Love it love it love it. DC people: your town is beautiful. Short recap of my trip + pictures!
First of all, huge thank you to those who suggested Crocs and wearing my beat up old sandals that I’d already broken in. There was A LOT of walking. The two pairs of Crocs I got were cute and comfortable which were key words for me. Sorry sneakers/athletic shoes-wearers and Tevas/Birkenstock wearers, thems just ain’t the shoes for me. I got the Gianna flat in black and the Walu loafer in blue but it wasn’t canvas, it seems to be rubber. My already-broken-in sandals were awesome for the warm days. My feet were very happy.
Of course we did the White House first. There was a security guy who hovered in ALL of my pictures. Get out the way, dude!
I went to various Smithsonian museums, the Newseum and took a tour of the Capitol but my favorite museum wasn’t one of those, it was the National Archives. I geeked the hell out to see the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. I also saw the Magna Carta, the Emancipation Proclamation and read some historical records about Black communities in the South during Reconstruction. There was a note George Washington wrote in 1776 and signed. If you visit and you are a history nerd like me, visit the National Archives. It blew my mind to look at all this written history. They also have recordings of Presidential conversations that were formerly confidential, like Kennedy chewing out some Mississippi official for not properly protecting people from violence when James Meredith integrated the University of Mississippi.
Side note: Mississippi’s state statue in the Capitol is noted piece of shit and President of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis. Really, Mississippi? Really???
I visited my congresswoman’s office and one of my senator’s offices (glad to say they are both women!) to get passes for the galleries. I had no idea you could just walk up into their offices. I expected way more annoying bureaucratic steps. But you just go through the metal detector and head on over. It was pretty cool.
We did a gorgeous tour of the monuments at night using the Capitol Bikeshare. As a tourist, I loved those bikes. They were easy to get and easy to return. You guys are on to something there. It’s awesome that the monuments are lit up at night. I don’t like crowds and there was barely anyone around at around at 11-ish when we were going around.
I will freely admit that I started crying when I saw the Martin Luther King Jr. monument. I don’t know why I assumed it would be some half-assed bullshit but it wasn’t. At all. It was beautiful and appropriate and surrounded by cherry trees and his quotes. It’s HUGE. I got up close to it and touched it and thought about all the work he did that led me to being able to work the way I want to, to be able to visit his monument. It was kinda overwhelming. He really made a huge difference for Black people in this country. None of my family could do what they do without his (and many others) work.
Speaking of Black people, I’ve never gotten so many “Hey there, fellow Black person” nods in my entire life.
There are scores of Black folk over there. I should have figured it would be the case but you never know. So much natural hair too! Black women were checking out my hair and I was checking out their hair and we were like, Yea, do your natural hair thing. Show your naps and show your curls and show your frizz. Our hair is beautiful!
The diversity I saw everywhere I went was nice. I assumed DC was way more straight, preppy and white than it was. We went to brunch near the zoo and there were all kinds of ethnicities and sexual orientations and gender presentations over there. I felt so incredibly welcome and comfortable everywhere I went. DC people are nice. I kind of expected it to be more NYC-like in terms of grouchiness. But you guys are super nice to tourists. But I think I might have gotten off easy because lots of folks thought I was from DC. I had 4 different groups of people ask me for directions. I suspect 90% of the mistaking me for a native was that I’m Black and the other 10% was that I just don’t act like a tourist. I stood on the right every time!
We looked around the Cherry Blossom Festival. It was GORGEOUS. I can’t even put into words how beautiful all those trees were surrounding the Tidal Basin. I was in awe. We took a ridiculous amount of pictures. I got my hair caught in a tree.
I saw a lot more stuff but I wanted to keep this short. I can’t wait to visit again. You all have a beautiful city with lovely people. I could live there. I could trade my car and my Los Angeles lifestyle for DC. It’s awesome. Go visit there, people who haven’t been.We went to the bar on the rooftop of the W Hotel on a random recommendation from a local (GO THERE!!!!) and we saw Marines flying those big ass helicopters they fly the President in onto the White House lawn. Everyone up there was taking pictures and jumping up and down. I’m glad it isn’t just tourists who get excited about possibly seeing the President. It wasn’t him-the Marines had been running drills all day-but WHO CARES??? We saw a helicopter land on the White House lawn!
ETA: OH and we went to Baked and Wired! I forget who suggested that place but the cupcakes were delicious.