Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Basketball, Baltimore and paperclips

I've been slacking off on telling you guys about my trip. Sorry. I've been struggling to write the assignments for it before semester starts, and am failing miserably... ANYWAY. Previously, we visited ALL THE FREAKING MONUMENTS EVER.

The following day started with a three hour lecture about the state of the US economy from a very enthusiastic lecturer of the "I'm old, I can say what I want" variety. As such, we came out of the lecture with such delightful quotes as "All countries are social experiments. Everyone is making it up as they go along. All you can do is hope that the folks with control over the big levers don't do something stupid." and "You have two options in regards to globalisation: play and be good at it. Or go live in a cave." 

So that was fun. From there, we had a break, complete with the most American of morning teas - Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks coffee. There were rather large quantities of both left at the end of the break. Once we'd finished our really quite awful delicious morning tea, we had an hour's lecture about staying safe on campus, which included telling us to phone the campus police to get a lift from the Metro station back to our hotel at night. Australian reactions to this? 

1. LOL, CAMPUS POLICE.
2. It's a seven minute walk on a well lit road.
3. Yeah, no.

I don't think anyone, even the Varsity Jocks who were out drinking until 3am pretty much every night, took them up on it... 

Then it was lunch, followed by a tour of the campus. Which is a buttload prettier than any university I've attended until now. I guess that's what happens when they're founded in 1856 with land already set aside by the government!! Weirdly, I KNOW I took photos on campus, but I now can't find any of them, so you'll have to settle for these photos of the mascot instead. Meet Testudo, y'all:


The university slogan is "Fear the Turtle", which is kind of hilarious because terrapins aren't exactly the scariest of beasts. When we finished the tour, Agatha Goodkin and I headed to the university bookshop, where I bought this hilariously tacky hoodie which for some INEXPLICABLE reason was massively marked down. (This is the back, FYI. And I plan on never wearing it outside the house)

I honestly think my favourite part was that when I bought it, there was a sticker on the front of it that said "If you like my front, you'll REALLY like my back!". Either that or the brand - Forever Fabulous. LULZ.

And then we spent the rest of the afternoon making the last minute decision to get tickets to see the Washington Wizards play the Oklahoma City Thunder and endeavouring to find a printer. Oh, also we did laundry. Because we're suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuper rock n roll. 

And then we went to the basketball. My zoom lens came with us.

View from our $14 seats:

View thanks to my zoom lens:

BOOYAH. Although there was kind of an awkward moment where it turned out that we'd sat in the wrong seats and had to clamber over to the row behind. Not only did I climb over the seat in a manner reminiscent of Jennifer Lawrence climbing the stairs to collect her Oscar, but when I finally sat down, I went "The alphabet is hard, yo." to explain the fact that we were sitting in row B instead of row C, and all the people around us were like:
Source
So yeah. That happened. Well done, Kirsti. 

The basketball was pretty amazing (especially seeing as we only paid $14!). The cheerleaders whipped their hair back and forth and I genuinely still don't see the point in them. I also didn't really see the point in the organ music. Or the constant timeouts. Or the fact that there was only like two minutes of sport at a time. BUT I DIGRESS. The Wizards won pretty much right on the buzzer, and we trekked back to our hotel. 

The following day, The Coolest People You Will Ever Meet (otherwise known as the library contingent) had a special trip to the National Archives to do some seriously awesomesauce training. It was completely amazing, and I'm still kind of astonished that ten people took a massive chunk out of their day to train the four of us. The rest of the group, incidentally, had to spend the entire day learning about the Dodd-Frank Act. Sucks to be them. 

On the Wednesday, we had a couple of site visits out in The Middle of Nowhere, Maryland. These were less than thrilling. And after the second site visit, we weirdly got dropped in downtown Baltimore for three hours. I still don't entirely understand why, and I spent most of it hanging out at Barnes & Noble. Because apparently Baltimore is the city that reads:

It also has quite a nice view across the harbour

I also may have had fried macaroni and cheese from the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. It was phenomenal. On the downside, the girl at the table next to me was a doctor, and was telling her friend horrifying stories about prolapsed uteruses. (Uteri? Uteruses? Screw it: baby growing organs.) So that was a gross accompaniment to dinner. 

The following day, we started classes bright and early. Our first class was on supply chain management, which basically required us to use a simulation game thing to pretend we were buying and selling computers. The Coolest People You Will Ever Meet...weren't great at it. The next class was on entrepreneurship. Which I have trouble spelling, let alone understanding. But the class started with everyone having to take 15 paperclips. And then we had to get into pairs and bet somewhere between one and three paperclips on the result of a coin toss. If we lost the toss, the other person got our paperclips. And at the end of a minute, we changed pairs. It was designed to show that entrepreneuring is hard work and most people will fail. 

