I got on the Metro to Dupont Circle where we had breakfast the previous day at Firehook Bakery. I bought us a croissant and a blueberry muffin each and hooked a ride back to the Days Inn. Grabbing some coffee in the lobby, shook start my girlfriend into an almost upright position and got ready for our tour of the Washington Monument. We were already late but early birds are nerds and if I have learned anything about US being together is we love to chase down an appointment.. It didn't help matters that the Metro obviously doesn't run full out on weekends so instead of the reliable 2 or 3 minutes between cars was now 5-7 minutes. Also the Metro really doesn't dump you in the middle of The National Mall but rather 6 miles from Washington Monument. That isn't a complaint, just an observation plus I understand not wanting a huge subway entrance in the middle of the National Mall.
Our closest stop was the Smithsonian which we exited after running around a bunch of yokels having problems figuring out the Metro turnstiles and getting their dimwitted kids together. Then getting on the escalator and the fatass that just stands on the right side, oh I'm so tired from sitting on the Metro now I just have to stand and block the walking lane and rest. Dammit can't you people see that I have 10:30 tickets to the Damn Washington Monument and it is already 10:20, get the fuck out of the way. Walking as fast as we could, 10:30 tickets in hand we raced toward the Washington Monument past crowds of tourist, joggers and Walk Against Lupus walkers to arrive with moments to spare. By moments I mean we got there on time but there was another 200 people who had also got there on time without having to run 2 miles.
Entering anything in DC requires dumping your pockets and taking off your coat and backpack, learn it, accept it, deal with it this is life after 9-11 and some assholes would blow up the world if they could. After a few days of this and traveling on airplanes I have learned that everything I own is made of metal. I myself might be made of metal. We rode up to the top with a Japanese Family and got the view for which this thing was intended.
I will let the photos speak for themselves, the view was outstanding though.
After we got back to the ground, I decided to find a post office to mail the 100 some odd post cards that I had and Ana decided to sit in the Mall and rest her ankles. I went to the one Post Office that I saw first hand at Union Station and it was closed, closing or in some state of being closed. So another ten stops down the line I went to the other post office that I knew about, the one near the hotel. By near I mean at least 15 blocks but I found it, stood in line with the guy trying to ship jagged broken glass with a paper bag and baling string and got my damn post cards out to those who needed them. Soon to adorn the refrigerators and trashcans of friends and loved ones.
I got back to Ana and we cruised the Mall and Museums finally getting to see a Pollock and a few Rothkos at the National Art Gallery. Finally a Pollock. That was certainly a highlight of the trip other than to visit or see the Capital of the United States of America but to also see two Pollocks up close.
Afterwards we walked back toward the Lincoln Memorial and on around to see the Thomas Jefferson as well. I have to say one thing about DC, everything is spaced out very, very, very well.
It tooks us 18 hours to walk all the way around from The National Art Gallery, to The Air and Space Museum on down to the Lincoln Memorial around to see Franklin D Roosevelt and finally good ol' Tommy J's place. (Thomas Jefferson's head was full of cobwebs).
After that 22 miles of hiking we were definitely hungry so we lurched toward the Subway to Dupont Circle yet again. Where we paced up and down streets trying to decide what we wanted to eat that night, Chinese, Indian or Italian. Finally after much indecision we settled on an Italian Restaurant mainly because we were to tired to go any further. All I can say was the food was great, unfortunately it took us about 40 minutes to get the food or drinks for that matter. I wish I could say that our waiter was so busy or we weren't posh enough for the restaurant but actually neither of those things are true. Or waiter came by and refilled our neighbors on both sides of us about 120 times while we sat there chewing on the menus from hunger. It wasn't our dress, we were surrounded by jeans and tshirts. It was almost absurd, our waiter would go to the table next to us with all the 50 somethings and then walk all the way around our table to wait on some Yuppies. This was made even better when the 50-ish couples next to us started talking about crime and dirty cities and the one smug old man started bad mouthing Brazil.
Finally we got the bread guys attention long enough for him to send someone over with a piece of paper to take our orders. Then we finally got someone to get us some more to drink after setting fire to the napkins and waving them over our heads. The best thing after we got the bill which was the third time that our waiter came to our table and I gave him a $50 for the $35 dollar meal he wanted to know if I needed change back. Yes I said, I want some change back. Actually I wanted all my change back and I got it all. I'm not a mean person, I know waiters, cooks and busboys do hard work and I always try to leave as much as I can. Even when I was broke and eating mustard and saltines through the week I always tried to leave the bartender something. This guy got nothing and I don't feel a bit bad about it, I might be a hillbilly but I still tip when treated decent.