7.31.2009

Washington, DC

Hi. I am back.

First things first.

1. The humidity and my hair are not BFF. Throughout the entire trip, through photo documentation, you will see how my hair and the humidity fought on a regular basis.

2. Washington, DC hates bloggers. I saw more "No photography" signs my five days there than I had in the rest of my life, combined. For the extreme most part, if it was something super cool enough to take a picture of, you weren't allowed to. Mike said it best, "They should just have a sign before you walk out of the airport that reads, 'No photography beyond this point.'"

3. National Treasure was wrong. All wrong. I didn't see Nicholas Cage or any of the other actors sweat once. Not one little eensy-weensy drop of sweat. If you've been to DC, you know in the summer ... YOU SWEAT. Gross. Plus, how did they get tickets to Independence Hall in Philly so easily? Hmmm?

As always, 10 points for each day you read to it's entirety! :)
Day .5 and Day Two

So, we arrived in Washington, DC on a late afternoon and weren't able to do a lot that first evening, hence: day .5 ... We checked into our hotel, went to dinner and met up with Adam. The one thing I did photograph this day was this at dinner:

Please tell me you think he is as amazingly awesome as I do!! He wasn't a waiter, he didn't take orders. He just brought out all the patrons' food ... like this. 47 gold stars for him.

The following day we jammed pack with as many things as our soon-to-be exhausted little bodies could handle.

We started off at the Smithsonian and the American History Museum. We had high hopes to see this ... but after asking the staff, we found out it was no longer on display. Sadness.

I cannot even begin to tell you all we saw there. It was amazing! We saw the Star Spangled Banner, but of course weren't able to take photos of it. We saw gowns that all of the First Ladies had worn, the ruby red slippers in The Wizard of Oz ... So many things! One thing I somewhat enjoyed but found creepy at the same time was this:

These are the actual hoods worn by the eight conspirators of Abraham Lincoln's assassination. Creepy, I told you.

We then were off to check out the White House:


This is the first photo that documents the humidity and my hair fighting ... It flipped out!!! Ugh!! I hate it flipped out!


Now, the pictures thus far do not indicate a small, minor detail. It.was.pouring.rain. Off and on. All day. We would be drenched and then the sun would come out and scorch us dry in 30 minutes, just in time for it to rain some more.

I bought this umbrella for five dollah from a vendor on the street. Notice the flipped out hair. UGH! Bane of my existence!

The above photo is right outside of the American History Museum. Can you seen the torrential down pour? Please.say.yes.

Did I mention I was wearing my Old Navy flip-flops? Do you know anything about Old Navy flip-flops? Do you know anything about the lack of traction on the Old Navy flip-flops? I was more slippery than a greased pig in a wild pig chase!

In fact, they made a sign just for me:

As I complained and complained to Mike and Brady about needing new shoes ... I came across these:

For some of you faithful readers out there, you may recall the time in New York that I came across running shoes and the time in Hawaii I came across another pair of flip-flops. It's as if the shoe gods are calling to me!

Regardless of potential death by slippage, we went onward fearlessly to go to the top of this little thingy-thing:

We took some pictures from on top, but I wasn't extremely thrilled with how any of them turned out. So, none shall be shown here. Plus, this post is massive enough already. :)

Our next stop was the Holocaust Museum. There are no words to describe this experience. None. If you are ever in Washington, DC you must go. We weren't allowed to take photos inside, so I stole this from my friend's blog (I am not sure where she got it, but you do see it in the museum):

We also went to the Museum of Natural History and saw this baby:

Then off to the Air and Space Museum ... The Smithsonian is fantastic. It reminds you of things you are totally interested in and things you are totally not. I bring this up now because, this was probably my least favorite museum of all (sorry, BFF). But while there we saw the very first plane EVER from the Wright brothers:


And also we saw these stinkin' huge missiles!!!! Oh.my.word!

