Panda in Washington D.C.

Days in D.C. (An Extended Weekend in Washington D.C.)

So, I just got back from my extended weekend in Washington D.C., my last scheduled event for Val’s Best Summer Ever (although since it doesn’t officially end until I find a job, whether next week or next February, stay tuned for more events!) and my first time seeing Rob since he moved there like a billion years ago. Yay, ’twas tons of fun! Here’s a recap:



snakes on a kitty



So, I was supposed to meet everyone in Washington D.C. and go out to a cool seafood place for dinner and drinks and fried donuts, but alas my flight got delayed for about two hours so I arrived much later than anticipated. 🙁 So, when I finally landed, Rob picked me up and we got some Wendys and headed back to his place where we ate and I met his cat Junior who tried to steal my hamburger and fries and eventually knocked down my soda. Sillykitty. Soon after Chris, Christine, Jake, Katie, and Laura came by to say hi so I finally got to meet people I only know LiveJournal names for. Yay! But they had to take off shortly after so Rob and I played some Mario three before heading off to bed.



Friday was a long, but fun day. It started with trying to figure out what the heck this Guitar Hero thing was all about. It is apparently a game with fake guitars that you pretend to play. I did ok on the easy level and easy songs (it’s easier when I knew the lyrics) but anything involving more than three fingers is beyond my ability.


Proof that I played Guitar Hero:

Val plays Guitar Hero
(Photo from Christine)


After failing miserably at videogamedom Rob and I went to get Christine and headed over to the Pentagon for a tour given by her old boss. It was pretty interesting because we got to go to places that most tour groups don’t really go like to the inner courtyard (trivia answer: at the center of the Pentagon is an owl, not a hot dog stand) and the media room where I got to pretend to be the Secretary of Defense. It was kind of creepy though that everywhere we went in there were reserves of gas masks for in case of emergencies and kind of funny to see “No driving past this point” signs while on the third floor (since it was originally designed to drive into).


Proof that I am the Secretary of Defense:
Val poses at the podium as the Secretary of Defense
(Photo from Christine)


Next up it was off to the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, It was this large temple-like place full of creepy Egyptian-like paintings with a taped commentary that matched-up with lights that illuminated different sections on cue. Rob told me that the masons were kind of like the Stonecutters on the Simpsons so I proceeded to have that damn song on my head throughout the museum (Who made Steve Guttenberg, A Star! We do, we do.) The highlight though was that you got to go out on the balcony on the top floor to see a good view of the city because we all know that I have to see every city from as high up as possible. When we’d had enough of that, we headed back to Rob’s, played more Guitar Hero, and got some cheap chicken wings at Clyde’s before heading off to see the monuments at night. We all (Me, Rob, Christine, Chris, Katie, Laura, and someone else who’s name I don’t remember) walked about snapping pics and seeing the monuments all lit up and pretty. We saw the Washington Monument, World War II memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial and on the way back to the metro passed the Korean War memorial which is totally freaky because it looks like all these real people in the dark. Scaaary.

Val at the Washington Monument in Washington D.C.



Saturday we woke up nice and early to make our way to the National Zoo to see the animals. We saw Pandabears (which were sleeping when we got there, but eventually semi-woke up)

Pandas at the National Zoo

and elephants, and Giraffes and then some hippoooooo!s Then some golden lion tamarinds (which are the cutest monkeys ever) and more monkey and ape-like things and other such small animals.

Me, Rob, and a gorilla at the National Zoo

After the zoo we headed back to Rob’s for more guitar hero playing and such and then went to see Beerfest, which was actually pretty damn funny. I especially liked that when there was a hot-dog eating contest in one scene all the competitors were skinny little Asians, hehe how true!

Later we watched another movie. A movie that I can’t believe I’ve known Rob for this long and have yet to see. A movie that is probably the only Canadian Kung-fu Vampire Musical starring Jesus. Yup: Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter!! Woohoo! It lived up to my every expectation! Woohoo!



Sunday was kind of a lazy-ish day. Rob had a fantasy football draft that was way more important than me so we sat around watching silly TV (I made him watch Trading Spaces and MADE!). When Rob was done acting out his childhood fantasies we headed off with Chris, Laura, and Katie to the Hirshhorn Art Museum which was full of odd contemporary art goodness. There was an Anselm Kiefer exhibit which rocked. The paintings were full of depth (I don’t mean a depth of meaning because I don’t understand a lot of art, I mean depth as in layers of paint) and texture and a lot of them were more three dimensional with objects hanging from them. He also incorporated some writing into them, which I liked. There were some other interesting pieces throughout like paintings of gumball machines and taped up floors, and television sets flashing images and making an American Flag. Rob wasn’t quite as impressed, especially with the paintings that were seemingly just white.

Rob doesn't like modern art

Ah well, can’t please them all. But SOME of us liked the art 🙂

Thumbs up sculpture in Washington D.C.

After the museum I bid adieu to Rob’s friends and we headed back to his place where we watched the Emmy’s and I got my ass kicked in Mario Bros., Monopoly, and some weird monster truck race game.



Woke up early, said goodbye to Junior, said goodbye to Rob, and caught my flight home. And I have now successfully made it to D.C. twice without ever seeing the White House!


More photos from my extended weekend in Washington D.C.:

Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

  • kt (j3llybellybean
    August 28, 2006at5:34 pm

    (Blake was the guy you forgot the name of, Laura’s BF). It was good to meet you and I hope you had fun in our city. The cookies were good, too bad I was full most of the time and couldn’t snack on more of them! Maybe next time we’ll see you over there!

  • Chris
    August 28, 2006at8:26 pm

    Man, who’s the tork that you took your picture with by that thumb?!
    Fun meetin ya and going on adventures. Glad you made it back safe and good luck with the job hunt.

  • Anonymous
    August 28, 2006at9:53 pm

    Glad you had a good time in DC. It was nice meeting one of Rob’s friends from Illinois.

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