Last year while we were “rocking around our non-existent Christmas Tree,” we decided after the numerous family college graduations, and we meant right after, we would head on a month long trip. Initially, we set our sights upon Europe as a destination, and then quickly scrapped that thought, as not only did terrorism seem to curtail our plans, but so did a little heard about measles outbreak. Next choice, the Far East…namely Japan.
We were set on Japan, for a while…I even dropped over $30 bucks on two Japan travel guides, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide and Fodor’s 25 Best Tokyo Places to see, Eat and Go, guide. ( I’ve linked to them on Amazon as I will all the other guides I used during the trip). After a few days of reading the Japan guidebooks, a certain North Korean tyrant shot off a missile somewhere in the vicinity of the Sea of Japan, and everyone in the family decided to rethink visiting Japan.
I mentioned to the family, a long time bucket list item of going to Walden Pond and Monticello, and my son Tim said “Let’s go!” A few months later, namely May 25th, 2017, our family landed at Dulles International Airport in Virginia, after a turbulent red-eye United Airlines flight.
And so it begins.
I am smitten! Memories of Washington D.C. will stay with me forever. To be within the city that literally runs the world, and, yet politicking seems far removed. It is as though the people of D.C. live the part of Simon Blackburn’s philosophical work, Being Good. “A really blessed and immortal nature is simply too grand to be bothered by the doings of tiny human beings.” Politicians and media are definitely the tiny ones” (17).
In the seven days we had in D.C., we never heard a single political word, and we chose to eat in local, well-rated hangouts, like (Hot Donna’s) as we called the first restaurant we went to near our hotel in Alexandria, VA. In reality, the restaurant, Sweet Fire Donna’s . got our business because it had 4.8/5 stars and wasn’t pricey. I had a Smoked Chicken Salad, and when we returned a few days later we shared chili, greens and cornbread. The chicken was smokey, the cornbread moist, and the greens…true Southern faire.
After our first delicious meal, we all decided we would always look for places that had 4 stars or greater, and were never let down for the rest of the trip both by food and budget as we stayed within a daily spending amount.
After lunching, we took our first drive into Washington D.C. The Washington Monument is easily made out from a distance, as you drive towards The National Mall. It towers so high, that at just the right angle, and with the exact timing you could possibly take a picture of a plane either landing or taking off and by photo-shopping it just right, could make it seem as though the plane sits atop the monument…or at least teeters.
Before driving into D.C. we didn’t quite know where we would land on our first day, but after seeing the Washington Monument, we had found the needle in the haystack and knew where to start.
Photo- Colette Hope Marks’ Collection.
Blackburn, Simon. Being Good. New York. Oxford University Press. 2001.