Walking in a (Washington) Winter Wonderland

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:DSCN1709

That’s why the old Smithsonian buildings DSCN1706

and the U.S. Botanic Garden DSCN1713 are so wonderful, so essential.

Here’s the Capitol Building, nestled in the snow: DSCN1714

DSCN1731Here’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. DSCN1710
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.

7 comments to Walking in a (Washington) Winter Wonderland

  • DC to me is a very strange place. It’s been a long time since I have been, but I remember it exactly as you have shown it–minus the snow. There is such beautiful rich architecture in some places and then cold sterile flat “offices” in others.
    I remember being in awe of the monuments, but being scared out of my mind as we traveled around the city in very congested traffic doing what felt like a hundred miles an hour six inches from the bumper in front of us.

  • It’s been at least 20 years since I was in DC but I’ll never forget walking into Union Station and feeling awed by the size. My favorite place by far was the Lincoln Memorial.

  • Believe it or not, my husband and I have never been to DC. I THINK I’d like to go but I know Lon won’t go unless I drag him kicking and screaming.

    I loved reading your excellent narrative and am glad you survived the experiences you had.

  • Nancy

    DC is a great walking-and-subway city, for the most part, but they hadn’t really plowed the streets last week, and forget about the sidewalks….

    Great museums, good restaurants, especially ethnic ones in the ‘burbs, and it’s fun to go listen to congressional committee hearings and see all the people you voted for who seem to have forgotten that they are supposed to be working for US…

  • I’ve been to a DC a few times and it’s a great place to see if you love history, etc. I guess I missed the “soul sucking” buildings when I was there 🙂 since we mainly stuck to the mall area, etc.

    Thanks for sharing, and I take back my remark about you being a wimp about snow. But I still maintain it for DS and Dayner…LOL!

    • I’ll wear that label proudly. Burr! The last time my family went to Tahoe for the snow I stayed inside with my book and coffee while the rest of the family played outside for hours.

  • […] Intelligence AgencyDrug Enforcement AdministrationFederal Bureau of Investigation Liens connexes : Walking in a (Washington) Winter WonderlandMy favorite (relatively) new DC building is the National Museum of the American Indian. The American […]

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