Just Another Day in D.C.

Sweet potato pancakes!

My last day in Washington D.C. began at a Langston Hughes inspired restaurant called Busboy and Poets. A delicious local restaurant with a broad range of choices including my breakfast of choice – sweet potato pancakes. If you haven’t had sweet potato pancakes, try them immediately..

Next stop was the White House. Barack Obama didn’t know what hit him when I rolled through. He was probably still sleeping or something. Seriously, though. Everything was fenced off and I didn’t get a great look at the building. It was very disappointing to be honest. I guess if you’ve seen the My Date with the President’s Daughter, you didn’t miss anything. Nevertheless, I can say that I saw the building in person now.

Next I walked to the highly under-appreciated Octagon building, the place where the proceedings of American Government took place while the Capitol building was being built. Yes it actually is the shape of an octagon.

Through the park, I saw the ugly looking Washington Monument. The 533-foot structure stands as the tallest building in Washington D.C. as current law prohibits anything taller to exist. It looked ugly because scaffolding lines every inch of the outside while damage from the 2011 earthquake is repaired. I remember when Robert Langdon had to walk up all the stairs at the end of The Lost Symbol with his friend Peter Solomon. I realized that I wouldn’t have that chance this time around.

The Lincoln Memorial was so crowded it wasn’t even funny. I could hardly move. Matters were complicated even further as equipment and chairs still littered the landscape from the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington celebrated the previous day. What a celebration that was. I was happy to be in town when I was to see it unfold. Anyway, the Lincoln Memorial was great. His shoes are huge and rectangular though. Hard to see that being one hundred percent accurate. Where’s Michelangelo when you need him?

I walked to the Vietnam War Memorial which was a downward sloping hill with a tall marble wall with the names of all those who served and fell during the war. This, I don’t think gets enough attention with the Lincoln Memorial being so close, but it’s totally worth the visit.

An hour of hopeless walking passed and I was finally on my way to seeing the WWII Memorial. It was clean, but weathered and historic.

Its structure is essentially two ramped crescents on either side and lined with upright rectangular marble slabs to honor each U.S. state and territory. These crescents gave way to a central shallow pool that sported dozens of small fountains.

The World War II Memorial honors the 16 million who served in the armed forces of the U.S., the more than 400,000 who died, and all who supported the war effort from home. Symbolic of the defining event of the 20th Century, the memorial is a monument to the spirit, sacrifice, and commitment of the American people

We traveled to the Tidal Basin after where we rented a paddle-boat from a man who looked like Lil Wayne.

We used the hour we had to get up close and personal to the Jefferson Memorial, which wasn’t as packed as the Lincoln was. I really enjoyed its beauty more so than the Lincoln memorial if you want to know the truth. It looked so great from the water. The Thomas Jefferson Memorial, modeled after the Pantheon of Rome, is America’s foremost memorial to our third president. As an original adaptation of neoclassical architecture, it is a key landmark in the monumental core of Washington, D.C.

Following that short exercise, I took a trip into the Holocaust Museum for a look at the state of Europe and parts of the world between 1933 and 1945. This museum is one of the most emotionally graphic displays of history I have ever seen. I read, watched, and felt what it was like to live as a European Jew during Hitler’s reign thanks to this museum. The visit was so short.

But it was because we wanted to see the National Air and Space Museum for about thirty minutes before it closed. I gazed on planes, engines, cockpits, and jet propellers. There was so much to see here and literally no time to see it all.

So we raced around and took a five minute flight simulator ride in which we were pilot and gunner. It was like being on a roller coaster, except way more interactive. If you can’t learn about all the planes, you might as well try flying them right?

We finished our trip with another meal at Busboy and Poets, which was delicious. The restaurant is actually rated quite well according to Google. After stuffing ourselves, we walked to the bus station and began the ten-hour journey home.

I felt sad to leave the Capital since it brought back so many positive and fun memories of traveling in Italy, but I made new memories with new people and got to see firsthand what amazing history awaits us all at our nation’s capital!

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