Washington was excellent. I was expecting it to be much dirtier and busier but it was actually very clean and the only business was all the tourists. I loved seeing all the sights - as you can see from all the photos I took here: the White House, Washington monument, Lincoln memorial, Jefferson memorial, World War II memorial, Vietnam memorial, Arlington cemetery, Pentagon, National Air & Space museum, Capitol, Holocaust memorial museum and the Old Post Office. And that was all in just two days.
My favourite was seeing the Capitol - it's just so huge and I could even see it from the highway on the way into DC. It's my favourite building in Washington. Not that the others were bad because one thing that struck me as I took the tour around was that everything is incredibly impressive - except for the view of the White House from the south lawn because it's so far away that it looks tiny.
However as we were walking away from the White House I saw two US Secret Service agents tackling a normal looking guy. He was slightly scruffy but didn't appear to be packing a gun or suicide belt bomb. Maybe the agents were bored. They asked him to drop his cigarette and when he hesitated they yelled at him to drop it and that made it happen.
I got quite sick of going through security checks just to go into a museum or even the Old Post Office which is now a lovely food court. It's like, I get it, you're worried about terrorism, but don't you think maybe you're a bit paranoid? I'm fairly sure no-one will pick the Smithsonian as a high priority target. The price of liberty is constant vigilance, but with so much vigilance I would argue there is no longer liberty.
That being said each security check was worth going through once inside. And there were no checks for the outside memorials, although there were plenty of security guards to prevent... something from happening. Presumably they're not there at night so this something could happen then.
The only two annoyances were the hordes and hordes of school kids that filled every museum, and the fact that the central monument area is huge and it took ages to walk from the Jefferson memorial to somewhere to get dinner. Unless you're happy with hot dogs from a cart for dinner.
I had two days in Washington and they were both packed with sight seeing. I could easily have done a day or two more. I would have liked to go into the Nation Archives and see the signed Declaration of Independence and US Constitution and one of the four remaining copies of the Magna Carta. But the queue was always over 45 minutes long every time I went past.
I had a great time in the capital - it ranks up there with New York as one of my favourite two cities, although for very different reasons. I am now one month into my trip and have done 11 states out of 50 (plus DC and Toronto, which don't count) and I'm having a great time.