I went to Washington DC a few weekends ago. Three of my dear aunts were making a road trip down, so I figured I’d fill in the empty seat in the van and do some sightseeing and friendseeing. The quick weekend was awesome, and we were treated to beautiful, warm sunny weather.
I hadn’t been to our nation’s lovely capitol since my last school trip in middle school, so I had a feeling this trip would be a lot different from that distant memory. There were several ups and downs, and I reached the conclusion that DC, while fabulous to visit, is a city which I will do my best to avoid calling home. Here are the four reasons why I really don’t want to live in Washington DC.
1. Parking (or lack of!)
The trip down was a journey in and of itself, and after a late start involving a tumble down the stairs (resulting in a severely bruised buttocks) and a hold-up at Cracker Barrel for over an hour, it was a relief to finally have the capitol building in sight.
But, just because we were physically in DC didn’t mean that we had actually arrived. We still had to park.
Scanning the streets for an opening, we finally found a parking garage. In we went, zig-zagging down the patternless maze, slowly approaching the bowels of the building. We neared the bottom with a fruitless search, so we decided to squeeze into a teeny tiny space between two pillars. This minor excursion tacked on an additional twenty or so minutes to our overall travel time.
2. Why so serious?
For some reason I really can’t shake the creepy vision of The Joker reciting this coined phrase. You have people from all over the world, all walks of life, all types of backgrounds in DC. The one thing these people seem to have in common is work. The majority of the locals I met were young, driven professionals. Delving deeper than the surface, I learned just how seriously people take their careers and how these careers take over their lives.
A little bit of silliness is a necessity in my life (although some who know me would say a lot bit), and there just doesn’t seem to be enough of that here.
My friend and I tied a balloon to my head and went out to the bar, and we were treated like celebrities because we were so hilarious. I know we’re a sidesplittingly humorous duo, but it was as if they had never seen a girl with a balloon attached to her noggin before.
3. It is too easy to get around
A friend of mine who lives and works in DC came sightseeing with me one day, searching for Obama since we figured he’d like to see us. After several minutes of standing outside the White House and hoping for an invitation to dinner, we decided that we had waited long enough.
Embarking on our journey to the parking garage, we encountered several delays and detours. Roads were blocked off for the arrival or departure of someone uber important, and we walked around in circles.
Washington DC’s streets are arranged in a very easy to manage grid system with letters and numbers, making it easy to find your way around and get unlost. However, my friend was not very capable of finding her way in this particular instance. Because of DC’s easy navigability, this became quite frustrating for me. Even more so since I decided to wear uncomfortable shoes (mistake #1!)
4. DC gave me a hangover
My party-hat, drinking-pants wearing days have been put adoringly in my past, but occasionally it is time for me to shake the dust off and put on those old identity-altering pieces of attire. This is exactly what happened in Washington DC.
Vodka, champagne, Southern Comfort, beer and Raki sloshed together in my stomach that night, leading me to have an enjoyable, yet fuzzy evening out on the town. The next morning was not so enjoyable. I threw in some delicious greasy breakfast from Florida Ave. Grill, which later traveled through the water pipes of my friend’s apartment.
My night out partying in Washington DC was a sore reminder of how not resilient my body is to overindulging in alcohol. Thus, I was unable to enjoy the city on the morning after, as I was preoccupied with an unanticipated appointment on the porcelain throne.
5. It is misleading
I was meeting a friend at one of the museums, and he gave me a call, describing his location as being “across from the National Mall.” I walked outside and scoped the surrounding area for this so-called shopping center, to no avail. I called him back, “I’m not sure I see the mall, what building is it?”
My friend described the green strip of grass plastered amidst the museums, and I was trying to figure out where the entrance may be. “Is it underground?” I asked, doubtfully trying to envision an underground Macy’s. I’m a Jersey Girl, I know what a mall is.
Needless to say, the National Mall is not a mall. Fooled me.
6. There are too many museums
I love visiting museums. Washington DC is a haven for these spectacular displays of art, culture, history, nature, everything that makes our world the planet that it is today. There are just too many museums in DC!
Why is this a bad thing? Well, because these are such iconic and famous places, everyone wants to see them. Visiting any of these touristic hot spots includes lots of crowds and inappropriately loud voices, especially on the weekends.
That’s not even the worst part. There are so many museums and landmarks in Washington DC that it saddens me that I cannot hit them all in one visit. I can spend a week alone just museum-hopping. Perhaps I should stick to that instead of bar-hopping next time.
Let me just end this with a disclaimer. I love Washington DC, and I had a fabulous visit. In fact, I hope to be back soon. For me, it is just one of those places that I can never see myself living. Would you be able to live in Washington DC? Have you ever traveled to a place that you love visiting, but can never make your visit permanent?