Number of paperclips I had left at the end of the first round? ZERO. Yeah. I lost all my paperclips to a 21 year old undergrad in one minute. Clearly, I'm not cut out to be an entrepreneur........... 

Next up, the most awesome lunch venue in DC, and hanging out with Sarah and Lauren!! 

K xx

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Goals and attempts at meeting them

So after posting the vlog that Lor and I made in January, I decided that it would be a good idea to make a vlog every month. And when I put this idea forward on Twitter, the general response was "YES OMG YOU HAVE TO DO IT."

Ask and you shall receive, peeps. Ask and you shall receive.



Links as discussed:

My goals
Vlogging with Lor
Clever Girl's Tumblr
Snark Squad

You're welcome, internet.

K xx

Monday, February 25, 2013

Movie Monday: The Lion King


Okay, first of all? It seems appropriate that today's installment has a couple of Oscars under its belt. Secondly, I have a confession to make. I've never been a big fan of Disney movies (except for Pirates of the Caribbean...). I know, I know. I think I saw most of them once as a kid, and just thought the idea of sitting around waiting for some dude to show up and make your life perfect sounded really freaking boring, so didn't bother watching them again. #TeamHeartlessCow4lyfe I saw today's installment for the first time in about 1997, and saw it for the second time on Thursday night.

Source

While I may not have seen the movie a hundred times, we DID have the soundtrack (on cassette. OBVS), so I can sing along to the entire thing word perfect. Does that make it better??

Reasons why The Lion King is awesome:
1. The soundtrack. Damn you, Tim Rice and Elton John. It's your fault that I Just Can't Wait to be King has been stuck in my head for five days.
2. James Earl Jones as the voice of Mufasa. You can't go wrong with James Earl Jones as the voice of ANYONE, really.
3. It's kind of like Hamlet, when you think about it. Except, you know, without the super depressing ending.
4. Timon and Pumbaa. They're phenomenal.
Source
5. Jeremy Irons as Scar. Quite possibly the best villain ever NOT played by Alan Rickman.
6. Hakuna Matata.
7. Rowan Atkinson as Zazu.
8. The opening scene.
Source
9. Jonathon Taylor Thomas and Matthew Broderick as mini and grown up Simba respectively.
10. Scar yelling at Zazu to stop singing It's a Small World. I hear you, partner. I hear you.
11. That it led to this:
Source
12. Pumbaa getting stuck in the log escaping from Nala.
13. Scar's hyena minions. Especially Whoopi Goldberg.
14. The stampede and everything that goes along with it. It's pretty incredible.
15. Making faces behind Zazu's back.
Source
16. Timon singing The Lion Sings Tonight.
17. Rafiki. Dude can do martial arts, yo.
18. All the reasons.

Plus, the following quotes:
- "Hey, Uncle Scar, guess what?" "I despise guessing games." "I'm gonna be King of Pride Rock." "Oh, goody." "My dad just showed me the whole kingdom. And I'm gonna rule it all. Hehe." "Yes. Well, forgive me for not leaping for joy. Bad back, you know." "Hey Uncle Scar, when I'm King, what'll that make you?" "A monkey's uncle." "You're so weird." "You have no idea."
- "Let me get this straight. You know her. She knows you. But she wants to eat him. And everybody's okay with this? DID I MISS SOMETHING??"
- "We're gonna fight your uncle... for this?" "Yes, Timon. This is my home." "Whoa. Talk about your fixer-upper."
- "Your son's awake." "Before sunrise, he's *your* son."
- "Hey, Timon, ever wonder what those sparkly dots are up there?" "Pumbaa, I don't wonder; I know." "Oh. What are they?" "They're fireflies. Fireflies that, uh... got stuck up on that big bluish-black thing." "Oh, gee. I always thought they were balls of gas burning billions of miles away." "Pumbaa, with you, everything's gas."
- "There's one in every family sire. Two in mine, actually. And they always manage to ruin special occasions." "What am I going to do with him?" "He'd make a very handsome throw rug." "Zazu!" "And just think, Whenever he gets dirty you can take him out and beat him."
- "I'm surrounded by idiots."
- "Well, I was first in line, until the little hairball was born." "That hairball is my son. And *your* future king." "Oh, I shall have to practice my curtsy."
- "Life's not fair, is it? You see, I... well, I shall never be king. And you... shall never see the light of another day. Hmm-hmm-hmm, adieu." "Didn't your mother ever tell you not to play with your food?"
- "What do you want me to do, dress in drag and do the hula?"

