Stewardess: The captain has turned on the fasten seatbelt sign, and has advised the flight crew to remain seated until landing. This means we will be unable to perform our final safety checks. Could you please make sure the people around you have their seat backs upright and their tray tables secured. And in the event of an emergency, please leave all cabin baggage on board the aircraft.
Me: Crap. My mother was right. Horrible flamey death is clearly imminent...
And then absolutely nothing happened. Having now had subsequent flights with the same airline, it appears that such comments are part of their normal pre-take off and landing spiel. But it's pretty much the opposite of reassuring when the plane is periodically dropping out of the sky into a thunderstorm...
Despite the weather's plans to the contrary, I made it to Baltimore in one piece. I then proceeded to spend
a millionty years an hour and a bit getting from Baltimore Airport to the hotel in Washington. The first leg was on a bus, which drove through a hail storm so severe that every other car on the road stopped because they couldn't see. The second leg was on the subway from Greenbelt, which took FOREVER, despite only being eight or nine stops. The third leg was on foot, and involved me walking a block in the wrong direction because while I can read maps, I really suck at translating what's on the map onto what I can see around me...
After what seemed like the longest time ever, I finally made it to the hotel and met up with the lovely Kat. After watching some truly
terrible spectacular television for an hour or so, we headed out for dinner. We had quite possibly the vaguest waiter of all time. It wasn't quite Nikki's waitress who forgot to bring the food, but he was pretty "Ohhhhh, so you want to know the specials? Huh."
The following day, we headed down to the National Air and Space Museum. While the capsules from the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo were pretty awesome, they were also almost impossible to take photos of, courtesy of being encased in very reflective perspex. Sad face. I think my favourite thing in the whole place was this delightful collection of stewardess uniforms:
|Check out the leggings/tights on the left!|
Well, those and this rather special trophy:
There's only so long you can spend staring at planes and rockets before you get bored, so we went to the most expensive McDonalds in the world (it's actually IN the museum) for lunch, and then headed further down the Mall. There we came across the National Museum of the American Indian. Pretty sure it shouldn't be allowed to have the name 'museum'. I understand the fact that the Indigenous community has had a say in what's displayed and what's been written about. To some extent, this is an excellent thing. But displaying objects completely out of context and with no explanation of what they're for makes the whole experience pointless to the visitor. (#museumnerd)
Kat: [points at object] What is it?
Me: [searches for explanatory text label, without success] A mysterious thingy...
Kat: I DON'T UNDERSTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND!!!!!!
Me: I don't understand either. This place makes my head hurt.
[Repeat 500 times]
Me: We need to leave now. I can't take it any more.
Kat: YES PLEASE.
Needless to say, we didn't stay there for very long. Instead, we walked up to the Capitol Building (but not inside it because apparently we needed to write to our non-existent members of Congress six months in advance of our visit to do that), and across to the Natural History Museum. The walk over there was more than a little warm and I was
dripping in sweat glowing by the time we got there.
Security guard: Hi, how are you today?
Me: Quite hot, actually.
Security guard: Yeah, you are. HIGH FIVE!!
Me: Well, if you insist...
The Natural History Museum was filled with shiny shiny jewellery...
and the obligatory dinosaurs...
and entertaining taxidermied specimens:
|Craziest fennec fox EVER|
Once we'd exhausted ourselves there, we walked back to the subway and headed out to U Street in search of dinner. We wound up at a Mexican restaurant where we ordered much needed drinks.
Me: Could I get a strawberry daiquiri, please?
Waitress: And would you like alcohol in that?
Me: Um. YES.
Seriously, what is a daiquiri without the rum? "Ooooh, strawberry flavoured ice. Where do I sign up?!" Lame. Luckily, the food was good, which redeemed the place somewhat! Oh, and a nearby table was occupied by police officers on Segways, which made for much amusement.
Up next, America changes history for its own purposes, and the most disturbingly excited man EVER.