The feeling of intense safety and wholesome all American fun that I felt the second I stepped of the bus in DC was probably magnified ten fold by our previous destination. Sorry, Philly. On a serious note though, DC was one of those places I knew I'd like on first sight. It's this vibe you get on arrival, DC had it.
Until of course we got to the hostel and I realized I'd left my credit card somewhere in Philly. It was all a bit whatevs until the actual ramifications of me leaving my visa in Philly (of all places) sank in and then the s*** hit-eth the fan-eth. Metaphorically speaking of course. I was a totally horrible person to be around for the next hour or so while I tried to track down where it was. I called the bank I last used it at.
"Is it in the ATM in Philly"?
"Yes it is, someone returned it (shocking)".
*sigh of relief* "Can you send it here
"f*** you (internally of course)".
"Well can you send it to the nearest branch which is in Baltimore?"
"We have a branch in Baltimore?"
"Seriously? You're the branch manager, you absolute twatting moron"
Anyway, we worked it out, Mum cancelled the card and put all my money in Georgie's account, I took a breath, compartmentalised and we floated out for an evening walk. One of the first things I was the Aussie embassy which made me happy, and we ended up walking to Pennsylvania Avenue and saw the front of the White House, walked around the back of the White House, saw the Washington monument and whatnot. Seriously, everytime I turn around in DC I felt like I was in a movie or a tv show (just pick one, really, there are movie scenes everywhere in this city). We cruised back to the hostel and took over the t.v room that night- there were 3 back to back episodes of Bones on, I was peaking and George was unimpressed. I feel like she's spent a lot of this trip unimpresed :p
We did SO much walking in DC. The best thing about it was almost everything was free and it was really, really easy to navigate. Numbered streets on one side and lettered streets running the cross way. Seriously easy. Every so often they throw in an avenue named after a state. I'd love to see someone try and get lost in DC. We hit the Smithsonian the next day- the Natural History museum branch, there's like 7 Smithsonians or something, it's fairly ridiculous. We spent way longer in there then we thought we were going too, mainly because it took Georgie a solid 45 minutes to pull me out of the forensic anthropology exhibit. Once again we were w***ed and took over the t.v room, it was kind of our running pattern in DC.
We hit the Holocaust museum the next day- we were in there for hours too, it was on like 4 different levels so it was massive and there was also this exhibit on Nazi party propoganda. The only wtf moment of the day was the fact that there was a gift shop in the museum. George couldn't work it out. We walked from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial along the reflecting pool that afternoon, which by the way is a way longer walk than any movie makes it out to be, I took five on the stairs of the Lincoln because I literally couldn't move for ages.
I think the next day was the day we went to the International Spy museum which was probably the most fun I've ever had. The museum in itself was cool, but we also did this extra thing which was like a mission and it was in this awesome set up of a fake Middle Eastern nation which was trying to sell nuclear energy and we had to track down the people and technology. I loved every minute of it, it was made by the fact that our tour guide was so into the whole thing. The girl should have gotten an Oscar for the performance. That afternoon we floated to Georgetwon and had dinner in this totally old school diner called "Jonny Rockets" it looked just like something out of Grease, jukebox and everything, we had Haagen Dazs for dessert so it was basically my ideal day.
We split up the next day so I could go to politically related things and George could go to an Art Gallery, it was just as well because I went to a lecture in the Supreme Court and Geo would have beaten me over the head if I took her to that. The architecture of the building is incredible, it's all Spanish marble and huge ceilings and crazy expensive wooden embellishments, I'll spare you a re-run of the lecture but it was really interesting to learn the purpose and workings of the court. The Library of Congress was similarly exciting for me, BEAUTIFUL architecture, I literally could have stared at the roof all day but I decided to move on eventually since I was running out of time. I walked from the capitol down the National Mall and threw a left to walk to the Jefferson memorial, I took five (as per usual) and this probably would have been a really good time to stop with the walking but instead I walked into Virginia to Arlington National Cemetary (seriously, walking across state borders in Converse's is not the best call). I saw JFK and Jackie Kennedy's grave (could have stayed way longer in there, the cemetary is huge, HUGE. And it's actually a popular tourist destination, I wasn't just being creepy by being there). I had to get the metro back because I was to farked to walk, unsurprisingly.
We went to the hockey that night, DC Capitals played Toronto Maple Leafs and killed them 6-1 I think. Hockey was AMAZING, atmosphere, violence, noise and whatnot. DC were an awesome team too- I'm so glad we did something like that, it was almost as much fun watching the people in the crowd abuse each other as it was to watch the game. After the game we floated back to the hostel to get our bags and headed to the bus station to prepare for the longest bus ride ever to Orlando (22 hours of it, nightmare). Totally worth it though, because getting off the bus in Orlando was maybe the warmest I had been since leaving Adelaide, it was like (or it felt like) about 25 degrees at 8pm. I was floating around in a dress. But more on that later.