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DC Duck

Well, it's July, so I'm in Maryland for the Shore Leave Convention. And as usual, I took a day to go to Washington, DC and do the tourist thing.

This year, I just wandered and walked around. And walked. And walked.

I'm gonna guesstimate that I put about 10 miles on my feet yesterday, and they're not really used to it.

But it was SO worth it.

Especially considering that I had my two trusty companions: my camera and Mr. Duckie.

The first thing I noticed was the Washington Monument.

I'm not sure if it's intended to be a huge phallic symbol or a huge middle finger, but either way the message is clear: you do NOT f*** with the United States. We f*** with you.

Then, I noticed
a strip of grass
on the Mall. Either it was a tribute to Mr. T, or the sloppiest mowing job I've seen in years. Either way, it was a classic example of Your Tax Dollars At Work.

Nearby, I noticed one rather stately building. It turned out to be the Source Of All Evil headquarters of the IRS. Mr. Duckie insisted on expressing his opinion.

Down at the World War II Memorial, I was seriously moved. It is one amazing piece of work. Naturally, I found myself drawn to the New Hampshire pillar, and one rather remarkable (and historically significant) piece of graffiti.

There didn't seem to be any sort of explanatory plaque for the graffiti, so I strongly suspect it's a sort of "Easter Egg" on the monument. I find I really like that.

Then, past the World War II Memorial, I spent some time at the Lincoln Memorial.

Then, it was on to the White House. There I saw two rather amusing sights: the traditional nut with the protest sign, and a giant honking badge emblem on the side of an SUV. Tell me -- am I the only one who finds "SECRET SERVICE -- UNIFORMED DIVISION" a really funny oxymoron?

I ended up walking around and around and around, with no real destinations in mind. One thing I noticed was the license plates of cars registered in the District. Where my own plates read "LIVE FREE OR DIE," however, these proclaimed "TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION." Whiny gits... that reminds me; I ought to do a piece some time on why I actually approve of DC not having statehood.

However, I was in the 500 block of K Street NW when I spotted a MISSING PET/MISSING PERSON style sign.

It turned out to be a MURDER VICTIM sign, and on the spot the guy had been killed. I thought that was a good sign to turn around and head back the way I came.

I eventually found my way back to the Metro, then to Union Station for the train ride back to Baltimore (where my hosts live). That's when I learned a new and deep and abiding hatred for Amtrak.

You see, the only seats left on the next train were Business Class. That roughly doubled the fare. In exchange, I got to walk the entire length of the train to board, to ride at the very front of the car, where the air conditioning was not working.

Yup. Pay more, get worse.

It was a hell of a long day, and as I finish typing this on a Sunday morning, my feet still hurt.

But it was a hell of a great day.


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Comments (12)

My boys went to college in ... (Below threshold)

My boys went to college in D.C. and now live there. I have been many times but always find something new and wonderful to visit. I would highly recommend on your next trip the Holocaust museum - the most moving memorial I have ever seen. The botanical gardens are amazing located right next to the capitol building. For fun, the Spy museum is great but they do charge admission unlike the Smithsonian. The best Imax is the Tom Cruise narrated film with footage taken on the space station making it feel like you are right there.

Jay Tea:A few tips... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea:

A few tips. 1) If you're going to ride Amtrak, you can do worse than to spend your ride in the cafe car. I use Amtrak when I visit NYC, and I absolutely love it. Comfortable seats, polite conductors, and little wait at the station.

2) Visit the World War I memorial if you get a chance.

3) You missed a Weird Al Yankovic concert, which I attended yesterday evening. Fun stuff, although a few people there knew entire too many of Yankovic's lyrics.


You couldn't take the MARC ... (Below threshold)

You couldn't take the MARC train?

You may have missed a photo... (Below threshold)

You may have missed a photo op. There's an outfit that runs amphibious craft tours (from Union Station I think) which calls itself "DC Ducks." Mr. Duckie woulda felt at home.

I did that walking thing a ... (Below threshold)

I did that walking thing a few times last year. My feet hurt so bad after 3 days in DC that I went in to the Senate building and watched them debate SCHIP for a few hours. Funny stuff.

Over near the Supreme Court is something funny. This tiny, barely visible sign announcing where the Democrat Senate re-election office is. Granted, the rent is probably outrageous, but, it was funny to see how tiny and out of the way it was.

Double fare for a ride from... (Below threshold)

Double fare for a ride from Union Station to Baltimore? I routinely ride Williamsburg to NYC and business class is only $35 for that whole trip--I think you got taken for ride and I don't mean literally... ;-)

I was doing the exact same ... (Below threshold)

I was doing the exact same thing on the same day JT. I wish I had known somehow you were there. Would have been interesting to meet you. I just got back and am now sitting with my feet up. Hurt like hell after walking everywhere down there.

"SECRET SERVICE -- UNIFORME... (Below threshold)

"SECRET SERVICE -- UNIFORMED DIVISION" -- Is that case of "Hiding in plain sight?"


"TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION" -- They CHOOSE to live in the city, and then whine about it. I find this a classic welfare mentality. Rather than take action about a state of affairs, whine that is it UNFAIR, Government should ACT, rescue me from my stupidity and sorry state. Of course, they probably never took civics/government in High School and found out that where they live was set up that way for a reason. Or maybe its not taught anymore, its not relevant. Oh, well, thanks for the reminder of why I am glad to live in fly-over country.

Looks like a great time. On... (Below threshold)

Looks like a great time. One thing though, tell Mr. Duckie to get his head out of the way or just hand him the camera to begin with.
enjoy your vacation..

Thanks for the mini-tour J.... (Below threshold)

Thanks for the mini-tour J.T. I'm going to be in D.C. for a few days next week doing the tourist thing. I'll have to keep your view in mind as I wander.

Refreshing to hear from you... (Below threshold)

Refreshing to hear from you. That day, although tiring I am sure, sounded like a load of fun. ww






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