01 Oct 2014
We enjoyed our jogging-sightseeing day in Chicago and today seemed like a good day to continue the tradition and jog down to the monuments. I plotted a circuit on the app (map-o-meter) to check distances and map a route from Dupoint Circle down past the White House, to the Monuments and back.
Heading south along 17th Street we mingled with ordinary Washingtonians heading to work, and felt a wave of excitement to be on holiday. Downtown Washington is short and wide. After being in Chicago, the height restriction is noticable (about 40m) and helps define the character of the city.
When we reached the park we started jogging, and almost immediately came across a large crowd of people milling about in the middle of a street cutting through the gardens. “This must be the White House” I guessed. And sure enough as we reached Pennsylvania Ave the White House came into view, through a double layer of black fencing. It really ruins a photograph that fencing, but only a few weeks before some guy, armed with a hand gun, jumped the fence and ended up in an elevator with President Obama! Epic security fail!
We continued south down 17th, through the park and up to the giant obelisk that is the Washington Monument. It’s huge! Lingering to catch our breath we enjoyed the views up and down the mall. Continuing west by scouts-pace down through the WWII memorial, along the Reflection Pool towards the Lincolm Memorial. While I was photographing reflections David heard a cry and looked up to see a retired couple fall into the reflection pool! It’s very shallow but when we reached the spot where they’d fallen, it was full of thick green slime!
The steps of the Lincoln Memorial were dotted with international tourists in brightly coloured wind jackets, large cameras, and backpacks. I jogged, red faced, up the stairs with nothing but my iPhone in my pocket and sense of freedom. I caught up with David who was reading the engraved speech. People clamoured to take selfies and pictures of the great man himself, as he sits watching over the city. He has seen some history from here.
After stopping for a bottle of water, it was time to head back via the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, where we slowed down and walked respectfully with the crowd. There were veterans among us and it was moving to see them interact with the engraved names of fallen friends. We overheard families trying to find relatives. The haunting thing for me? So many names.
Constitution Gardens was next and we could pick up the pace again as we jogged around the pond and back up to 17th street. Most of the walk through mid-town was spent discussing breakfast plans; we were hungry! But we held out until we reach Dupoint Circle and marched into Le Pain.
It was a lazy rest of the day involving an afternoon snooze and planning our visit to the Smithsonian National Air and Space museum tomorrow! Between you and me, the space museum is one of the primary reasons Washington DC is on our itenary. I can’t wait! Oh and a delicious dinner- these are the best scallops ever! “This is the best starter we’ve ever had” breathed David.