So fourteen and a half hours of no sleep, plus five hours in Los Angeles, plus another five hours flying to DC. I had grand plans to sleep for at least a couple of hours on the DC flight, but I was flying with Alaska Air. And apparently Alaska Air like to make announcements about all the stuff you're flying over. So every time I dozed off, I'd get woken up by "If you look to your left, you can see the Hollywood sign" or "If you look to your right, you can see the Grand Canyon", or "If you look straight down, you can see a sabre-toothed tiger mauling a woolly mammoth". Okay, maybe that last one just happened in my head due to sleep deprivation. Whatever.
|Me by the time I arrived in DC.|
So I eventually got to DC, and made it to my pre-paid shuttle. Said shuttle made me hideously confused, because a) we went past the Kennedy Performing Arts Centre at least twice, and it looks a lot like the National Library (especially when you're running on 30 hours without sleep), so I kept thinking I was in Canberra, and b) we seemed to do about twelve loops of the city dropping other people off at EVERY FREAKING COLLEGE CAMPUS IN TOWN before heading out to College Park. So having landed in DC at 9pm, I finally made it to the hotel at about 10.30. Then this happened:
Me: Yeah, hi. I'm checking in with the ____ University group. I'm rooming with Agatha Goodkin, I think she's already arrived?
Desk clerk: Oh yeah, she has. Here's your key, you're in room *mutter*.
Me: Sorry, room what?
Desk clerk: 2*mutter*
Me: Sorry, 2...??
Desk clerk: TWO OH THREE. *rolls eyes* So you go through that door and then around to the left and up the stairs *waves hand vaguely*.
Me: Okay, thank you very much.
There were no stairs in the direction in which she'd waved her hand, and there was no left around to the left. Just car park and the diner next door. Eventually, my sleep deprived self decoded that she meant I needed to walk straight, then go AROUND the outside of the stairwell to access the stairs, and successfully made it to the room. Agatha Goodkin, bless her, was on hand with muesli bars and bottles of water to tide me over until morning, and the next thing I knew, it was 9.30am and she was returning from a last minute dash to the breakfast buffet, bearing bagels and fruit and coffee.
Seriously. Y'all need to room with Agatha Goodkin.
We took things pretty slowly the first day, making it into DC by lunchtime and having a small adventure locating the entrance to the Old Post Office. You wouldn't think it would be hard to find. It's a pretty obvious building. But the entrance forces you to choose between three massive closed wooden doors, two of which are locked. And when you finally pick the right one, there's an x-ray scanner, a metal detector, and two hulking security guards standing literally about a metre inside the door. I'm fairly certain my reaction to all of this was "Yay, right doo-EEEEEP."
But the view from the top was worth both the unexpected security guards AND the arctic winds:
From there, we felt the need to warm up, and took a little detour to see my favourite taxidermied animal of all time - the fennec fox of insanity:
I now have a second favourite taxidermied animal of all time - the soprano soloist in the mouse/hamster/rodent thing(?! ideas regarding species appreciated) choir:
Once we'd finished there, it was already dark, so we caught the subway back to College Park for an incredibly nutritious dinner at Applebee's. Agatha Goodkin then headed out to see a band with a friend while I slowly turned into a zombie in front of three straight hours of Say Yes To The Dress. Let me tell you, most of those women should have said NO to the dress. Because those dresses were not only fugly, they were so fugly that they fell out of the fugly tree and hit every branch on the way down. And then when they reached the bottom, they got beaten with the fugly stick.
Case in point? This $34,000 trainwreck:
|Couldn't have put it better myself, Dean.|
You're welcome for those nightmares, BTW.
Up next, all manner of touristy shit. Also, pandas. Because why the hell not?