Over this past Canada Day weekend, I took off with Baron and my brother to go visit my cousin who lives just outside of D.C., in Bowie, Maryland. We flew into D.C. via Porter Airline’s recently launched service to there. It was, as always, a short breezy trip. It was my brother’s first time flying porter, and I was excited for him. He is no stranger to all manner of flights, so it was nice to see he was also impressed with Porter.
As we were flying over D.C, Baron noted all the lush greenery. Vast swaths of trees, and not very many buildings to be seen! We noted the craziness of American highways, but still lined with trees. I had failed to realize how far south D.C and area actually is. Since it’s below the Mason-Dixon line, I believe that officially makes it “the south”. Which officially makes this trip my first to southern USA. How exciting. I was quickly reminded of this fact, as only a few hours our safe arrival and personal refueling at my cousins house, we were hit with an intense storm. Wind, the likes of which I had never seen, combined with a heavy rain caused the power to be cut. We wouldn’t learn until later that we were amidst a record-breaking heat wave and the storm had cut power to a million homes and businesses in the D.C. area.
I was JUST learning how to use their awesome verizon fios cable when it went out. This didn’t hamper our ability to be tourists, too much. But boy was it ever hot. Luckily we were safe, just really, really sweaty.
We made our way to the Smithosonian museums. I’ve wanted to visit these museums since I was a teenager (because as you can tell, I was unbelievably cool). We visisted the National Air & Space museum, and the “American Indian” museum. I really wanted to see the American History Museum, but it’s a lot to take in, especially when there are a few people with differeng tastes.
I am very interested in all history, but there is a specific interest in American revolutionary and civil wars. Just being in D.C. was great to see some of that history, but I definitely would love to go back and absorb more.
We then made our way out of Air Conditioning to the National Zoo. I was blown away by the fact that all the smithsonian museums are FREE. The zoo was also free. Thankfully the Zoo also had a bunch of cool stations so we could tolerate being outside. It was still pretty hard. They had a lot of cute animals and of course they were all just as tired as we were. we didn’t see them all but I did get to see the most important ones: Giant Pandas.
This was important because I spent a fair amount of my 20th year obsessivly watching the Panda-Cam at the National Zoo. It was amazing to see these creatures ‘up close’. I still think I would make an ace panda-cam (or any animal-cam) operator. Not only do I actually have a professional technical background in streaming video, I also have a silly background in watching panda-cam. I think that counts for something.
We also saw the Lincoln Memorial and the newly built MLKjr memorial. Both were breathtaking an amazing.
We also walked past Ford’s Theatre, but unfortuantely didn’t get to go inside.
The second day we drove up to Baltimore, and spent just a few hours in the Aquarium that is downtown. It was pretty neat. We then drove down to Annapolis to walk around. The heat was absolutely punishing at this point, but I still enjoyed it. The quaintness of the houses with covered porches, rocking chairs and the American flags was just too cute.
Unfortunately our camera battery died when we got to Annapolis so you’re just going to have to take my word for it.
Annapolis is home to the Navy training center as well as the oldest still-in-use parliment. There’s a boardwalk and brick streets that take you through a cute little town.
We stumbled upon this store, which was unfortunately closed at the time, but the pictures on their site are great. I’d love to order some sort of Lake Ontario/Great Lakes piece at some point. The pictures don’t do the detail justice.
One thing that I noticed was that the architecture in those cities (D.C., Annapolis, downtown Baltimore) is simply stunning. I love Toronto, but I understand now why people say it’s ugly. In the past two years Baron and I have also visited Manhattan and Chicago (where we took an architecture boat tour) and it really makes us realize how sore our poor little home town can look!
I had a great time not just visiting the new cities, but also visiting with my cousin, who graciously drove us around everywhere. I’d definitely like to go back and do more touring and visiting. One more knocked off the list!