Washington DC Day 2

Continued from Washington DC Day 1.

The weather in DC is already much warmer than Maine and Boston. The warmer the weather is, the closer I am to home and life in Austin. The temperature will be just right below 90 today in DC. It was 50s in Maine. How I miss Maine already.

Bike share program in DC. I did not see a single person riding these bikes.

Love the design of their subway stations. Speaking of subways, the DC subway system is prorated for distance. They also charge a higher price if you travel during peak hours. The trains also never got really crowded either. We had a seat every time we rode it.

Our first subway stop was in Chinatown. DC has a requirement that all businesses located in the vicinity of Chinatown has to display Chinese signs in addition to their regular english signs. If you’ll compare this Chinese Dunkin’ Donuts sign with the one taken in Boston’s Chinatown, you’ll see that it’s translated differently.

I am a little bit embarrassed to show this… We always see the Segway tours in Austin downtown around our condo, and we’ve always wanted to try it. But, we didn’t want to ride Segways in Austin. I guess this is where DC comes in.

I guess I am not going to launch this thing over any ramps.

Funny animated safety video on all the dangerous things to avoid.

Meet Bartlet, my noble steed for the day. He will carry me over 7 miles during the tour. Let’s get started.

The Lone Sailor, part of the Navy Memorial.


Smithsonian Castle. This is where all the Smithsonian artifacts were displayed at one point before the collection overgrew the space.

Washington Monument. Did you know that you can climb into it? Had to wait in line for tickets really early, so we didn’t do that.

Lincoln Memorial.

Repairs made on the stairs leading to Lincoln’s statue. JB Weld?

They had some of his speeches engraved in stone inside.

Our tour guide pointed out the covered up error.

A shame that the reflection pool is under construction. They dug it up to fix the leaks and make various improvements.

Korean War Memorial.

The reflection wall at the Korean War Memorial had these images that were etched into the stone. I wonder how they made them…

White House. Probably not the side you are used to seeing. The screens are there because they are moving stuff into the White House and do not want anyone looking in.

Meet Concepcion Picciotto. She has protested here across from the White House, nonstop, since 1981!!! That’s 30 years of protests!!! In fact, they’ve banned 24 hour protests, but she was grandfathered in as long as she doesn’t move from her spot.

The tour was 3 hours long, over 7 miles and covered much of the National Mall. The Segways were really fun to ride, but I can see how they could be dangerous. It’s not like riding a bike where you have full direct control over the machine. All it takes is one oversized bump or one wheel to lose grip for the machine to lose balance. Despite that, give it a try if you have a chance. We had lots of fun on them.

We saw this Ethiopian food trailer parked right outside the Segway tour office when we returned from our tour. Decided this would be lunch.

The spongy stuff is injera, a type of sponge bread. First time for me to have Ethiopian food and it was quite delicious. I would eat again.

Newseum. A museum for news and media.

They had a piece of the Berlin Wall here.

Past Pulitzer winners.

We were beat by this point, so we didn’t even finish going through all the exhibits in Newseum. Believe it or not, riding and standing on a Segway for 3 hours will tire you out.

Some desserts from Paul(It’s the place with the rock hard, but tasty, bread). Got some energy back, and ready to roll again.

Bus One.

Museum of Natural History.

Hope Diamond.

There are about a million middle schoolers and high schoolers in DC right now. All these buses would pull up in front of a museum, and a swarm of kids would pour out and pile into the museums.

After Natural History museum, we walked to the Sculpture garden next door.

Looks like a house.

Upon a closer inspection, it only had 3 sides.

The Metro signs from Paris.

Reminds me of Paris.

This really reminds me of Paris. A sculpture from Joan Miro. I’m sorry, but it doesn’t matter how I look at it, it looks like a vagina.

No need to contemplate, it’s just a plate of steel with some bird poop on it.

Tapas for dinner.

No more walking around today. We are beat. The National Mall is very much like the Las Vegas Strip. You see where you want to go and it doesn’t look very far, then you start walking. 15 minutes later, you are still walking and you are barely halfway there. The buildings are big and there are a lot of wide open spaces, so it messes with your perception of distance. Everything is much farther than it actually looks.

To be continued at Washington DC Day 3.

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