TUESDAY, JANUARY 26TH 2016.
We grabbed some coffee and food in the morning, taking one last look at Times Square and the center of the megalopolis before packing up, grabbing the car and heading out the beast. We had some magnificent views of the skyline as we exited the city, taking the Holland Tunnel and i95 out through northern Jersey.
What I realized is that to support such an insanely huge city is ALL of the surrounding area is devoted to the industry, manufacturing and upkeep of this structure. So you’ll see nothing but power lines, factories, billboards, rows and rows of developments and never-ending (literally) lines of buses filled with 100 people per, up to 40 miles outside New York. The amount of people, the size, the complexity, is something you just can’t get until you see it. It baffles you. You realize how many of us there REALLY are, and how many different opinions, thoughts, choices, and goals we all have. It really makes you think, “I can’t believe anyone can get anything done here.” But they do, and in triple fold of what I feel you believe you can accomplish when you only come from a small town. This view and vision is really mind expanding (sending the true vast size of it) and teaches you that it requires intense determination if you want to achieve anything.
With that said, we headed down the i95 through some very sparkling places in Delaware mixed with more industry (something you get used to driving across the country- it’s EVERYWHERE).
Hannah drove into DC and although nervous, she handled it perfectly, we got to our hotel in Richmond, Virginia right outside DC at around 2, we dropped our bags off in our room, had our other little treats and headed to the Metro.
We road down probably the biggest escalator I’ve ever seen, it was so long and steep it gives you this sensation of warping, as if you are just moving flat and forward, but really you’re going down at a 40 degree angle- it fucked me up for a second for sure. The metro was quick and we got to the Smithsonian stop, hopped off, and headed to the museums, unfortunately though the recent storm that hit them had stopped everything, dumping more than 20 inches on them 2 days before, so all the Smithsonian were closed. It didn’t deter us though as we knew all the memorials and monuments were still open, so we took a long walk around the Capitol, down the mall to the White House, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Reflecting Pool.
The visit felt very full of a sense of destiny, a purpose or meaning to see all of these very old historical monuments and buildings- I don’t like the word patriotic, but it’s probably one of the only times I’ve felt my version of that idea.
It was also quite romantic, walking up the mall at sunset, and back down it as a nightly stroll. We took the metro back to our hotel, arrived there around 10 or 11, and then knocked out before one of our bigger drives tomorrow.
This turned out to be one of my most favorite stops due to my overabundant love of history, especially of the founders. Even if it was cold and snow-ridden, we still enjoyed it to the fullest. I definitely recommend it for anyone who has even a slight interest in American history. The funniest part is we didn't even hit the Smithsonian's because they were closed and those are the best places to visit! Haha! Oh Well, next time I guess...