Skip to main content

In the Shadow of Honest Abe

The first thing you notice about Washington is that it's short.   None of the buildings are over 12 stories max -- something to do with making sure the Capitol Building isn't overshadowed.   Coming out of New York it certainly has a different vibe, giving a small city feel to what's a pretty big city.

It rained all day today, but I was determined to get some shots of the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Washington Monument.   Mission accomplished.  Still, the way the rain was falling the front of my shirt was soaked through by the time I got to ol' Abe.  The Lincoln Memorial was,  for me, the real object of the trip.   Even in a cold wet spring day, the sight of the greatest American President carved out of several tons of white marble perched on his chair and literally larger than life still gives one the feeling of being in the presence of greatness.  His words etched on each side of the memorial are still as eloquent as the day he spoke them.  

After I got my shots of the big three, I headed over to the National Air and Space museum to see man's advances in flight through the years, and also to get dry.  I caught a 3d IMAX movie about the sun (narrated by Al Roker!--printed prominently on the poster as though that were a huge selling point).  The 3d was actually not that great.  The cool thing about the Smithsonian is that it's free.  Well, mostly free -- the cool stuff like the IMAX movies and the Planetarium cost extra.  But there's plenty of learnin' to be had on the cheap.  Most of the historical stuff in Washington is free which is nice.  Even the free museums in New York had 'suggested' ticket prices.

I did splurge on one other thing than the IMAX movie, and that was the flight simulator.   Now we've all played Afterburner in the arcades (at least if you're my age) so we know what a flight simulator is like.  It moves back and forth along with the plane on the screen and yawn yawn its done.  I want to see if this is any different so I lay down my cash, put my valuables in the basket (this -- ladies and gentlemen should have been my first clue) and head over to the simulator.   I play with the little non-moving version they have outside the simulator and it works pretty much like any air combat game.  I crawl inside and and put on the restraints.  The attendant closes drops down those bars like they have on roller coasters that I didn't even see behind me (clue number 2) and then closes up the simulator.   So I'm flying along and the screen is kind of blurry which sucks, and I hit the stick to the right and sure enough it tilts that way.   The Enemy MiG (aren't they always) pulls away from me and I pull on the stick and the plane on the screen goes into a barrel roll, and all of a sudden I am upside-fucking-down.  For real.   My feet are on the ceiling, my body is straining against the restraints, and the blood is rushing to my head.   I level the plane off at a nice altitude and do the obvious thing -- I barrel roll it again.   The ride maybe lasted 6 minutes of which I spent far too much trying to chase jets and not enough turning upside-down, but altogether really fun.

Getting to bed early tonight.  Heading down to Jacksonville in the morning.  Why Jacksonville?  Because it's halfway to Key West, and I'm due there by Tuesday.  The hotel in Jacksonville as a laundromat, so hopefully I can clean the clothes that need cleaning.  Really looking forward to Florida.  I could use some sun.  Haven't seen Dave as he's been hiding wherever the hotel parking people put him.  I'm sure he's raring to go for an all day drive, though.


  1. Cool man! Already in Florida? I thought you would have spent more time showing us what was down the coast. That's awesome though. Lincoln looks so real like he would get up out of his chair just like in South Park. Glad to see you are having a good time.

  2. that's funny I never thought about how short d.c. is...but then, I haven't been there since I was a lot shorter :D

    yeah, the licoln memorila is cool...always liked the washington monument with the pool thingee too.

    and that's hilarious that the thing turned upside down...I probably woulda freaked out/thrown up :D


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Shorts and Shows in Key West

One of the things you notice about American stores is that is that there is a ton of clothes available for fat people. While another blogger might refer to this as a sad state of affairs or a sign of American decadence run amok, I have another word for it -- convenient. You see, I too am a member of the great rotund diaspora and being able to walk into a clothing store and see clothes (ones without floral patterns no less!) in my size is a real plus (so to speak).

I picked up several pieces of attire, summer clothes mostly as I packed as a Canadian coming from a Canada that is still just thawing, and I was able to have my pick of the shorts, button ups, and Ts the stores had to offer. One oddity though: the Champs sporting goods had numerous shirts up to the 5XL size, but their pants selection only went up to 38. I wondered what strange creatures these must be... does Champs select product based on the Tweedledee body type?

After my short shopping extravaganza I headed over to Duval St,…

A Dreamy Day in London

London is a not-very-attractive city surrounding an incredibly beautiful city.  I suppose that's true for most cities but it's especially true of London.  Coming in from the east end (I arrived at London City Airport on CityJet -- basically their version of Porter but with jets -- the level of shift in aesthetics was jarring.

I took an Uber in to save a few pounds and he turned out to be a reasonable tour guide on the way, pointing out the Tower Bridge and the Tower of London as well as some other landmarks.

I arrived at around 8:30 at my hotel which understandably did not have my room ready yet.  I knew this was likely, so operating on a questionable amount of sleep (I can never sleep well before and early flight -- my brain always thinks I'm going to miss it) I headed out into London.  I stared at the Underground map for several minutes and then decided to walk.  I picked this hotel because it was relatively close to everywhere and it paid off today.

It's right besi…

At the Heart of the Ancient City

Rome is old.  Old in a way most places are not.  It;s not as old as Greece or Egypt.  But it's plenty old.

Today I walked through the remains of the Imperial Palace on Palatine Hill.  A palace so ancient it is the literal origin of the word 'palace'.  It was hard, among the ruins, to imagine the day-to-day lives of the emperors and citizens and slaves.  But I imagine they too complained about the heat, enjoyed the view, and thanked their good fortune to be where they were.  Well, probably not the slaves so much, but the other ones definitely.

After the Palatine and the Forum (the heart of Roman society) it was onto the Colosseum.  Tickets and entry for the Palatine were quick but even with the ticket that was good for the Colosseum it would've been a hell of a long wait, especially with the added crowds thanks to the Vatican Museums being closed.  So I opted to skip the line with a guided tour.  Fifteen Euros.  Easily the cheapest of the line-skippy tours, thanks to m…