Thankfully this was a much less hot day (yes, still shorts weather 🙂 ) as we did a mammoth walk across the city. We went past the White House and up to Dupont Circle then across to Georgetown. You may have seen the pedestrian crossing lights in the USA, the ones where they give a visual countdown of how many seconds left to cross? What we couldn’t work out is why, at Dupont Circle, where it is a single and very tiny lane to cross, you get 90 seconds, yet on the much wider 4 or 6 lane major roads you only get 16 seconds. And also, why 16? Why not 15 or 20?
Georgetown is the place I would choose to live if I found myself suddenly employed in DC. It’s like what Didsbury is to Manchester, or what Penarth is to Cardiff – the bit just to the side that has its own character and fabulousness but is just the right distance from the big centre. You have to go across a bridge to get to Georgetown and it’s amazing how it instantly changes from big US city to small British town. Most places in the US don’t have a traditional “High Street” centre but the shops are scattered all over the place and only accessible by car. Uncharacteristically, Georgetown actually does have a proper High Street-type shopping area (where I headed straight to Lush to stock up on the essentials for the next twelve months until I can visit again). From there we headed down along the waterfront with its posh restaurants and past the Watergate complex (it’s more than just a scandal you know – it has offices and a hotel too) and onto the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts where we had a free guided tour of all the theatres and other rooms. We even got to see inside the Presidential box – apparently there are special Presidential M&Ms available only when he attends a show. We ended the tour on the roof terrace with a spectacular 360 degree view across the city – something I would highly recommend any visitors to the city take advantage of.
From there it was a nice walk along the canal to the Lincoln Memorial again, just to reconfirm that it kicks the ass of all the other memorials. It still does. Back to our hotel for a well earned soak in the hot tub after a good six hours on our feet.
Later on we made it out again for a view of the Washington Monument and Capitol Building at night. The Capitol looks amazing when lit up but the Washington Monument has two red lights at the top which unfortunately make it look a little demonic 🙂 .Probably not the intended effect.