Being a Tour Guide

Being a Tour Guide

I finally had the distinct honor to play tour guide in Washington, D.C. My parents decided to visit and I insisted that we see as much as possible. Their trip only allowed them to stay in D.C. for two days, but I was determined to fight the crowds and show them around town. Despite my best efforts, we didn't get to see nearly all the places I wanted to show them, but it was awesome to see some familiar faces again. Running around town that weekend also taught me the value of a good pair of tennis shoes.

 

Figuring Out Where to Go

Since I was given such a short timeframe to work with, it was difficult to narrow down

what we should try and see and what to skip. Anyone who picks up a traveler's guide copy

of Washington, D.C. knows that there are a few chapters dedicated to the National Mall

alone. The restaurants, bars, parks, monuments, museums, vistas, and markets make up

the other portions of a vast and diverse city.

 

The decision was made to explore the National Mall because of its close proximity to

many of the famous attractions. I had a plan to visit a few museums and explore some of

the monuments. Since they arrived over the weekend, I knew it was going to be difficult to

fight the crowds in many of the galleries and exhibitions. On top of that, I insisted on

taking the metro since driving can be such a nightmare in the city.

 

My plans changed as soon as I arrived (late) to their hotel. They insisted on taking the

car, and we parked it at Union Station. We walked around the Capitol Building, went to the

Air and Space Museum, and walked along the National Mall. All of that walking left

everyone exhausted, and it turns out one of my parents didn't wear tennis shoes. The

situation was exacerbated when the metro near the National Mall became too crowded,

and they shut the station down. We had to walk to the nearest station and catch the train

to Arlington Cemetery.

 

When we arrived at Arlington Cemetery, it was late in the afternoon. We got to see the

various memorials and the changing of the guard. It was a great experience, and

everyone made it back safe and happy (despite the blisters on everyone's feet). I really

appreciate the fact that I wore comfortable tennis shoes that day!

 


The National Mall is starting to gain some of its summer colors!

 

A nice day near the Reflection Pool.

 

We finally get to see what all those empty flower beds look like in spring!

 

Another advantage to the weekend was the free groceries, which I am truly thankful

for. When I got in the car the following day, my parents informed me that there would be

no more walking. They made it up by purchasing a ton of groceries and paying for a nice

meal at a restaurant. There were stories exchanged and we caught up with each other.

Then we said our farewells, and they went on their merry way.

 

It was awesome to catch up with my parents that weekend. I have made many friends

in this program, but it is always nice to interact with family you haven't seen in a while.

I also take advantage of every opportunity to gather free groceries because shopping in

this city is such a nightmare. I feel confident that I now have enough food that I may not

have to grocery shop for the remainder of the trip!

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