Day Two: June 5, Saturday
Got up early to get a headstart on sight-seeing. Headed to the nearest metro station and descended on I swear, the world’s longest, steepest escalator. Quite an awesome sight going under the city.
Our first sight of anything “touristy” was the Washington Monument. It was quite the hike to get over there next to it—no going in this time. We walked over to the Museum of American History to start our many Smithsonian adventures. My favorite part was the large Stars and Stripes flag which was the inspiration for Francis Scott Key’s Star Spangled Banner. Only got halfway through the museum when we needed to leave for the Holocaust Museum tour. The Holocaust Museum was an amazing, depressing, motivational, and tragic experience. It was hard to see how inhumane people can be to one another. At one point I had to walk away from one kiosk—it was just too much to fathom let alone watch. Also it was scary to realize the power one person can have to spread evil and hatred; how quickly governments can change when leaders no longer work for the common good but to spread their own warped ideologies. To handle the crowds, the museum’s thermostat was set to arctic and after three hours, we were nearly frozen. It was almost a relief to walk outside into the 92-but-feels-like-120 degree weather.
We found a place to eat, Cava, which must cater to anorexics because we got 3 crab cakes (super yummy) the size of 50 cent pieces and 6 small bite-size pieces of steak. Luckily we had unlimited pita/flatbread or we may have starved to death. We paid our 40 dollar bill (gasp) and went down to the corner to bask in the glory of Baskin-Robbins…a person’s got to keep up their strength.
We strolled the mall waiting for dark and watched fireflies flit in the grass as we headed across to the Lincoln Memorial. It was absolutely beautiful to see, especially lit up at night. When we got to the base and I saw the steps, I just wanted to cry. I was sooo tired but didn’t want to quit. Up I went and the view was amazing. With the effort of climbing, breathing hard, and being in the humidity I can honestly never remember being so hot. Every cell of me was leaking water and salt was stinging my eyes.
We were late getting to the metro and barely made the last train. Saying I was tired at this point doesn’t do it justice, but we finally made it back to the hotel. After doing my breathing treatments, I fell into bed and slept. Wonderful bed—wonderful air conditioner. Wonderfully long day.