Capital Adventure, Day 1

April 18, 2008

For those of you who don’t know, the reason I went to Washington was to take my father to the George Washington University Hospital for an outpatient operation. GWU is my alma mater, so I was semi-familiar with the area and looking forward to being there, although I would have preferred different circumstances.

I arrived in DC around 5:00 pm, later than I had hoped due to road work delays — which surprisingly was on my end of the trip, not on the DC end. We got settled into the pricey-but-fabulous hotel, then went downstairs to the in-hotel restaurant for dinner. For the first time in my life, I looked at the menu and decided to get up and leave. There was nothing that sounded like anything I would want to eat (too fancy) and the prices were ridiculous ($9 for a bowl of soup!).

At that point my dad decided that he didn’t want to walk anywhere, so he opted to get grilled chicken Caesar salad ($17!) via room service. I told him I was going to go explore and for a few minutes, I seriously thought that he wasn’t going to let me. I resisted the urge to roll my eyes and remind him that I am FORTY-ONE years old (because I am trying to forget that myself). Instead, I told him that I would be meeting my good friend Suzanne. He relaxed a little then and decided he would permit me to go out into the big bad city. 🙂

The first thing I did was take some photos at Washington Circle and locate the hospital so we would know where to go in the morning. Then I headed to my old campus. There was a huge Tower Records store there that I couldn’t wait to browse through. Unfortunately, the store has been closed for over a year. But that gave me a chance to explore the area and take some more photos.

I stumbled upon an old church that looked very beautiful but neglected. Here is its impressive story:

And here is a photo of it:

The church has a parking lot on one side of it, a multi-story office building across the street (hence the odd reflections) and a large retail/office complex on the other side. It looked so pitiful and out of place, but it had so much character!

Just after taking these pictures, I stumbled across a used book store in the aforementioned retail complex. It was a temporary store, the location of a major fundraiser for arts education in the DC public schools. I picked up a few books for the kids and myself, and left reluctantly when they closed at 7:00.

Just as I was leaving, Suzanne called and we decided to meet for dinner. She got on the subway and I kept walking. I was thirsty, though, so I ducked into a nearby Starbucks for an iced tea. They graciously offered to make me a frappucino instead, though, so that I wouldn’t have to wait. (I suspect they just didn’t want to go through the hassle of brewing up some more tea.) I said that would be fine, having already paid the $1.98 for the tea. After a few minutes, they handed me a Venti strawberries and cream Frappucino.

Suzanne called when she emerged from underground, and I decided to meet her at Baja Fresh for dinner. She thought it was funny that, in a city with so many culinary choices, I chose a chain restaurant. Oh well, what can I say? It’s one of the few chains that we don’t have here, and I love their guacamole.

(Are you jealous, Lisa?) 🙂

We stayed there and chatted for a while after we ate, then headed our separate ways. It was a great evening!


  1. Sounds like a good trip, despite the circumstances. And you know how much I love that book on the top of your stack! 🙂

  2. Why, yes I am! Would ::LOVE:: a Baja Fresh locally.
    The freedom to explore the city, sans children, must have been a nice change of pace. Jealous of that, too. 🙂
    Hope everything went well with your dad.

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