Tourist Treasure

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I would like to begin this week’s entry with a very important announcement: all is well at Foggy Bottom and in DC. We have been extremely lucky, because Sandy’s worst has never even reached the city. The only way we were affected was the cancellation of two days’ classes and the run on water and canned food in the stores here on campus. We currently have quite a stock of canned food and tanks of water, and were prepared with batteries and lights so that we would have been able to live without running water and electricity for a couple of days. All in vain however, because nothing broke down, and by Thursday morning everything had returned back to normal. My thoughts go out to those who lost their lives, and their families, and to all of those who were adversely affected by this disaster.

Seeing that everything was well here in DC, the trip that my friend from Richmond, Danielle, and me had planned for this weekend could proceed, and she visited me here at GW. One of the things I love doing here in DC is switching between being a resident and being a tourist. We spent all Saturday biking around DC, sightseeing and visiting all the important landmarks of the city. The balance of that day: we saw the White House, Capitol, war monuments, Lincoln memorial, Washington monument, Jefferson and FDR memorial, Eastern market area, Georgetown, and even managed to squeeze in a visit to Dupont circle.

My favorite: the Lincoln memorial.

We were exhausted by the end of the day and settled for staying in during the evening, admittedly also because the prospects of going out for under-twenty-one-girls in DC are meager. It was lovely to bike around and see everything, and I was quite impressed with how easy it was to do everything that we wanted to in just one day. In August, when my parents and brother were here, we had three days to see the city, but we never managed to see all of the things in those three days that Danielle and I saw in this one day. I blame this on the heat, and on our scarce knowledge of the city at the time (although my family and I did visit a museum, something I didn’t do with Danielle). Sometimes I wish they could come back so that I could show them everything here, from campus to the Smithsonian institutions, to all the memorials, to downtown. It is really pleasant to act as the tourist guide and take pride in a city that I didn’t even know less than a year ago.

Having said that, time is ticking, and I have only seen two out of all the Smithsonian institutions (really cool, free museums) here, so I need to hurry up. Last week, the residential staff of my building organized a trip to the Newseum, not one of those institutions, but nevertheless the best museum I have been to in a very long time. It had huge exhibits on the FBI, the presidential campaigns, 9/11, amongst others, and showed an exhibit displaying actual sections of the Berlin Wall. It was also possible to be a reporter, reading news about Congress against the background of the U.S. Capitol. Of course I took that chance and also peeked into the official ABC studios that are housed by the Newseum. It was a great day well spent.

Like I said before, time is ticking, and the semester is already past its halfway-mark. Sometimes it is depressing to think how fast time goes (cliché but true: time flies when you’re having fun), and how much stuff there still is left to do. Inevitably, I am going to have to prioritize and settle for less, but there are still some weekends left, in addition to the time I can use after the GW semester ends. Hopefully the time that remains will give me enough opportunity to see more of this beautiful city and country.

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