Sunday, July 8th, 2012
21.5.12 27 °C
My flight from Rome, Italy to Washington, United States took off at 7:10am the morning on Sunday, July 8th, 2012 and landed at 11:34am of the same day, and although it was nearly a ten hour flight, because of the drastic time difference, we arrived only 'three' hours later in the United States. Luckily, I was able to get some great sleep on the plane, and didn't feel as jet lagged as I would have had I gotten no sleep. Once we landed, and deboarded the plane, a short cab ride from the airport took me to my accommodations for the night, the Holiday Inn, located in the Washington capital. It cost me roughly $140.00 a night, but the room itself was lovely and fully equipped with everything I needed for an enjoyable night's stay. Once I settled in, and had a bite to eat in the hotel lobby restaurant, I was ready to embark upon my incredible tour of the nation's capital!
My main stop, of course, was the Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum, that is home to over 14 different specialty museums within itself. To my surprise, admission into most of the general museums is free of charge, as I've learned that the institution wants Americans to visit, and learn more about their history and heritage. I decided upon a guided tour of the Museum of Natural History, which was beyond incredible! Photos were not permitted within most exhibitions within the Smithsonian, but I took away more knowledge, (and pamphlets, for that matter) than I ever though possible in the short time I toured around. I also made sure to check out a tour of the American Art Museum, which capped off all of my artistic sightings on my dream trip around the world. I had already experienced most of the world-renowned art works of Europe, and I felt that it wouldn't be appropriate to neglect the North American artists to whom I owe a great deal. I spent quite a while touring around the american art exhibit, and virtually drooling over every aspect of the museum, when I thought it was about time for me to move on to something potentially even more intriguing. I headed over to the National Zoological Park, which homes countless species of animals, and wildlife. I may have scared a few small children as I frantically ran all over the zoo grounds, overly excited to learn and see each and every animal they had to offer! I now realize that I spent a little longer than I had planned at the Smithsonian, but I am grateful that I got to do and see everything that I did. I hope to one day return and spend a week or more in Washington, so that I can check out every single exhibition that interests me!
After staking out a hot dog vender, and paying a mere $4.00 for a mouth-watering foot long hot dog, I scarfed it down, and virtually ran to the Franklin Deleno Roosevelt Monument! The sculptures were way beyond the size I was anticipating them to be, and the plaques and grounds surrounding the monument were pristinely kept up. I snapped quite a few photos, and felt like a giant tourist as I asked around for someone to take a photo of me in front of FDR. This was quite the surreal experience, because the entire area of Washington, DC is so iconic and universally known! It was getting late in the evening, when I decided that I had to squeak in a few more sites of interest.
A short stop at the Jefferson memorial to snap a few photos proved interesting, as there was some sort of assembly that appeared to be a protest in full swing, not too far away. I also HAD to stop by the Lincoln memorial, and try desperately to climb up Abraham's legs, while onlookers got a great laugh of out my shenanigans. The final place I decided I had to visit before it got too late in the evening was, of course, Capital Hill! It wouldn't be a trip to Washington DC had I not taken time to see this iconic site!
I returned to my hotel with the biggest smile that I couldn't seem to wipe off my face. I was beginning to realize the velocity of everything I had done in the course of a little over a week, and fell asleep dreaming of my next American destination- Las Vegas, Nevada!