After a lovely two weeks at our grandmother’s house in Atlanta, we flew to DC. It was Brother and me’s first time, and my parents hadn’t been there in over twenty years.
On Monday, after settling into the hotel, we walked along the Mall. We ooh-ed and aah-ed at how green the city was, at how impressive the buildings were. We stopped to feed (organic unsalted) nuts to some Mall-squirrels. They were very extravert (or just very hungry), jumping up at us before we’d even produced our treats. We then visited the (frrreezing) Air and Space Museum, where we stepped inside a rocket, saw the Wright brothers’ plane, and touched a piece of Moon Rock — it felt just like a kitchen counter, to be honest.
On Tuesday, we were met with an ominous drizzle upon stepping outside. The First Thing we did was purchase flimsy umbrellas at CVS. (Only Pops had thought to bring one. Guess who’s the true Belgian.) We took the Old Town Trolley to the Library of Congress. It’s a beautiful building, the floors covered in marble mosaics, the walls painted with famous sayings, and the stairs lined with industrious cherubs.
The Second Thing we did was each buy at poncho at the Library of Congress. Well, all except Eric, who flatly refused to even consider it. We ponchoed up outside, but our feet still went squelch-squelch, as we made our way to the Capitol and took a lonely picture on the steps.
I actually think the rain-ponchos made the day more adventurous. People weren’t just plain old shorts-and-t-shirts tourists anymore. We were divided into teams. Blue ponchos for the Smithsonian, white for the Library of Congress, and yellow for CVS (Booh! Though theirs did have handy drawstrings.). The ponchoed people against the world.
Wednesday dawned dry. (Not so for our shoes, sadly. They were still all lined up in a row, stuffed with newspaper.) We visited the Museum of American History, where Mum and I were very excited to see Julia Child’s kitchen! Having read My Life in France, it all felt so familiar.
Then it was on to the Eastern Market for a delicious lunch, and a wonderful find : Capitol Hill Books, which is all you could wish for in a secondhand bookstore. Rickety stairs? Handwritten signs? Unruly piles? It has them all.
We concluded our stay in the best way possible, by dining with Mum’s cousin, Sid, who gave us a tour of Old Town and grilled us hamburgers, with perfect corn and coleslaw.
After that, it was back to the hotel, before flying home.
How quickly four weeks of vacation do pass.