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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

DC - Day 2 and 3: So much walking...

Why is it that vacationing in major cities just always means a TON of walking? I really don't mind walking that much, but wrapping up with day 3, it is really starting to wear on my body. Judging from the distance guide in the subway station map, I would guess I had walked about 10 miles in the past three days. This is the second time I have done a major city trip pregnant, but there are two major differences:
  1. 1) In NY, in 2005, I was only a few weeks pregnant. I wasn't heavy, so the walking was hard because I was tired, but not hard from carrying around 20 extra pounds (yes, I have gained 20 pounds since the start of this pregnancy. Cry) like I am now.
  2. 2) In NY, there were bathrooms everywhere, because there were at least businesses everywhere. Here, it is like mostly monuments and offices, and a business or bathroom every so often if you get lucky. There is a head in my bladder, so I have to go like every 20 minutes. That part has NOT been fun.
However...  by day 2, when we ventured out at 5pm, we had actually mastered the subway system, for real this time, and we managed not to get lost. We made it to the The Mall in time to visit one of the Smithsonian Museums that was still open, the Natural History Museum, where we learned the history of Western culture and saw the Hope Diamond and mummies and interesting stuff like that.

Then we took a rickshaw to The White House to take pictures in front, since Vinny really wanted to know that I visited Obama's House (although, according to Marc, I think he expected me to go inside.... sorry V, tours are pretty limited and have to be requested months in advance).

We then made an effort at finding somewhere for dinner, not an easy task for some reason, considering it is a tourist area, but finally (after much walking) made it to a cool Italian restaurant with a live Pianist who apparently had a thing for show tunes and the Beatles, because that was all he played. Good food. :-) Much more walking an a long subway ride and we made it home relatively early, around 10ish.

Today's excursions took us to the National Botanical Garden and the Capitol building, although only outside. That's the thing about being at a conference all day... our tourist options are limited. We ate dinner at this place called Old Ebbit's Grill that is apparently very historical and famous. It had taxidermed animal heads on the walls that were the hunting mastery of Theodore Roosevelt. I am not gonna lie... the walrus head freaked me out.

The food was very good (although not necessarily worth the hour we waited). We had this great goal of getting to Georgetown Cupcake for dessert, but alas, they close at 9, and we finished dinner just after 9. Sadness. Well, maybe tomorrow.

By the way, can someone please explain to me why the department of agriculture building takes up several city blocks and even crosses a street (there is a north and south side), yet the department of health and human services, the department of labor, and the IRS building are all like half a block or less?  Do we really care that much more about fruits and vegetables than we do about health and human services?


  1. My guess is that it has something to do with the fact that the USDA was founded 50 years before the Dept. of Labor and almost 100 years before the other two. There was probably a lot more space back then. Also, although agriculture's importance to the economy has diminished in the past century (and instead of millions of small farmers, there are now maybe a couple hundred thousand large farms), but they still get about $20 billion a year in subsidies. The big farms have some power in Washington!

    And that's my boring lecture for the day. Sorry, your question was probably rhetorical.

  2. No, not rhetorical, I really was interested. Good answer.