Washington, D.C.: A Capital Adventure

{Originally posted November 5, 2013 @thethingaboutchange.wordpress.com}

A good adventure is always well documented.  And since (apparently) my form of travel documentation takes a public forum- I think it’s time to begin.

Setting: Washington, D.C.

Characters: Emily and Camille. Cousins. Separated by one calendar year, and 4 hours of bus miles.

Plot: Camille travels (alone) to Washington, D.C. on Friday to visit her long lost cousin while she is there volunteering for Americorps.  The traffic is bad and the commute takes an extra hour.  At this rate she could have flown to Indiana in the same amount of time. And the bus is full.  The man next to her steals the arm rest and sleeps with his mouth open.  But she arrives safely, although hungry.  She doesn’t have the patience to figure out the metro card system and just puts $10 on a card.  She should have taken the time.

{fancy train stations}


Climax: Camille arrives on Friday night to Fairfax, VA to discover Emily’s extended stay hotel neighbor is under the care of paramedics in what appears to be injuries resulting from either extreme hoarding or perhaps a meth lab.  Needless to say, the area contains a foul odor.

Much of the evening’s conversation centers around Camille’s analysis of DC.  She thinks that it’s more like a town and less like a city.  The buildings are too short.  And there is plenty of grass and trees and alleys.  She can see the stars.  It’s nice.  But not really a city.  And the subways are carpeted and have padded seats.  What kind of fancy people are riding these trains?!? Seems rather unsanitary.  And the people are all White Middle Class Cultured Adults.  Regardless of race or age.  But that’s her unprofessional opinion.



{empty Sunday morning train car}


{what a tiny map}


Additional Climax: Camille and Emily head to D.C. by train on Saturday morning.  Camille forgets her camera AND her phone at the hotel.  Happy Emily has hers and is willing to share.  Yet she still wishes for her own.  It takes her approximately 7 minutes to get over this.  They then take a picture. The first of many. On Emily’s phone. NOT Camille’s.  Because she forgot her’s at the hotel.


The Plot Thickens: The main characters visit the Holocaust Museum.  They then walk by Emily’s work and get lunch at a random cafe.  The Wall St. Cafe.  Camille has the Brooklyn. It’s a sandwich.  She liked it.  Then they walk to the National Mall. On the way they stop for ice cream at a truck who’s theme centers around ‘slang.’  Camille observes its patrons smile as the silly words tickle their lips.  She concludes that White people like this truck because it give them an excuse to say “I’ll have nilla’ ice with pimpin’ passion.”

{The ghetto ice cream truck}


{an actual ghetto ice cream truck}


Also on this walk- Camille falls down. While Camille is prone to tripping due to her standard shuffle-walk, she is surprised that this has actually resulted in the Earth’s apparent size to grow over a period of time that ended with dirty denim and muddy hands.  She literally shakes it off and keeps going.

{the capitol building}


{Emily at her work}




{fall leaves} {similar to the ones that tripped Camille}Image

{‘city’ views}


The Anticlimax: Camille and Emily explore the Museum of American History and the Museum of Natural History in a wordless hurry.  Not that they didn’t speak words, but after the Holocaust Museum, they decided they were read out for the day.  Fortunately for them, these museums are particularly interactive and require minimal decoding skills.  Highlights: Julia Child’s kitchen, Dorothy’s shoes, and really (but not too) old things.

{Museum of American History}




{The Museum of Natural History}


{Camille hearts giraffes}



The Climax Resumes: The museums are closed and Camille still wants to  go to The White House, The Lincoln Memorial, and Georgetown Cupcakes.  It’s only raining a little.  And no one wore coats because – they thought it would be warmer.  Brilliant. Also.  Emily’s phone doesn’t have google maps so public transportation options are difficult to determine.  The characters walk to the White House.  They see a shadow move in the upstairs window.  It was obviously Michelle.  Camille then hauls her first taxi for a ride to the memorial.  Emily slides down the slope by the steps on purpose.  Emily and Camille are tied for stupid choices for the day.  And they walk to the train.  Oops.  Actually, we can take the bus from here.  Actually… we don’t have much cash… and it’s not tooooo far.  So we can walk…

{Camille at the White House}


{Emily at the Lincoln Memorial- before the slide}



The Biggest Climax: Camille and Emily arrive (after 1.7 miles of walking) at Georgetown Cupcakes to this:

{cute part of town: Georgetown}


{famous cupcake place}


{super long line}


They (Camille) decides she’s come too far for nothing.  They wait 30 minutes.  They definitely order more than 1 cupcake.  Which they eat next door after dinner at… Qdoba.  Camille observes that her adventure day must be getting very long if she is settling to end it with Qdoba.  But she likes her chicken tacos- so she can’t really complain.

{Emily is excited about the menu.  She makes her selection calmly and swiftly.}


{Camille is too excited about the menu options.  She takes forever to decide and is very dramatic about it.}


{see. so many great options!}




{yup. the frosting makes the wait worth it- relatively speaking}


The Resolution: Emily and Camille exit Qdoba in search of a bus- only to see their bus roll by.  No problem.  They run down the street after it and catch it at the next stop.  But they insert their coins and bills in the wrong order and end up 20 cents short.  The driver extends grace and allows them to board.

More Resolution:  Camille returns to New York City on Sunday.  But first she has to take a walk to a train to a bus to a train.  But the trains in DC aren’t trains at all.  Well.  Really.  They are exactly like trains and not at all like subways.  They even charge you by the distance you travel rather than a flat rate.  Which results in Camille being stranded behind the tensile at Union Station, with insufficient fare on her card to exit and insufficient cash in her wallet to solve the problem.  This is when Camille regrets not figuring out the MetroCard situation.  She is forced to make eye contact with strangers and say, with her saddest of eyes, “I’m stuck.  I need a $1 to get out and I don’t have it.”  As it turns out, people in DC are very sympathetic to sad looking girls with too many bags and they come to her aid directly.  This causes her to reconsider her opinions about giving money to solicitors and she continues home, with just enough time to do homework all afternoon.  She decides that she enjoys adventuring other people’s cities just as much as her own.


And they all lived happily ever after.

The End


2 responses to “Washington, D.C.: A Capital Adventure”

  1. […] I live 5 minutes from the toll road, which can take me to lots of cool places, like New York City, Washington D.C., Pittsburgh, and Baltimore.  So, when I first moved to PA and was ready for an adventure, my […]


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