Photography Travels

A Casual Stroll to the East

Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

Washington, D.C.

The problem with waiting long to post photos and write about a trip is that you always forget. There was little to forget or remember on my trip to D.C. The trip was not bad at all, in fact my job put me up at extremely nice hotels in Old Town Alexandria — The Monaco and The Morrison House — but it was almost entirely a work trip and therefore I spent most, if not all my time in the office. My coworkers were kind enough to show me around a bit, but after a full day’s work, it was hard to motivate myself to go exploring. So on that note, here are a few photos and anecdotes from when I did get out of my fabulous hotels.

On my flight to D.C. from Phoenix, I got to sit right in the middle of a soccer team of 15-year-olds who had just won the National Championship for their age group. At first I was worried because I wanted to moderately booze it up, but I didn’t want to be a bad influence for the youth of America. In the end I decided the youth of America doesn’t need me as a role model — they’ve got Britney and Charlie Sheen for that — so I’ll have a few rum and cokes, thank you. Also, when the most adorable and shy kid across the aisle couldn’t get his pretzel M&M’s because airlines only take credit and he only had cash, I offered to put it on my card and he could just give me the cash. It wasn’t until a moment later I realized, ‘great, you just offered candy to a minor.’ I swear, I don’t usually go around driving slowly by high schools in my creepy van. Anyways, the boy next to me was entertaining enough, and the flight was pleasantly not annoying.

In Old Town Alexandria, there is house after beautiful house with history charm, and wandering around aimlessly will do for a nice Saturday stroll.

Adorable children’s chairs tucked in a nook.

The trip was supposed to be a week, but my boss asked me to stay another week, so I had a full weekend to head over to D.C. proper and do some sight-seeing. And since my mom never misses a chance to travel and come see me, she drove up from North Carolina. She’s one of the most astute women I know, so traveling and exploring with her is delightfully easy. She’s a big advocate of public transportation, as I have mentioned in the past, so we took the Metro around town, and went to have tea with the Obamas.

My mom was very keen on seeing the White House, so in search of it we went. When I’m with my mom, I don’t need maps — she’s like a walking GPS, and we do fine most of the time, but the White House eluded us. We walked like 20 billion miles in the opposite direction because we could see the Capitol, not knowing the White House was right behind us. By the time we realized and walked back, we got a glance at it from a far, decided we were satisfied by confirming that it in fact exists, and trudged back to the Metro.

The Morrison House, where I stayed my last week in Alexandria. I miss always coming ‘home’ from work to a fixed-up, clean and tidy hotel room. If only that would happen in my apartment.

People with whom I bonded the most: the Monaco’s doorman (who I guess also drives the airport shuttle for both the Monaco and the Morrison House). I can’t remember his name, but we were tight because he gave me a hug, A HUG, when he drove me to the airport on my last day. He was funny, and in our conversation to the airport I asked him why I never saw any female doorwomen. We decided I should start the trend. It’s the perfect job: open doors, smile, look cute and when you go the grab guests’ bags, they’ll feel bad that you have to carry it, they’ll carry it themselves and tip you anyways just because you tried. So in summary: smile, open door, try to carry bags. Perfect.

Also, I thought I was pretty tight with the cashier at La Madeline. She was from Central America, I believe. I saw her almost everyday when I would pop round for a breakfast pastry and coffee.

Needless to say there were tons of places and museums I wanted to go to but didn’t get a chance to, but I’m glad to have friends in the area, who I can go visit in the future and see more of the places I missed.

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