random thoughts: D.C. edition

My dear husband and I just spent a long weekend in our nation’s capital. We were visiting our younger daughter, who is doing a 10-week internship at the Partnership for Public Service. If you don’t mind gorgeous sunny weather in the high 80s (and I certainly don’t), D.C. is a great place to be in July. Lots to do, lots to see, and not enough time to pack it all in.

  • For an urban area, D.C. feels surprisingly open. The buildings are not too tall or too crowded together and are reasonably set back from the street. The sidewalks are wide and, for the most part, clean. However,  there is a pronounced cacophony of sirens, horns, and engine noises at all hours of the day and night.
  • It’s also a surprisingly affordable city. Lodging and meal prices were comparable to those we pay in the Midwest. The monuments and many other attractions are free. One worth paying for is the Newseum—we enjoyed it immensely.
  • The Metro makes it easy to get around. That is, when all of the lines are running. The major routes we were counting on to and from the Foggy Bottom station were closed for repairs, so we racked up a lot of extra unplanned steps.
  • The summer fashion uniform for women is a sundress and either tennis shoes for a walking commute or flat sandals. Inexplicably, there were quite a few women wearing low ankle boots with their shorts/dresses/skirts, even in the heat.
  • The men of D.C. are pretty sharp dressers. Noticeably absent was the jeans/tennis shoes/favorite sports team t-shirt uniform we see in Wisconsin.  We observed what may, unfortunately, be a trend in the making: shorter shorts for men.
  • We’re fortunate to live in a foodie city and have visited some other notable ones, like San Francisco. I’d add our nation’s capital to that list, especially when it comes to seafood.
  • We are always on the lookout for caffeine-free diet Coke (or caffeine-free diet Pepsi in a pinch) when we travel but are rarely successful. In D.C., both the Walgreens and the convenience store near our hotel were fully loaded with both options.
  • This was probably the first vacation where we didn’t buy anything. Not even a “Make America Great Again” hat.



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