Monday, August 23, 2021
Laurel, MD – Washington, DC – Georgetown, DC – Ruther Glen, VA
I almost didn’t write this post. It’s ten minutes to midnight for me here out on the East Coast and it’s safe to say I am fading fast. Today was a long day. In fact this time twenty-four hours ago I was going to sleep, setting a 5am alarm preparing to make an early escape from our rest stop/travel area that we weren’t confident we were able to stay overnight at. Ahh Van Life...
I kept occasionally surveying the parking lot as we were eating dinner and getting ready for bed last night, seeing if the same cars remained and after significant confirmation, we felt confident calling it a night but not confident enough to let ourselves sleep in. We woke up at 5:30am this morning and drove to a nearby Planet Fitness that’s open 24 hours. That’s the first time we’ve encountered one of those actually. Every time we experience something like that we just chalk it up to being a “DC Thing.” Like you know, people here all work in politics and work long crazy hours so of course they need to have a gym that’s open all hours of the day. Makes sense. If you trust our argument then it also makes sense how there was traffic – legitimate traffic – at 5:45am this morning. Wild. Nevertheless we were very grateful to this twenty-four hour Planet Fitness and even more grateful to get a morning workout and shower in. It had been a while. Too long. For the shower mainly. HAH! There I go again – Van Life at it’s finest.
We drove into the city in search of coffee since we’re still running on no water and therefore Adam couldn’t make his pot of coffee this morning. I don’t mind, however. Any excuse to go out and get coffee I am here for. We landed on a Philz in the DC area (score!) and picked up our morning caffeine fix. I will make note that DC has the mask mandate back for all indoor locations which was something we picked up on real quick (as one does). Real quick as in at the gym first thing this morning when we had to get used to wearing a mask during our workout – something I’ve yet to do in all honesty. Anyway, we drove around town checking out all the local tourist hotspots once we had caffeine in tow. The usual – White House, Capitol, National Mall, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, World War II Memorial – and each is truly as spectacular as it looks in photographs. I didn’t know much about the World War II Memorial but that was probably one of if not my favorite from the day.
It was a sweltering day in DC (post Tropical Storm vibes) and the World War II Memorial is centered around this giant fountain in the middle of the Memorial area. At the end of WWII, troops jumped into the fountains in Europe and this Memorial commemorates that celebratory moment by inviting visitors to dip their feet in the fountain and enjoy the cool water rushing over them. Of course I particularly loved it because it was so dang hot but I love what it represented too. By sitting on the edge of the fountain and dipping our feet in, we were actually honoring and celebrating those that have come before us and fought for so many of the freedoms we enjoy to this day. Pretty spectacular.
The Lincoln Memorial was definitely another one of my favorites. They really make you work for it though, climbing up 50+ stairs in direct sunlight to enter an atrium with just about zero air flow but you know what, it was worth it. It’s just as foreboding and massive as you imagine it to be. Perhaps even bigger. While hot, it was a magnificent walking tour of some of the most noteworthy monuments in Washington, DC. Monuments that I certainly never imagined having the opportunity to see. Monuments that make me want to run home and watch National Treasure, you know? At the conclusion of our walking/driving tour, we drove over the bridge to Georgetown which I heard had great shopping on M Street. We managed to snag a parking spot in the shade, along the riverfront where we made some lunch and then I walked around for a couple hours shopping while Adam worked. It was mainly stores you’ll find in a mall (Urban Outfitters, H&M, Nike, Aritzia, Sephora, Anthropologie, etc.) but a great area to walk around and browse nevertheless.
As you know, I’m not a fast fashion gal myself so I had a little shopping spree at Sephora before heading back to the van for the drive to tonight’s destination. From the time at which we left Georgetown, it has been miserably hot and humid. The air is so much thicker than it was earlier today as we continue our way south. We’re at a rest stop for the evening with the fans blowing and it’s still unbearable. Almost too unbearable to sleep. I’ve done some scouting for the upcoming destinations as we make our way south and it’s not looking good. We’re hoping to stick to the coast and be by water plus check out some cities we haven’t visited in the Carolinas in particular before going to Florida but honestly the weather report isn’t looking much better inland nor “outland,” if ya catch my drift?