…we were only an hour or so away from Washington D.C. when we left Virginia and we thought because it was after nine that we wouldn’t hit any traffic. Wrong. There was a ton of roadwork which delayed our timing but before we knew it, we were downtown circling the monument looking for a parking spot. And patience paid off because we scored a spot with two-hour parking. We figured we’d walk around, put more cash in the meter, eat lunch then hit the road. It was a hot day in D.C., a really hot day. So much so that I felt compelled to take my top off right there and change into a tank top; leaving the beau speechless. He had this look like, I can’t believe you just did that in the president’s backyard. My response, I’ll never see these people again. And then, we were on our way.
We visited the Washington monument, the Lincoln memorial (my favorite), the WWII memorial, the reflecting pool that was unfortunately under construction, and the Vietnam memorial. I loved being the little tour guide as we wandered the area; I had visited the city on my last road trip back in 2009. Soon after checking out the White House, we were hot and starving and when you pair those two together, you get a mean craving for sushi. Our first instinct was to plug-in the request on Yelp, and we got a few suggestions. So off we walked.
And walked and walked. With my backpack on and sweat soaking my tee, we walked. And could not find the damn sushi place. So we plugged in another. And could not find that one. At one point I asked a random stranger if she knew where one was. And she did! She gave us directions and pointed us in the right direction… but they closed at three and it was like three fifteen. I stepped outside and held back my tears. I was hungry. I was hot. And I was sick of walking. We made the decision to walk in the direction of the car and just stop at the first place we saw– I secretly wished it was a McDonald’s.
At this point I was on a mission. And when a panhandler ask me for money claiming he was a veteren, I quickly ignored him and pressed on. But when I heard him mumble something along the lines of “something something you ungrateful bi-otch,” I turned around and gave him the look. Which prompted him to state that he wished I’d choke on my next meal. That was my new goal: not to choke on lunch. Easy enough.
Which was at this ghetto Thai place. It made me nervous because there was no one else in there; I like to go where it’s crowded because that typically means the locals like it. But they did have air conditioning and I was hoping the lack of other customers meant we’d be served quickly. I went to my go-to pad Thai choice and was more than satisfied! It was fabulously delicious! I can look back at it now and think, wow, I over reacted. Sorry, beau. I didn’t mean to take out my hanger (hungry anger) on you. And look, I survived without choking.
At this point we were close to two hours past the meter and were racing the blocks back down toward the monument. It seemed as though we were getting caught at each light/crosswalk and I made a comment about the traffic and if/when the prez rolls thru town. No joke, within five minutes there were helicopters above us and the city shut down. The prez was coming to town. And we got a video of it! It’s funny how use to his arrival they are but when he shows up to Troy, NY people freak out. Not going to lie, we were more than excited!
Finally, we reached the car and were back on the road. Because we had the time, we decided to stay in Maryland and drag out our vacation. It wasn’t too difficult to find a state park on the Susquehanna River and it was a plus to see that it wasn’t packed. In fact, we were the only people in the park other than one father and son and a couple that we think were either doing drugs or exchanging sex for money. No big deal. We set up the tent one last time and rolled into town to find an ATM when I spotted the golden arches… there was no turning back! Nothing better than a couple of McDoubles and boxed wine.
Another note: this was yet another DRY park. Lame. So to solve this problem, we climbed into the tent to drink our Bota box (like that would hide our laughter). We downloaded connect-four, made it a drinking game and at one point remember laughing so hard because the beau was terrified of a park ranger coming by. I was designated the official speaker of the site if this problem were to arise. It didn’t take long for us to pass out under the clouded sky.
And we woke up to pouring rain! We waited hours until we decided that we just had to pick up in the rain and get on the road. It was the miserable kind of rain that made it really difficult to see for hours. But we had a stop in sight: Philadelphia! You know, the home to the Philly cheesesteak sammy. We just had to know which one was better. First stop: Pat’s King of Steaks.
The beau had me nervous because he said that if you didn’t know how to order the “right” way, they’d kick you to the end of the line. Alright. One wit and cheese, please. Oh, and a cheese fry. Review: so effing good! The cheese didn’t harden, the meat was tender, and the attitude was mean. Got it. After hitting up yet another ATM and driving around the block when we really didn’t have to, we walked over to Geno’s. Review: much nicer people, way worse sammy. The meat was tough, bland and the cheese wasn’t as hot and creamy. Oh, and the fries were soggy. I’m a Pat’s fan all the way!
With our bellies full, we hit the road and were uneventfully back in New York around rush hour. As I was pulling up to his parents’ place, I remember asking him if he was sick of me yet… and he wasn’t! The trip was a success! I’ve learned how to travel on my own, it’s a whole new experience when you have someone to share the memories with. As I drove back to Troy alone to unpack, it was sad, I already missed him being in the passenger seat beside me.