I was only in Washington DC for less than 48 hours on the #Tweet2Toronto journey, but I packed in as much as I could. I’d visited twice before, once as a kid and again in 2005 for the National Student Leadership Conference. Needless to say, the city has changed plenty since then.
I arrived at Union Station around 3 pm and immediately dropped my bags at Capital Hostel near Chinatown. I didn’t want to lug around my DSLR camera, so all of my photos were taken on my iPhone. I didn’t have much of a plan, just to catch up with an old friend and explore the city.
When I booked the trip, I forgot that it was Memorial Day weekend, meaning DC was packed with biker groups, Boy Scout troupes and regular old tourists. Touring the memorials quickly became overwhelming and I wanted to be anywhere but on the National Mall. I didn’t even see the fireworks.
Instead Roma, the owner of the hostel, made me Lithuanian “summer soup” for dinner. Hospitality doesn’t get much better than that. She showed me around Capital View Hostel, which is a 100+ year old house turned law office turned hostel. There’s even a rooftop patio complete with hammocks.
The next day I had a lot of time to kill before my night bus, so I wandered around Chinatown before settling on some museums. I could have spent all day in the National Portrait Gallery, which had images of every important American in history from Amelia Earhart to Sequoyah to every president. It’s a lesser known museum, but I highly recommend it. The Museum of the American Indian was also fascinating.
The only thing on my list was a stop at Ben’s Chili Bowl, a Washington DC institution known for a chili dog known as the “half smoke.” It happens to be a favorite of Bill Cosby and Barack Obama, the two people who don’t have to pay at Ben’s.
I walked from Ben’s through Embassy Row to meet my friend Tamar at Dupont Circle. She and I met in 2005 at a political leadership conference at American University. We both developed an interest in politics and went into our own fields of journalism. Every time I see her it’s like no time has passed at all.