Washington, D.C. 2018: Day 2

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I was a trouper today. I’m proud to say the cold and miles and miles of walking (I walked about 6 miles today) didn’t keep me from tackling the city head-on. I thought I might just take my time and eat breakfast at the hotel restaurant, but I woke up with a new resolve to be a cold-weather person for the day. It was 15 degrees when I set out from the hotel for the ¾ mile walk to Founding Farmers. Their latest claim to fame is boasting the most Yelp reviews in D.C. And deservedly so… I had a French toast that was basically like a deep fried Twinkie. I kid you not, they literally pipe the custard inside the bread. I know, I couldn’t believe it either. I was simultaneously thinking, “this is amazing” and “how did they come up with this?” the entire meal.  Anyway, I obviously had a lot to burn off after that feast (which I couldn’t even finish).

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From the Lincoln Memorial

The monuments weren’t a top priority for this trip. I’ve been here before and seen all the monuments multiple times. But after breakfast I decided I would do them again. In the freezing cold (the high temp was about 25° today). So I set off and visited the Vietnam, Lincoln, Korean, Martin Luther King, Jr., Roosevelt, and Jefferson memorials. If that sounds like a lot, it was. Trust me, my legs and back are not happy with me tonight. As cold as it was, I still enjoyed seeing all of them again. But, wow… was that a long walk for a cold morning!

After all that walking, it was time for a change of pace, in the form of a visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. I had been there once before, many years ago when it first opened, when you still needed to stand in line early in the day for timed tickets (they still do that, just not during the “off season”). The museum documents the details of the Holocaust, from Hitler’s rise in power to the liberation of the concentration camps. At the outset, you pick up a small “identification card” that tells the story of a member of one of the concentration camps so you can follow along with his/her journey as you move through the exhibits (mine was Liliana Guzenfiter from Warsaw, who survived multiple concentration camps but lost all the members of her family). Sounds impressive, right? And it was. Just not when you are sharing the cramped space with hundreds of other visitors. Seriously, it was so crowded you could barely see the information boards and look at the artifacts without standing on tip-toes to see over other people. Meanwhile, the people who don’t really care to be there are pushing their way around everyone to get through. So, while impressive, it wasn’t exactly a highlight of the trip.

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Shoes confiscated by prisoners at the Majdanek concentration camp

Next up was a visit to the Smithsonian’s American History Museum. By that point, I was tired and had very little stamina to walk around the museum. I walked through several of the exhibits before calling it quits. I then had the dilemma of it being about 3:30, and needing to decide what, if anything, I felt like doing before dinner. I walked to the World War II monument and then stopped at the Renwick Gallery (very small with eclectic exhibits including one special exhibit of miniature murder scenes) before heading to Pizzeria Paradiso in Dupont Circle for dinner. I had been to the one in Georgetown before, and this one was just as good. The pizza and cider were a perfect end to a LONG day.

In other news, I was able to change my flight to an earlier time tomorrow afternoon that will put me home before dinner. It’s not that I’m not having a good time; I’m just tired of the cold and walking and ready to curl up on the couch and catch up on my DVR tomorrow night! 🙂