Driving through our nation’s capitol on December 23rd — especially following a record-breaking snowstorm — is not a good idea. The number of cars is staggering, and a crazed lunatic is at the wheel of every moving vehicle.
Out-of-towners ogle the monuments while driving 8 mph and locals leaving work early gun their engines whenever 10 feet of roadway is open in front of them so they can make it to Safeway for a turkey before daylight is completely gone. It’s a bad combination, and coupled with the District of Columbia’s non-existent snow removal and a dearth of parking spaces, driving becomes a blood sport.
So I decided to join the crazed loonies and drive A. around Washington, showing him some of the highlights of this city I used to live in and love/hate. He did the best he could to take a few pictures as we slid across the ice from traffic light to traffic light.
Washington is filled mostly with soul-sucking buildings that look like this:
That’s why the old Smithsonian buildings
and the U.S. Botanic Garden are so wonderful, so essential.
Here’s the Capitol Building, nestled in the snow:
Here’s me on the National Mall, dwarfing both the Capitol and the Smithsonian Castle. Look at all the snow covering the Mall! It’s supposed to be covered with tourists in tank tops waiting for the July 4th fireworks!!
We parked illegally so this was a quick photo op — turn around to grab the Washington Monument before getting in the car again.
My favorite (relatively) new DC building is the National Museum of the American Indian. The American Southwest meets Gaudi. It is even more awesome from other angles, both inside and out.
My favorite old DC building is Union Station, where we headed last so we could meet my son’s train from Boston.
That’s it! Alex arrived via Amtrak about the same time my niece and her boyfriend landed at Dulles Airport, and we all converged at my brother and sister-in-law’s house in the Maryland ‘burbs for a couple of days of Merry Christmas and Ho Ho Ho. Good times.