I was supposed to relax, wasn’t I?

[Does anyone else get the hiccups nowadays and live in fear that they won’t go away for weeks on end?  No? Just me? Okay.] Dscf0268_8

I realized early last week that I was going to need a mental-health day because I could feel myself starting to go just a little squirrelly.  It didn’t help that I had a new toy burning a hole in my pocket and there are few places as rich as D.C. in photographic fodder.  I took last Monday off from the daily grind, slept in, went to the gym (MISTAKE!), then loaded up my bag with lunch, a fresh set of batteries and a bottle of water and set out to explore a corner of my city.

I’ve lived in suburban D.C. for going on 14 years (which practically makes me as a native) and there are certain things I’ve never managed to do or see in that time.  I haven’t made it to the top of National Cathedral or the Washington Monument to take in the aerial views of the city; I’ve missed the Christmas tour of the White House (which may now be permanently off the list; damn terrorists); I still haven’t made it to the Library of Congress and have yet to tour Mt. Vernon. [Does anyone have any other recommendations?] My goal for Monday afternoon was Hains Point, specifically “The Tourist_2 Awakening.”

First impression: Where the hell is this damn thing?!? I was prepared to walk – I’m regularly in touch with my inner pedestrian – but the J. Seward Johnson, Jr. sculpture is two miles from anything! My six-mile trail took me across the Memorial Bridge, through the Korean War Memorial, over to the Tidal Basin (with a brief detour through the FDR Memorial, where I glommed on to a ranger-led tour), then down Ohio Drive.  And down. And down.

Second impression: Where’s the rest of it? It’s VERY cool, don’t get me wrong, but it’s MUCH smaller than I anticipated.  No wonder I could never spot it from the air when taking off from DCA (never mind the fact that by the time we’re airborne, we’re generally too far north to catch sight of the tip of the Point).

Awakening   Dscf0442   Dscf0426 

I wish I’d gotten an earlier start.  By the time I got back to civilization, it was the leading edge of evening rush hour and I pretty much hopped on the Metro as soon as I could, so I could get back to my side of the river without having to wait too long.  I also really wanted to go to the World War II Memorial, but there was absolutely no way.  Hopefully I can squeeze a trip in next month after work (fewer tourists!). 

Check out my Flickr page for more touristy DC pictures.


7 thoughts on “I was supposed to relax, wasn’t I?

  1. meg says:

    great pics. sounds like a great day. i need to get around austin and do the same.
    i took a bunch of shots around the house and in my backyard. it’s official. i’m in love with my camera now. i posted some on my shots on my blog yesterday.
    i’m going to link to you in flickr so we can check out how each other uses the camera and such.

  2. Ann says:

    Don’t hate on Hains Point! But I totally hear you — it’s a haul to get all the way down to the awakening man — more than 3 miles around the whole peninsula bit.
    Still, it sounds like a great way to spend a day off.

  3. I’m sorry I suggested that you hit the gym. But I didn’t know you were going to walk all the way to Hains Point! Next time pick something a little more walkable. 😉
    The view from the top of the Cathedral is pretty amazing. We used to hide up there when we didn’t want to go to Friday services in high school.
    Great pics!

  4. Erin says:

    I love the Awakening. I heard an NPR piece on it a few years ago and found out that it’s a temporary structure set up here for an art exhibit. At any time, the DC government can decide to move it or get rid of it … I hope they never do!!!

  5. Macoco says:

    Great pictures!
    Re: Hiccups. At some point I read that you should try to stop hiccups quickly because once you reach 7 then you’re diaphram is accustomed to the hiccup and it’s harder to break the cycle. Of course, that’s probably total crap – but it does make me panic once I get up around 10. 😉

  6. Yvonne says:

    wow…great pics! I highly suggest the Iwo Jima memorial. You just don’t “get it” until you’ve been there. Seriously! I’m also partial to The Wall…and the Thos. Jeff. memorial.

  7. LauraRN says:

    When we left DC for a tour in Italy, we didn’t know if we’d be stationed back here– so we spent an entire weekend and about 8 rolls of film playing tourist. We saw lots of things we’d missed before. Of course, we came back– and haven’t done many touristy things since. Just goes to show ya….

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