There is so much history in every room (or at least the rooms we were allowed in)! There were displays of old Christmas cards from different presidents and other mini-exhibits, but just walking the halls was neat by itself. After that, I ventured to the Capital for another tour. I also got to sit in on the senate. If you have the opportunity, I highly suggest it. All I had to do was walk across the street to my senator's office and get a pass from the receptionist there, and I could sit in the Senate Gallery and watch the proceedings. It was truly amazing to be so close with our nation's governance.

In addition to touring around town, I also went to Arlington Cemetery, Old Alexandria and Georgetown. The last was really an amazing neighborhood to walk around. There was tons of shopping, but still felt very homey. I had the chance to eat at Martin's Tavern, a favorite of a few of our presidents. Old Alexandria was also charming, and went to the water front. It was great to walk around, and had a nice variety of things to do. We missed the parade of lights, but considering how cold it was during the day, I'm not sure I could just sit at night and watch the boats without freezing!

I have uploaded some photos, so take a look at my Facebook album for the best pictures of my trip so far!

I also got to wander around the Library of Congress, which was quite awesome. I have an online account and will be reviewing all the historic pieces of art I saw there (including the Guttenberg Bible). I also was able to meet up with some of the local NaNo WriMo folks for the Thank Goodness It's Over party, and talk novel writing shop with lots of nice people. We had a blast, and it was nice to visit with people from a different area about their experiences writing a novel in November.

As far as the city itself, I really enjoyed walking around D.C. There was too much to see in one week, but I did get a feel for the town. It's impossible not to be involved in politics, but it's also a great place for young professionals. I got around the metros OK, but I think Barcelona's Metro system was a little easier to navigate and had better signage. Other than that, though, I found it fairly easy to get around. We stayed at The Quincy, which was downtown and close to a lot of what I wanted to see. Although it didn't have a lot of standard amenities such as a pool or breakfast, the rooms were awesome and great to go home to after long days of touring around on my feet! I would very much like to go back to D.C., and for a longer period of time.

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