A Week in D.C.

I’ve been in D.C. for a little more than a week now and am finally beginning to settle in. Posting has been sparse because, to be perfectly honest, I don’t have a lot of free time.

A short outline of my day:

7:00 AM- Wake up; stumble out of bed; put on somewhat matching clothes suitable for work

7:20 AM- Trip downstairs; eat breakfast; drink several cups of tea; read newspaper

8:00 AM- Walk normally up the stairs; prepare for work

9:00 AM- Catch metro (learning how to take the metro is a whole story in and of itself)

9:15 AM- Arrive at work

5:45 PM- Leave work; run up 200 stairs at metro station

6:30 PM- Dinner; collapse in chair; drink caffeine

7:00 PM- Class

9:30 PM- End class; collapse onto bed; Facebook chat; homework (in that order)

12:00 PM- Bed

For those of you mathematically challenged, that adds up to a whopping 11+ hours at work and class. That’s okay, it’s still more free time than I’ve ever had in college.

My schedule isn’t always so prosaic. When I don’t have class, I spend most of the time exploring D.C. and the surrounding areas.

Some highlights:

1. My first day in D.C., we went on a monument tour. At the FDR memorial, I took yet another photo (my third) with Eleanor Roosevelt, my childhood idol.

It’s not the most flattering angle.

We also went to the newly opened MLK Jr. memorial, which I thought was beautiful. The sculpture in the middle has received some criticism. Martin Luther King Jr. seems to be emerging from a block of stone, but does so at an odd angle.

Of the approximately 20 photos I took at the memorial, this is the only one without people milling about. It was crowded.

2. My second day, just as I was beginning to feel that my jet lag was dissipating, I left for Gettysburg, PA at 7:45 AM. A lot of coffee was involved. We arrived at around 9:30 and immediately headed for the museum and cyclorama, which was amazing. At noon, we made our way outside the visitor center for a walking tour of the battlefield and promptly discovered it was raining. Sporting an adorable poncho, I showed off my astounding knowledge of military history (thanks, Dad!) and complained about my soggy shoes.

A view of the battlefield from Little Round Top. The term “ridge” is used very loosely at Gettysburg. After exploring the scene of the action, we headed into town for lunch at a place called Dobbin House, which has been in existence since the 18th century. Our table slanted downward because of the floor. A terrifying doll sat in a chair. The house was also used as a stop on the Underground Railroad. The passageway leading up to the room where escaped slaves lived was open to visitors.

3. On our third way, when we woke up at a normal college student time (i.e. 10 AM), we went on a scavenger hunt in D.C. At first, we were somewhat into it.

I was particularly excited at the prospect of visiting Kramerbooks, where I didn’t purchase a single volume. That may never happen again.

At around 2 PM, we grew hungry from all the walking and decided to take the metro to U Street to eat at Ben’s Chili Bowl. We thoroughly enjoyed it. By the time we left, our table had consumed three order of chili fries, in addition to the chili dogs and cheeseburgers we’d all ordered. This might have been because we stayed at the restaurant for two hours, because I couldn’t bear to tear my eyes from the second half of the Redskins game on the TV screen. I clearly chose the right place.

We then spent the rest of the afternoon and evening complaining about how much food we ate. It was worth it.

4. Friday night, we went to The Kennedy Center for Tosca. I spent most of the time talking about how excited I was and smiling so wide my cheeks hurt.

The latest in a series entitled “Kaitlin at Opera Houses.”

 

I also sneakily snapped this photo of the ceiling inside the opera house when a security guard wasn’t looking. Apparently, photos aren’t allowed.

It’s been a busy and exciting week. Can’t say the same about the homework I’ve been putting off.

 

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