Independence in the District!

Independence in the District!

It seems hard to believe, but I just celebrated the 4th of July in Washington D.C. I say this not only because is it the first time I have ever been here on or even near Independence Day, but also because I can't believe it's July already. Where has the time gone? I'm not sure I know myself. I suppose one just stays so busy that it all starts to blend together. I can tell you, though, that this past weekend was among the most amazing yet.

To start off the weekend, we thought we might get away from all the tourists and absolute madness that is the 4th of July in Washington. We considered going to Dewey Beach in Delaware, but figured that the 6 hour round trip may not be all that worth it. As an alternative, I suggested we go no further than Great Falls Park in McLean, Virginia. That's the park I went to near the beginning of the summer, but the last time I didn't get there until almost two in the afternoon and had to leave just shy of five. This time, we got there around noon and stayed until just shy of six. I'm a bit burned, but it was gorgeous and well worth it.

We then spent a quiet evening at home watching copious amounts of Netflix and getting the relaxation that doesn't exist during the week. The next morning, we went to what was possibly the most exciting restaurant I have been to yet in the District. If you're looking for classic American food and dining circa 1950, then look no further than the American City Diner. Honestly, this place was amazing. It's maybe a ten minute walk from the Friendship Heights stop on the Red Line Metro. However, don't go here with health food in mind. It's good old greasy American food, which will make the walk even more worth it.

Now, as for the 4th itself, well we stayed in and had a quiet little "house party" of sorts. Grilled some burgers and hot dogs, with some vegetables and potato salad thrown in there for the likes of my fellow vegetarians and me. Around six, we headed out to the National Mall to grab a seat for the fireworks show. Now if you want ideal seats with nothing obstructing your view of the Lincoln Memorial where the fireworks are set off, then I would say get to the National Mall no later than noon on the 4th with the intentions of camping out for the day. I think I heard the number 13,000 when describing the crowds that turned out. There was probably another 2,000 people in the form of military and security personnel. The picture below might give you a bit of an idea.

We ended up getting some really great seats maybe 500 feet in front of the Capitol Building. The firworks went off around nine as planned and we could see them high up above the Washington Monument. It was absolutely perfect. The ride home afterwards was a little insane and I would advise maybe grabbing a bite to eat somewhere in the hopes that crowds will clear out. But all in all, I think it was an amazing 4th of July. We got some city and some country. I was in the nation's capitol and among friends. I don't think I could ask for much more.

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