I’ll do a more complete recapping of my trip once I’m done with the trip, but here are a few, random, initial thoughts about Washington.
- This city is pretty cool. It’s got a cool vibe and there are so many freaking things to see here! As much as I’m super excited about the conference I’m going to, I’m kinda sad that I can’t see more of the things in the city!
- I spent a bunch of time at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. And every time I thought, “I’m going to head out. I’m musuemed out and I want to get to the Lincoln Memorial before it gets dark,” I’d see another thing I want to see and then I’d stay longer. There were dinosaurs! And mummies! And skeletons of everything you could imagine! And the Hope diamond1! And an evolution exhibit! And a lion that was shot by Teddy Roosevelt!
- While standing in the Smithsonian I had this thought: “No doubt Trump has never set foot in this place. I bet he doesn’t even know it exists. Or the other 16 Smithsonians in this town.”
- I wandered through the garden of sculptures outside the Smithsonian museum of art.
- I walked to the Lincoln Memorial and on the way saw the Washington monument, the WWII monument, and the reflecting pool (with many, many ducks in it) that leads up to Lincoln.
- When I google mapped the Lincoln, I saw there is an Albert Einstein monument nearby (just outside the National Academy of Science). So of course I went there because science.
- All of this was in the pouring rain, so I was pretty drenched by this point (despite having an umbrella) and it was cold and dark and I discovered that I was nowhere near a metro station and the best way back to my hotel was on the bus. Something I learned today is that the buses aren’t very good at staying on schedule, at least according to all the people at the bus stop who were more than happy to tell me about how bad the buses are!
- My hotel is pretty nice, but there aren’t nearly enough electrical outlets (you can tell it’s an old building) and there is no luxurious robe! This is my third hotel in less than a month (so much work travel!) and only one has had a robe. These other hotels need to step up their robe game, is what I’m saying.
- While I was standing in line to get into the museum – the security line up there was worse than at the airport! – I heard someone say, “The Smithsonian owns the Hope diamond, but everything that the Smithsonian owns belongs to all Americans. Whoever owns the Hope diamond is cursed. I think that explains a lot.” [↩]