Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wake Up, Washington!

I have a love/hate relationship with D.C. It is such a beautiful city with amazing memorials and parks and museums. There's so much to do, to see, to eat, to experience in Washington. And it's so close to Annapolis and Baltimore, which makes it a super easy day trip on the weekend or night trip for dinner during the week. But at the same time, there are just so many people in D.C. and its suburbs that it overwhelms me. I constantly feel like I have to fight for my little spot of land when I'm walking or driving. The Metro is a great option, but rushing to find the right train, running to squeeze into the door, and scoping out a seat are all made more difficult when there are throngs of people doing the same thing. It's the same for merging into traffic (which D.C. has a LOT of) and walking around the monuments. There are just way too many people for the little land that D.C. sits on. Whew. I'm working up a sweat just thinking about the crowds! 

Korean War Veterans Memorial on the Mall.
So moving. This is why this is my favorite memorial.
So, for me, visiting D.C. in the wee hours of the morning is just perfect. Many Washingtonians are still asleep, some are up to work out. The tourists haven't yet invaded and the surrounding locals (like me) haven't yet headed downtown. I think that's why sunrise service is so wonderful. It gives me just the amount of motivation I need to get up and out and see this beautiful city before it gets too crowded. This past Easter Sunday, my mom and I decided to walk through the Korean War Veterans Memorial (which happens to be my mom and my favorite memorial) and around the basin on our way back to the car. We even snaked our way through the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. I dare you to walk through D.C. and not hit at least two memorials even by accident!

View of the Jefferson Memorial from the Tidal Basin.
I'll definitely be back soon...before 9a.m. I think I've found my D.C. sweet spot and I think that the pain of getting out of bed early will be worth the more pleasurable experience once I'm in D.C.! No pain, no gain, right? Maybe next time I'll bring my bike and enjoy breakfast at one of the many fabulous eateries in town. Either way, I'm learning how to love D.C. more. It is such an amazing town and I hate to miss out on something so great because of my own issues. Getting out of my own way...now that is a challenge :)
View of the Washington Monument in the morning.

Have any D.C. gems I should be sure to visit next time I go? Or have any ideas of things I should investigate?

Stephanie Marie

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