Every season in DC has its own distinct beauty. As you’re aware, it’s been a pretty cold winter, but being an active tourist means not stopping for anything, especially cold weather! There’s some kind of warming patriotic sentiment in seeing everyone bundled up and rosy cheeked walking from monument to monument, or hurrying into museums to enjoy some culture in the shelter of a Smithsonian.
Last weekend, my boyfriend and I decided to take a walk through the monuments on one of the coldest days we’ve had. As we headed out the door, my roommate remarked that we looked like we were going skiing… We may as well have been! We got off the metro at Union Station and took my favorite walk to the Capitol Building. The street in between Union Station and the Capitol is Delaware Avenue. Now, I hail from the great first state, and I can’t help but feel it’s a little symbolic that my path to the Capitol is through Delaware (Politics FTW). The Capitol Building is my absolute favorite spot in the District. I could sit and stare at it from just about any point in DC. I actually literally sat and stared at it for a little while before meandering to the Washington Monument, the next stop on our tour. That walk, if you haven’t made it, takes you past the Capitol reflecting pool, which was frozen over. We were there in the middle of the afternoon and it was a grey day, but the still bright and the building reflected fabulously, glimmering in the ice.
The Washington Monument stood beautifully, the American flags the only bursts of color on the white wintry day. The Mall was pretty empty, and I loved having it to myself! The occasional brave soul ran by, taking advantage of the warmest hours of the day. A few of the other groups we passed were smarter than we were and were armed with Starbucks. Entrepreneur idea: Hot chocolate food trucks around the Mall! During the summer, they’re out there with popsicles and hot dogs (‘Merica!), and I am certain it would be a sound investment. Maybe I should join the business school… Anyway! Check out this view from the Lincoln Memorial:
In addition to the monument tour, there’s a lot more options. On days literally too frigid to function, it’s so fun to hide out in the museums or even go museum hopping (easier than it sounds since they’re all FREE and located together). If you’re more of a winter denier person, I strongly recommend the botanical garden, where you can walk through the desert and the rain forest, staying warm, tropical and happy! For the athlete, Wizards games are so fun and super cheap. Catholic usually sends people either through the Office of Campus Activities or Residence Life. I went last year for $5. And got a free hat. Life Lesson: Take advantage of campus offerings!!! Winter doesn’t stop night life either! The other night we went out around U Street and we decided to warm ourselves up with Ben’s Chili Bowl before the cab hunt to get back on campus. Ben’s Chili Bowl is a big DC landmark, and this was actually my first time going! It was definitely all it was cracked up to be. The perfect amount of spicy. LOVED IT.
In my last post, I talked about all the things I was looking forward to this semester, but I also don’t want to forget to enjoy what’s happening now. This winter season has been beautiful, and I love taking advantage of it in our nation’s capital.