At 4:00am on the third day of our eastern U.S. adventure, we woke up groggy-eyed but excited for our trip to the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. New York was everything I hoped it would be…until we exited the hotel around 5:00a.m. & headed for Penn Station.
Imagine my surprise when a man, visibly intoxicated, stood there right in front of us, urinating in the street. Oh my! Well, I guess with the good comes the bad. I couldn’t help but avoid any “water” I saw on the sidewalks from that moment on…lol!
We got to Pennsylvania Station, otherwise known as “The Penn”, around 5:20am, and our train left around 5:45am. The train ride was quite enjoyable. It was fun going through different states and seeing them whiz by. My husband used this time to sleep, but for some reason, I was wired and ready to go.
As we made stops along the way, I noticed that there were so many business people boarding the train. At first I was curious about this, but then after my sleepy brain woke up, it makes sense…yes, they’re going to work in D.C.
(News Flash…there are photos coming up…I promise!!!)
Before the trip, many people I spoke to were not fond of D.C. They said it wasn’t the most pleasant city & to watch my belongings like a hawk. That made me a little weary, but I decided to just experience it for myself & not jump to other people’s conclusions.
As the train pulled into the station, I wasn’t expecting much, but wow!!! What a clean station! I figured if the station is this clean, what must the city be like?!
We took the escalator up (yay, no stairs!!!), and it was like a grand unveiling. What a beautiful city! I was thinking to myself, those people didn’t know what they were talking about! I was so excited to start the day, but my eyes began drooping, and no amount of enthusiasm could keep them open any longer.
We made our way to the hotel, and my husband agreed that a short nap was in order. Two hours later (a little longer than we hoped!), we awoke rejuvenated & ready to check out the National Mall.
The weather seemed pleasant when we arrived…there were beautiful, puffy clouds & it was just a little warm, so I opted for jeans & a tank. As we exited the hotel, I noticed it was a bit warmer, but didn’t have time to register the humidity factor since the train station was so close.
As we arrived at our destination & exited the station, I quickly realized my error in weather judgment. The humidity was beyond what I anticipated, and my jeans were soaking all the heat & stickiness in. Right then & there, I calculated a new formula in my head for future trips to humid destinations: Jeans + Humidity = BAD IDEA!!!
Then I realized that there would be lots and lots of walking involved because the monuments are not close to each other. It didn’t take long before my grumbling began. My husband (his name is Crispin by the way), noticed my distress, and quickly jumped into action. He noticed some people riding around on these red bikes…turns out, they were rentals.
He suggested we rent them out because it would be less walking for us, we’d cover more ground & we’d get a breeze as we rode. At first, I wasn’t up for riding a bike in my sticky jeans, but at some point, I just didn’t care anymore & decided sure, let’s just do it.
Was that the best idea ever!!! Oh my gosh, my husband is really a genius sometimes!! And so is Capital Bikeshare for putting bike rental racks all over the city!
What is Capital Bikeshare, you ask? Well, the most intelligent thing I’ve ever seen!! You can rent out these cute red bikes for 24 hours, 3 days, 30 days or a year! We opted for the 24 hour plan.
There’s a catch though. The price says $7.00 for the whole day…sounds great, but…once you rent your bike, the first 30 minutes are free…after that, each additional 30 minutes will cost you a small fee. That’s ok though – there are over 165+ bike stations across D.C. and Arlington, VA. So basically you can ride to a monument, and if it’s going to take you longer than 30 minutes to observe, just take your bike to a station nearby (and they really are everywhere you look!) & lock it back into the rack. When you’re done at the monument, you can go back to the rack, put in your 24 hour code & take out another bike…and the first 30 minutes will be free again. So basically you won’t be charged the extra fees as long as each of your bike rides are less than 30 minutes.
We made it sort of a game to reach of the monuments in time & race back to the bike rental racks. It kept my mind off the humidity, we covered a lot of ground (much more than if we were walking), there was a nice breeze as we rode and it was fun biking around D.C. Here are some photos from our day.
Freedom Wall – The Price of Freedom
It’s hard to believe that there were 405,399 dead or lost in WWII…
and that’s Americans alone.
That doesn’t even account for all the hundreds of thousands of other brave souls
who served their countries throughout the world!
What an amazing day to take time to honor those who served our country and to see some incredible memorial works of art.
After a fun day of biking to the memorials, our bodies were tired, weary & sticky from the humidity…but before we rode back to our hotel, clouds formed overhead and a light rain began. It was the perfect way to end our first day in D.C.