We then met up with Adam to go to dinner. And then were were off the most amazing cupcake shop in the world!! Georgetown Cupcakes! It began pouring rain ... again. I had to take off my flip-flops and walk shoeless so I wouldn't slip. We walked for-ev-er. Seriously.

Just to come upon this:

A closed Georgetown Cupcake. Frowny face. Yet, we were still happy. Because Mishap is my middle name and when on vacay with me, you just better expect this.

And this sums up days .5 and two. Betcha never thought days .5 and two would end, did ya?

Day Three

Today was the day we were going to receive a tour of the Capitol by the best tour guide in the entire world! Nooo, entire universe! Buuuut before that happened ... We checked out the Library of Congress ...




You might recall the above photo in National Treasure!

After the Library of Congress we went to the Supreme Court ...



{Here the hair and humidity are fighting again ... Pig tails. Seriously. I was desperate. Pretend I don't look like I am five-years-old. kthanksbye.}



The above photo is actually a miniature replica {liiike, one foot wide etc.} of the Supreme Court room ... The real room was closed off to visitors. But this is what it looks like. :)


We then took a skip and a jump over to Adam's office to begin our tour of this place:




This photo exists just to mock this one.

Meanwhile, back on the tour ...


It is considered extremely lucky to stand on this spot. Back in the day, people wanted George Washington to be buried there. Yes. There. In some crazy vault thing below. Kind of gross. Kind of creepy. But now I am lucky, so whatev.



A picture with the most bestest tour guide ever. :)



A statue of Ronald Regan. Did you know this is the third most photographed statue in the world????


It was then off to a bizillion memorials. First was the World War II Memorial ...


Lincoln Memorial ...


I swear I have seen the building in the background before ... maybe on a quarter or a nickel or something!




Sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial {obviously what you see in the distance is the Washington Monument}. Now would be an appropriate time to tell you all that I became obsessed with sitting on this vacation. Anything that served a purpose as a bench, I fell madly in love with. Including these stairs.


Vietnam Memorial ...


Korean War Memorial:



FDR Memorial ...


There was way more to this memorial, but I loved this quote. "The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith."


Thomas Jefferson Memorial ...



I heart the above photo because it shows the grandeurness of the pillars etc.


We then got memorialed out. We saw these spiffy paddle boats in the Tidal Basin so we decided to go ...



It was so flaming hot that we had to use the umbrella for shade. We.were.sweating.up.a.storm. And I wasn't even paddling!! :)

The Jefferson Memorial from our paddle boat:


We then met up with Adam again to see the most dysfunctional team baseball play against the second most dysfunctional baseball team. The Nationals verses the Padres.


I like them lots (the people in the photo, neither baseball team). :)


Best part of the game ... They have a Presidents' race ... I laughed and laughed and laughed. Here is Abe outrunning George. Better luck next time, Washington.

And now you were thinking day three would never end! Phew! :)
Day Four

Rented a car and we went to Philadelphia today. Word.

Here we are at a Metro station to go pick up the rental:

I heart the Metro and hate it at the same time. I never feel so dirty as after coming off of it. It has given me a new found obsession with washing my hands.

After we picked up the car we decided to go to a farmer's market to get a fantastic breakfast. It was so fantastic that so many people were in line that it would take over an hour before we'd order.

We decided to go to McDonald's and grab something super quick instead. As we walked back to the rental we came across a man walking on the street. We asked him if he knew where the closest McDonald's was. He looked at us like we were the filth of the earth and said, "I don't eat there." We.are.such.slobs. Who dares to even think of eating there? (Please note the sarcasm.)

We then remembered we had Garmin with us. And Garmin would tell us where the nearest McDonald's was.

It brought us to here:

The dumpiest McDonald's we had ever laid eyes on in the sketchiest part of town (although, this pink car is cool ... Right? Hahaha). We actually began to walk in when I stopped dead in my tracks, followed by Adam stopping dead in his. We glanced in and knew we could not go in.