So. Are y'all going to kick me out of the Born in the 1980s Clubhouse for not loving Disney?! I hope not. I'd be lonely... Also, am I the only one who can't stop laughing at the William and Harry thing? Because I can't. Sorry I'm not sorry.

K xx

Thursday, February 21, 2013

New leaves and turning them over

So remember that one time that I made one of my goals for 2013 to get fit? And remember when I then went to the US for a month and ate a lot of fudge and Chipotle? And then when I spent a week and a bit dying of the plague flu when I got home?

Long story short, I didn't spend any a whole lot of time on this goal for the first chunk of the year. But after spending the weekend in a world of "OH GOD EVERYTHING HURTS SIX WEEKS WITHOUT GOING TO PUMP IS BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD", I figured that now was as good a time as any.

So I've signed up to MyFitnessPal, in the hopes that having to record what I eat will stop me from eating entire bags of lollies in a single sitting. Guilt is an excellent motivator, yo. And I'm endeavouring to do SOMETHING active every day.

I figure if I pretend I'm in training for when the Doctor turns up and says this...

...I'll have a higher chance of success than I would otherwise.

We'll see how it goes...

How do you guys stay motivated with the whole trying to eat healthy/exercise regularly thing?? Because seriously - I need suggestions.

K xx

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Another place, another time

Do you ever come across a song that, any time you hear it, immediately makes you think of a particular time or place? I apparently have a ton of them, and the list is constantly growing...

I was talking to Kim last week about Valentine's Day and how the whole "You can only show affection on this one particular day and through the purchase of cheesy gifts" thing is pretty UGH-worthy. And somehow, that did a massive segue kick into me telling her about how Valentine's Day was pretty awesome when I was in grades 1 and 2, because I was at school in Canada and so we basically did no school work all day, we just had a big party complete with a lip syncing competition.

There is a point to this story. And that point is this: a group of girls from Not My Year Level did a lip sync routine to Madonna's "Like a Prayer". And from that moment on, whenever I hear that song, I'm instantly six years old again, wearing my white party dress with pink, red and white ribbons in my hair.

Other songs on the list?

Biffy Clyro - "The Captain": Thanks to Channel 10 using this song to promote football telecasts FOR THE WHOLE OF 2010, this song and AFL are forever linked in my brain. (Also? I had no idea this video clip was such a giant ball of WTFery until now!)


Foster the People - "Pumped Up Kicks": New Year's Eve 2011, sitting on the deck of a mate's beach house with a cider in hand while lamb roasted on the barbeque.

Lady Gaga - "Edge of Glory": This will never not remind me of a particularly horrific squat track at Body Pump.

Green Day - "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)": Paris, 1998, walking down the Champs Elysees. Yup. We were classy like that.


Scissor Sisters - "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'": The cafeteria at Brewery Land. For some peculiar reason, EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR A WHOLE WEEK, this song played on the radio while we were at lunch. It was bizarre.

Plain White T's - "Hey There Delilah": I have absolutely no idea why, but I have this incredibly vivid memory of the first time I heard this song. It was in Peru in 2008, somewhere on the road between Chivay and Arequipa, and I was squished against the door of the minibus sharing Ness's iPod.

Belinda Carlisle - "Summer Rain": New Year's Eve 2006. I went out to a bar in the city with my cousin and her friends, and my cousin got...a wee bit intoxicated...and requested this about seven times in a row. They played it three times just to shut her up.


Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes - "(I've Had) The Time of My Life": Year 12 meant that our lockers were in the VCE Hall, a mysterious building that only Year 12s were allowed into. It also had a kitchenette, sofas, and a stereo. We blasted this song at least twice a day for the entire year.

Hugh Grant - "Pop! Goes My Heart": Tasmania, 2010. Sara and I discovered our mutual love of Music and Lyrics on that trip, and may have listened to this song about a hundred times, complete with dance moves.

Don McLean - "American Pie": Back in 2002, Megan and I spent an entire night sitting in one or other of our dorm rooms in the UK and trying to remember all the lyrics to this. Aaaaah, the days before wifi...

Les Miserables - "Do You Hear the People Sing?": Okay, this connects to a story that I have yet to tell you about my trip. We went to see Les Mis at the movies in Phoenix, and were the only people in the theatre. This song was the point where we snapped and turned the movie into a sing-along. And it was AWESOME. (You're welcome for Eddie Redmayne's face, BTW)


I Nine - "Same in Any Language": Lauren's car, driving from New York to Boston and blasting the Elizabethtown soundtrack. Poor Kat was so confused as to why we kept yelling "Did I miss 60B??".

Michael Jackson - "Thriller": My brother borrowed this from the library on VINYL in 1993. I was in my bedroom and had no idea what was going on, and the evil cackling freaked me out.

Dropkick Murphys - "Shipping Up To Boston": Red Sox vs Orieles, Fenway Park, 2011. I don't think I really need to say any more than that!!

Do you guys have songs that make you think of somewhere/when else? Or am I a weirdo??

K xx

Monday, February 18, 2013

Movie Monday: Breakfast at Tiffany's


Oh, hai, Monday. You sure snuck up out of nowhere... I spent a chunk of yesterday going "I don't know what to waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatch...", and generally failing to come up with any ideas. So I went and stared at my DVD collection until something jumped out at me. Not literally. That would be weird. Anyway, I realised that it'd been a couple of years since I last watched this, and NO. NOT ACCEPTABLE. REWATCH IMMEDIATELY.
Source
Reasons why Breakfast at Tiffany's is awesome:
1. Audrey Hepburn. She's phenomenal.
Source
2. The soundtrack.
3. George Peppard.
4. Getting things engraved at Tiffany's for less than $10.
5. Cat. He's quite possibly my favourite movie feline.
Source
6. The fashion.
7. The complete awkwardness of Mickey Rooney playing Mr. Yunioshi. It's both indescribably offensive and something the movie wouldn't be the same without.
8. Holly's earplugs. They're brilliant.
Source
9. Whistling for a taxi.
10. Doc Golightly.
11. Accidentally setting ugly hats on fire with cigarettes.
12. Holly's face when Rusty Trawler, the ninth richest man in America, turns up at her party.
Source
13. Sally Tomato and his ridiculous "weather" reports.
14. The jewellery at Tiffany's.
15. "Moon River".


16. Sterling silver telephone dialers.
17. Card catalogues.
18. The scene where Holly's searching for Cat in the rain. Makes me ugly cry every time.
Source
19. Exploding pressure cookers.
20. That poster! It's so iconic.

Plus, the following quotes:
- "He's all right! Aren't you, cat? Poor cat! Poor slob! Poor slob without a name! The way I see it I haven't got the right to give him one. We don't belong to each other. We just took up one day by the river. I don't want to own anything until I find a place where me and things go together. I'm not sure where that is but I know what it is like. It's like Tiffany's." "Tiffany's? You mean the jewellery store." "That's right. I'm just CRAZY about Tiffany's!"
- "There are certain shades of limelight that can wreck a girl's complexion."
- "Thursday! It can't be! It's too gruesome!" "What's so gruesome about Thursday?" "Nothing, except I can never remember when it's coming up."
- "You know those days when you get the mean reds?" "The mean reds, you mean like the blues?" "No. The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?" "Sure." "Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany's. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that'd make me feel like Tiffany's, then - then I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name!"
- "You could always tell what kind of a person a man thinks you are by the earrings he gives you. I must say, the mind reels."
- "I don't think I've ever drunk champagne before breakfast before. With breakfast on several occasions, but never before, before."
- "I always thought it was a ridiculous name for a prison. Sing Sing, I mean. Sounds more like it should be an opera house or something."
- "They're not the kind of stories you can really tell." "Too dirty?" "Yeah, I suppose they're dirty, too, but only incidentally. Mainly they're angry, sensitive, intensely felt, and that dirtiest of all dirty words - promising. Or so said The Times Book Review, October 1, 1956."
- "And I always heard people in New York never get to know their neighbours."
- "We could have something engraved, couldn't we?" "Yes, I suppose so, yes indeed... the only problem is you would more or less have to buy something first if only in order to have some object upon which to place the engraving... You see the difficulty..." "Well, uh...we could have this engraved, couldn't we? I think it would be very smart." "This, I take it, was not purchased at Tiffany's?" "No, actually it was purchased concurrent with, uh, well, actually, came inside of...well, a box of Cracker Jack." "I see... Do they still really have prizes in Cracker Jack boxes?" "Oh yes." "That's nice to know... It gives one a feeling of solidarity, almost of continuity with the past, that sort of thing."
- "I'm going to march you to the zoo and feed you to the YAK. Just as soon as I finish this drink."
- "You know what's wrong with you, Miss Whoever-you-are? You're chicken, you've got no guts. You're afraid to stick out your chin and say, "Okay, life's a fact, people do fall in love, people do belong to each other, because that's the only chance anybody's got for real happiness." You call yourself a free spirit, a 'wild thing,' and you're terrified somebody's gonna stick you in a cage. Well baby, you're already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it's not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somali-land. It's wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself."

Is there a more pathetic sight in the world than a cat that's been left in the rain? If so, please tell me what it is.

K xx

Friday, February 15, 2013

The never ending day of monuments

So, as I said last time, we visited Congress, three monuments, and Mount Vernon, all before lunch.

Lunch took place at Union Station food court, which was greatly perplexing because I spent most of the time we were there thinking that I had to board a train to New York and where the hell had Kat run off to? It's possible that I was still slightly jetlagged...

After (a much longer than was warranted) lunch break, it was back onto the bus and out to Arlington National Cemetery. If you know anything about the layout of DC, you may be slightly miffed about this, much like I was. Because here's a map that shows you roughly where our main stops were and the order in which the stops occurred:
I was going to put lines between the numbers,
but it looked like an enormous and
very confused wang.

Quite why we didn't have lunch in Alexandria and save ourselves a million years in traffic, I do not know.

Upon arrival at Arlington, we promptly stood around in the freezing cold for 20 minutes waiting for a bus that would take us to the two main sites in the cemetery - JFK's grave, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Having walked around Arlington on previous occasions, we likely could have walked to JFK's grave in far less time than we stood around waiting for the bus.


The city from JFK's grave
And we had a whopping 4 minutes there before the bus moved on. Needless to say, I was not particularly impressed with the way in which our tour of DC was run, or the information that was provided to us by our tour leader...

ANYWAY. We then drove to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where we had a whopping 10 minutes in which to watch the changing of the guard...

Thanks to the woman in front of me for having a giant fuzzy hat that got in
ALL my photos...

...before it was back on the bus and back to the visitor centre, and back on OUR bus heading to downtown DC and more monuments. Namely, the Korean War Memorial:

The Vietnam Memorial:

It was January 6th, so all the Christmas stuff
was still up. 

My favourite - the often overlooked Vietnam Nurses Memorial:


And the Lincoln Memorial. Where the obligatory pigeon that sits on Abe's head had apparently turned in for the night.



From there, we headed to a "Welcome to Washington" dinner at a ridiculously tacky Italian restaurant. Because there were 50 of us, dinner had been preordered, and consisted of the following:
- Caesar salad
- Greek salad (at an Italian restaurant. CONFUSED)
- Chicken parmigiana
- Fettuccine alfredo
- Spaghetti marinara (Dear Australia: in America, marinara = napolitana and has absolutely no seafood in it. I KNOW).
- Cheesecake

Responsible Adult (one of the four people from the library stream and so called because she has a job, a husband and children) wasn't particularly pleased with this menu, as she doesn't really eat carbs and can't tolerate a lot of dairy. So she ordered something else. This is what happened:

Responsible Adult: Yes, I was wondering if it would be possible for me to get the pan fried lemon chicken?
Waiter: Okay, and what vegetables would you like with that?
RA: What are the options?
Waiter: Beans. Or broccoli.
RA: Can I have both?
Waiter: No.

And then when her food eventually came, she got about four florets of broccoli. Quite how the entire American population isn't dying of scurvy is completely beyond me...

Next up, I really suck at betting for paperclips, and Agatha Goodkin and I go to the basketball. It's more interesting than it sounds, I promise.

K xx

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Whut.

You guys, Australian history is weird. I'm the first one to admit that. I mean, Melbourne was founded by a dude named Batman. Who had no nose by the time he died of syphilis only a couple of years after Melbourne was settled. And who we managed to LOSE when Melbourne's first cemetery was moved to make room for a market.

Hell, that's not all we've lost. We lost a Prime Minister in 1966. He went swimming at the beach about an hour from Melbourne and never came back. What did we name in his honour? A SWIMMING POOL.

And back in the days when Tasmania was Van Diemen's Land, it was under the control of a guy named Thomas Davey, who was basically the nineteenth century version of Captain Jack Sparrow.
He even LOOKS a little like Johnny Depp, you guys.
Also, source.

According to Robert Hughes in his (rather long-winded, but still fascinating) book The Fatal Shore, Davey
"...marked his arrival in Hobart Town in February 1813 by lurching to the ship's gangway, casting an owlish look at his new domain and emptying a bottle of port over his wife's hat. He then took off his coat, remarking that the place was as hot as Hades, and marched uphill to Government House in his shirtsleeves. Nicknamed "Mad Tom" by the settlers, he would later make it his custom to broach a keg of rum outside Government House on royal birthdays and ladle it out to passersby." (2003:369) 
And Davey is, according to Wikipedia, also known for inventing a cocktail called "Blow my Skull".

I honestly didn't think anything could beat Mad Tom Davey as my favourite bizarre thing in Australian history. But today? Today I was proved wrong.

Because in 1932, Australia went to war. Against emus. AND THE EMUS WON.

Can we just stop and process this for a second? A group of soldiers took a couple of machine guns and went into the desert to kill 20,000-odd birds. And they failed.
"Boo-ya, bitches". Also, source. 

Plus, this "war" led to some completely amazing quotes:

"The machine-gunners' dreams of point blank fire into serried masses of Emus were soon dissipated. The Emu command had evidently ordered guerrilla tactics, and its unwieldy army soon split up into innumerable small units that made use of the military equipment uneconomic. A crestfallen field force therefore withdrew from the combat area after about a month." - Dominic Serventy
"If we had a military division with the bullet-carrying capacity of these birds it would face any army in the world...They can face machine guns with the invulnerability of tanks. They are like Zulus whom even dum-dum bullets could not stop." - Major Meredith

I don't think I really have much in the way of a point. Well. Except for these:
1. What the hell, Australian government?! 
2. Those soldiers should be super pleased that they were only dealing with emus and not cassowaries... #velociraptorsofthemodernera
3. HISTORY IS FREAKING AWESOME.

K xx

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

So. Many. Tourist attractions.

First things first, this is going to be picture heavy, y'all. Brace yourselves.

So my second full day in DC started with Agatha Goodkin and I deciding that as the sun was shining and it was meant to be Not Freezing, we should take advantage of it and go to the zoo. Because the zoo in Washington is part of the Smithsonian, and is therefore free. Also because of PANDAS YAY PANDAS:

The pandas were seriously adorable, and we spent about half an hour just watching them eat bamboo and periodically wander around their enclosure. Eventually, we dragged ourselves away because the zoo had other spectacular things too. Like the best named otters EVER:
I mean, COME ON. 

And the most fabulous entrance to a reptile house that I've ever seen in my entire life:


And a sloth that was MOVING (Agatha Goodkin LOVES sloths, and as such nearly had kittens over the fact that it was moving):
The zookeeper was VERY nervous, because she's an old lady sloth and
there was nothing below her but 50 feet of empty space.

And, ya know, the usual stuff:



So basically, it was awesome and free, although filled with rather more joggers and hills than we'd anticipated.

The following morning, we had to be up, showered, dressed, breakfasted, and sitting on the bus by EIGHT THIRTY. That was painful, let me tell you. We were in for a FULL DAY of sightseeing around Washington, which turned out to be about 20% sightseeing, 30% sitting on the bus driving between places, and 50% me banging my head against the seat in front of me as our tour leader tried to explain history.

Tour leader: "So next, we'll be going to Mount Vernon, which was George Washington's house. George Washington was the NUMBER ONE president, and he helped America fight against the British at around the time the First Fleet arrived in Australia."
Me: *headdesk forever*

Also, Thomas Jefferson apparently wrote the Bill of Rights single-handedly.
image
Nikki, you're welcome.

Anyway, we started out with a trip to Congress. And by that I mean we stood around outside in the freezing cold for 15 minutes taking photos, and then got back on the bus.

Then we did the same at the Jefferson Memorial:

And the FDR Memorial (where I mostly took pictures of the views to the other memorials):



And the Martin Luther King Memorial:

Then we drove all the way out to Mount Vernon for about FORTY FIVE MINUTES, half of which was taken up with a truly terrible film about George Washington's life. And what made it even worse what that Sebastian Roche was playing George Washington. He's been in a bunch of stuff, but I just know him as Balthazar from Supernatural, and as such kept expecting him to say that he'd stopped the Titanic from sinking so that he didn't have to listen to that stupid Celine Dion song any more.


So that was confusing. Basically, we drove all the way out to Mount Vernon, had a tour of the house, and then drove all the way back into DC again. Where we had lunch at the food court of Union Station.

But considering I've already used about five gazillion pictures in this post, and I'm sure you're all bored senseless, we might save the rest of the day for another time...

Next up, MORE MONUMENTS. Yay?

K xx
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...