I Had A Visitor in Washington, D.C.!


A few weeks ago my streak of exploring D.C. on my own finally ended. Jake came to visit, so we trekked across D.C. to sight-see and eat good food.

The Smithsonian Museums

Our first destination was the Smithsonian National Zoo. I will admit, the first five or so exhibits we stopped by informed us that "nobody is home." So, they were just glass boxes filled with random trees and fake rocks. Empty. Luckily though, we did find some elephants, orangutans, lions and meerkats. I'd say it was a successful trip, although it made me appreciate the Indianapolis Zoo a lot more. For free admittance, you really can't complain.

After our meandering through the zoo, we got delicious frozen yogurt and moved on to the National Museum of Natural History. Yes, that's the one from Night of the Museum. I enjoyed the exhibits a lot and was especially intrigued by the mummies and skeletons. It still fascinates me how we have the capability to search for artifacts, do research and put the pieces together. I am not much of a history buff, but I can appreciate the complexity and importance of understanding our past.

The next day we explored the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. This has so far been my favorite museum to wander around during my time in D.C. I'm sure most of the reason is that I have an affinity for travel, especially on planes. I love airports, I love the Boeing 737 and I love that the history of air travel led to the ability for me to hop on a commercial jet and fly to London. I also admire the brave and brilliant individuals who dreamed of making humans fly. During our journey through the space exhibit, I experienced a moment of serious Boilermaker pride. (If you don't get the reference, Purdue University is infamous for having astronauts.) One of my favorite parts of visiting the Air and Space Museum was actually the interactive exhibit that was definitely meant for children who aren't in their twenties. Oh well, it was really fun to just play around and learn physics. It is moments like that when I really appreciate having Jake around and our ability to be silly in our relationship.

Everywhere Else

Going to the Smithsonian establishments was absolutely the highlight of our adventures, but of course, we explored other places too. I think my favorite was the Botanical Gardens near the Capitol building. I thought the layout was clever and seeing a bit of nature in the middle of the city is a really big plus. One of the biggest things I've missed about home this summer is being surrounded by open spaces, fields and pastures with black dots of cattle. So, even though cacti and tulips aren't the same as soybeans and corn pollen, it was relaxing to walk through "different regions of the world" and see the colorful flowers.

I also wanted to show Jake where I worked, so we hopped on the metro to Arlington one day. I did a brief point and pass by my office building, and then showed him my favorite little gelato bar and coffee shop. Like I mentioned in my previous post, the opportunity to share the city and experience with someone is really great. From there, we moved on to Arlington Cemetary and the Pentagon. That day was a little less exciting than our days at the museums, but nonetheless I was thankful he was there to visit.

During his stay, we also enjoyed a night at the movies and a night in with pizza and the premiere of our favorite reality show, Big Brother. I was so grateful he chose to visit and I'll be happy when I am home again in three weeks and get to see him waiting for me at the airport. My experience in D.C. has been incredible so far and it is crazy to think that I am in the home stretch of the summer.

In the comments below, tell me what city you'd love to explore for a summer!


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