Wednesday, April 11, 2007

DC trip

After browsing over the internet for good, economical and not-too-far (hard to have all of them together) cabin accommodations around NYC, we decided to change the theme of vacation to “sight-seeing city trip”. