As promised here’s the next installment guys… haha how cheesy do we sound!
So arriving in DC we eventually found the station, then eventually found the bus, then eventually found the hostel. Luckily the hostel is close to everything in DC, so no need for any more navigation drama after that! We are staying at the Duo Housing, which is… quirky? You have to take your shoes off at the front door, the showers could definitely do with more opaque doors and our dorm has no windows, so no idea what time it is when you wake up! With this in mind we decided to get out of there soon after checking in and go for a much needed beer (it was a Friday after all). We found a hotel that served $11 pitchers of Bud (rubbish beer but when in Rome) and settled into a table for the night. We got chatting to a bunch of guys, Larry, his two sons Josh and Eli, and their friends Red and Thomas, and left about four hours later having agreed to play ultimate frisbee at 10am the next morning. Turns out four pitchers of Bud and 10am the next morning don’t go well together, and we didn’t make it! We had a lazy day, did our laundry and got an early night.
We were up bright and early the next morning and had an email from Larry inviting us to a bbq at his house that evening, more on that later. We spent the day in the Natural History Museum with Andrew in his element. They have a giant elephant in the lobby, a tiger leaping over your head in one of the exhibits, and an exhibition on the titanaboa, a 43 foot long snake! They had a great evolution of man exhibition, and Andrew’s university lectures just came flooding back!
The guys from the bar then picked us up at the hostel and drove us over to Larry’s where we had a proper all American bbq (chicken legs, breasts, burgers, hotdogs, shrimp, salmon, vegetables and pie and ice-cream, accompanied with PBR beer and Olympics) with all three generations of his family, all of who were incredibly friendly and really made us feel welcome. Best evening of the trip so far.
Next morning we headed off nice and early so we could beat the queues at the Capitol. Sadly they wouldn’t let us take in any food, liquids, or even empty bottles and unwilling to surrender our lunch we took a raincheck and headed over to the American History Museum instead. Abby realised too late that she might have done better in her A-Level history if her school trip to Washington had been spent in here rather than playing astronaut in the Air and Space Museum. Despite a rather pro-American lean in historical events it was a very interesting and well thought out museum (and we saw the original Kermit the frog – Abby). Back at the hostel we discovered that for every cool person you meet travelling there is always one insufferable prat, and we got stuck with him. To escape we ended up watching a movie, a good idea for a quiet evening as we’ve both got terrible colds from the air-con.
Today after a rotten nights sleep interrupted by the afore-mentioned prat (asking Andrew where his duvet cover was at 4am?!?) we walked down to the Mall via the White House, to take the obligatory snaps and then stopped for lunch in the Botanical Gardens.
We finally made it to the Capitol, which was definitely worth forgoing a water bottle for. Unfortunately we got stuck with a tour guide who was a re-incarnated primary school teacher, strict, patronising, and terribly panicked by the sight of crowds, so we saw less of it than we would have liked. Afterwards we took the SECRET TUNNEL to the Library of Congress in search of the Constitution, only to discover they are held at the archives! Still a magnificent building and well worth the $0 we paid to get in. We then went to the archives and lo and behold there was the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights (and bizarrely the Magna Carta!) They all looked suitable faded and hard to read so were probably the real deal. The hilarious security guard specifically outlawed queuing in favour of a free for all fanning system which was completely against our English nature!
After traipsing half the length of Washington we were in need of a sit down so grabbed a smoothie (it was definitely a milkshake – sad Abby) at the Old Post Office and then went up the post Office Tower which gave lovely views over Washington (are we beginning to sound like a guide book?).
Dinner tonight was the legendary Ben’s Chilli Bowl, where only Barack Obama and Bill Cosby can eat for free.
For the rest of us its not too expensive either, so we tucked into the famous chilli half smokes, a four meat sausage with chilli, onions, relish, cheese, ketchup and mustard on top. Oh my arteries! It was good though. And now here we are. Keep posted for part two.. coming to a computer near you soon.
your newly roll-able friends X