I went to Washington D.C. for the very first time a month ago, and stamp “I’m old” on my forehead because I checked off an item on my bucket list (I HAVE A BUCKET LIST, I’M OLD) and I spent hours upon hours enjoying the shit out of museums.
(I know...who is this girl??)
I really, really loved D.C. and 100 percent plan on returning because I only saw a fraction of the Smithsonian Natural History Museum and I need to see all of it.
24,000 pounds of elephant!!
I went to D.C. because my friend Byron and his girlfriend Kelly just moved there from Charleston and JetBlue flies direct for under $100 round-trip.
Oh, and Byron is a Marine, and he got me a ticket to the Marine Corps Ball.
THE MARINE CORPS BALL!!!!
I WENT TO A MARINE CORPS BALL!!
But let me start from the beginning.
I got to D.C. on a Saturday morning and Byron took me straight to the White House, since seeing the White House is on my bucket list.
Mind you, it wasn’t “going inside of the White House.” Just seeing it, period. It’s the most American thing you can do!
It looked exactly like it did in the TV show House of Cards. Byron pointed out all the cameras on the top of the building, there were scary dogs on leashes walking around the perimeter.
I saw the people that have been protesting outside the White House 24/7/365 since 1981 (!!!!) because they don't want nuclear weapons to exist.
From what I gather, the couple live in a tent on the pedestrian mall avenue right across the street from the White House and no one can legally arrest them.
(I wonder what they did with them during House of Cards filming.)
Other D.C. observations: There are runners everywhere on a Saturday morning. Granted, it’s a gorgeous trail along the bank of the Potomac River, but I was in awe at the sheer number of runners that early in the morning.
DON’T THESE PEOPLE DRINK MIMOSAS??
It looked like a marathon.
Byron and I walked around to all the monuments within walking distance of the White House (Jefferson, Lincoln, Martin Luther King) and I read all the signs and quotes, and it did not go unnoticed that the statements said by leaders long ago are still important, relevant words for a functioning and free society.
Nice one, T. Jeff!!!!
(I photoshop underlined it. There is no graffiti at the monument)
The next stop was the Natural History Museum, which was FREE admission (what kind of city is this???) but we only had time to walk through the mammals exhibit.
(The human population section was really, really crowded. Haha)
"How can anyone go through this museum and still not believe in evolution?” I asked aloud.
Look at how giraffes didn’t used to have very long necks, but do now because the trees they eat from got taller and they had to adapt to survive!!!
(No really, look at them. The entire exhibit is taxidermy animals.)
Look at the black bears that accidentally ended up in the Artic that died because they couldn’t hunt prey by blending into the snow!!
And now they’re all white because those are the only ones who lived long enough to procreate!!! (White fur started out as a birth defect.)
This was the first mammal on Earth. This is your father.
“HOW CAN ANYONE GO THROUGH THIS MUSEUM AND NOT BELIEVE IN EVOLUTION???” I asked again.
“People who don’t believe in evolution don’t go to museums,” a stranger replied.
That night, we went to the Marine Corps ball.
THE MARINE CORPS BALL!!!
WITH REAL MARINES!!!
The ball was held at a hotel and it was a fancy dinner and party for the Marine Corps’ 240th birthday.
Before dinner, Marines did a lot of synchronized marching and symbolic carrying of flags and a bagpipe played Amazing Grace and every time I hear that song on a bagpipe, I get teary-eyed.
Then, I got more teary-eyed at the video we watched from the Marine’s Commandant (the guy in charge) with recorded interviews with retired Marines about fighting for country and sacrificing for each other and I was proud to even be sitting in their company.
And then everyone got drunk and danced around.
AND A MARINE PROPOSED TO HIS GIRLFRIEND ON THE DANCE FLOOR.
(She said yes.)
The next day, Byron and I went to a Saints game, since their schedule happened to have them playing the Redskins and tickets were pretty cheap, but I don’t want to talk about that game.
(Silver lining: it was the prettiest NFL stadium I have ever been to in my life.)
On Monday, I had the day to myself and went to more museums: the Newseum, a nod to my profession, and the International Spy Museum, recommended by Byron, and 50 percent off admission THANKS Groupon.
Since these museums were in China Town, I Yelp’d the best Chinese restaurant (China Boy) and ate delicious shrimp stir fry on the street on the way to the Newseum, which predictably made me depressed since no one reads newspapers anymore.
But then, I got to visit my dear friend Katy who works for the Wall Street Journal at her office, and saw all the editors and reporters on the entire floor and it restored my faith in journalism.
At the Spy Museum, I got to pretend to be a florist from Sweeden going to London for a fake mission.
I LOVED the spy museum and now feel foolish not knowing we have so many government spies.
I saw professional lock picks, cameras the size of a quarter, cyanide pills actually issued BY THE C.I.A. and holy shit, we REALLY didn’t get along with Russia in the 1960s, did we???
Sooner than I wanted (I didn't even have time to see the parade of James Bond cars!! Rude.) it was time for me to leave D.C.
I took the subway to the airport (PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ---WHAT A CONCEPT!) and seamlessly checked in and boarded in under an hour -- another thing I had never seen before!!
Well done Capital City!
The city of Marine dreams and White House bucket lists!
Bonding with strangers at the overcrowded human population exhibit over evolution.
And rectal spy kits.
That is not a rectal spy kit.
Thank you Byron and Kelly!!!