Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How to see DC in 2 days

One of the things I love about DC is that there’ Monuments! Memorials! Museums! Oh my! It’s definitely too much to cover in one trip. However, when a favorite aunt comes to town for only a few days, that’s when ya make it hap’n, cap’n.

DC in two days? BRING IT.

Having done a fair amount of traveling, I intimately understand the sadness of not being able to do all the things you’d like to do in a destination city. (London, I will return to you.) Thus, here are some quick tips to help you out:

Condense your city into a concise list of priorities.  Don’t feel badly about the things you leave out – it’s tourist season, Jefferson won’t even notice that you stood him up for Lincoln. He’ll be too busy fending off about a quadrillion 8th grade tour groups.

It’s ok to fudge the numbers a little. You want to see the Smithsonian. Awesome. Me too. But the Smithsonian consists of no fewer than 19 museums and 9 different research centers, and each of those museums has multiple floors and multiple wings, with rotating exhibits and 3-D movies and fancy gift shops. Is it physically possible to see all this stuff? Erm, no. Soooo…pick one. Bam. You saw the Smithsonian. (I recommend the Air and Space Museum – it hits a lot of cool stuff you don’t necessarily get in school.)

Wentelteefjes: Belgian “French” toast.

Go with some city-savvy locals. (Ahem, I’m city-savvy now, my blog says so in the title!) Locals will show you how to navigate the metro system quickly and efficiently (escalators: stand on the right, walk on the left!), tell you what’s worth seeing and what’s not, and introduce you to cool little holes-in-the-wall that the guidebook didn’t mention (Belga Café – my favorite brunch spot!).

Never.stop.walking. If you do, you’re done. You’ll never get started again. Just ignore your aching limbs and bruised feet – pain is weakness leaving the body.

Refuel with mango margaritas. Okay fine, it’s ok to stop for alcohol.

Be spontaneous. I like to think of The Plan as more of The Suggestion. Sometimes adhering so strictly to The Plan actually just makes us miserable. So, if you get the sudden urge to walk barefoot through the grass at Arlington Cemetery, or dip your toes in the pool at the Sculpture Garden, or run naked around the Washington Monument, do it.

Okay, maybe don’t do that last one. Let someone else do that, and then you can gawk and get pictures as they get dragged away by police.

And finally, enjoy your exhaustion at the end of the day. You earned it. 

Do we look related, or what?

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