Standing in line was a man who had very obviously wet himself. And not only had he wet himself, he went into public after having wet himself.

Quite possibly my favorite Facebook status ever ... "Adam Ruri decided not to go into the small McDonald's with the man who peed his pants."

Even as I type this, I am laughing ... and crying. My roommate says from the other room, "What are you laughing at?" I don't dare tell her that I am laughing at my computer screen.

Anyway, we were off to Philly where we saw ...

the Liberty Bell.

Independence Hall

And guess what I found that made me oh so happy ??? A bench to sit on!!!

We then saw Benjamin Franklin's grave. We were told it was lucky to throw a penny on his grave. Naturally, I tried it.

And here is the actual penny I threw ... Heeey, that building on that penny looks familiar!


I will let you know when I start experiencing all this luck from standing on that star thing in the Capitol and from throwing this penny. Mm-k?

We then met up with Clark Tanner (who Chance thinks I should marry. I told him okay ... Chance, not Tanner. Tanner didn't ask). He gave us the most amazing tour of Philly (he has lived there for two years for dental school. I have no problem marrying a dentist). During the tour we may or may not have been squished in the back seat a bit ...


This is called Boathouse Row. I loved it.


A bridge I liked. A lot.


The Rocky statue!


The steps Rocky ran up! The most amusing thing was to watch other people mimick Rocky and prance around at top. Unfortunately, I didn't hear anyone yell, "AAAADRIAN!"

William Penn on the top of City Hall. The Philadelphians are a little superstitious about this statue and how it affects their sports teams. Read about the Curse of William Penn here. I believe it. How else would you explain the Philly's win in the World Series???? Coincidence? Doubtful, Rube. Highly doubtful (10 gold stars to anyone who knows what movie that line comes from).

Then we were off to see this:

A state penitentiary! ... Ironically enough, also cursed! The layout of the prison was used with five other prisons in the country ... And for some reason, inmates in all the prisons with this layout would go CRAZY! So they closed down all the prisons and have never built one with the same layout ever again!

What's right behind the prison?


A playground! Hahaha! Let's not play there, okay, kids?


We also saw the Masonic Temple ... Down the street was a Jewish Synagogue (not pictured, sorry). And in between the two is a barren, run-down parking lot ... that has plan to become this. Mindy thinks that is super cool.

And, since we were in Philly we had to go here:


To get one of these:

I was scared. My only experience with Philly Cheese Steaks were the ones at EFY 2004. 10 gold stars to anyone who remembers those babies. But this one was actually FANTASTIC!

Tanner also took us to this amazing market. We got the best tasting lemonade I have ever had in my entire long-legged life! It was sold to us by an adorable Amish man with a beard.

We sure do love lemonade ... evidently.

I would now like to put up my favorite photo of all time ...

I look like I want to kill you. Cool, huh? :)

When then headed back to Georgetown to see if we could get into this place again:

It was open so we got us some of these:



We then decided to head to Iwo Jima:

And then we asked Garmin for interesting attraction nearby. She led us to here:

Which may or may not be the steps from the movie The Exorcist.

Or maybe these are the stairs from Exorcist.

We don't know. None of us watch rated-R movies. Hahaha. :) But thanks, Garmin. :)

Off to view the National Cathedral:



It was pouring rain and lightening when we were out and about taking photos of the Cathedral. At one point a cop car shows up and with their mega-phone say, "Blah, blah, blah!" We couldn't understand, so we ask and they inform us, "TAKE COVER! There is a lightening storm! Those umbrellas are dangerous! Take cover!! Return to your vehicle!" Hahaha, so typical of something happening to me. I loved it. P.s. Had this super cute photo of us all sitting in an arch-way of the Cathedral, but Blogger keeps putting it sideways. Blogger is driving me nuts right about now for that and multiple other reasons. UGH! Die!

I think that wraps up this day. Oh, my word. It should. These posts are entirely too long. 50 gold stars if you are still with me.

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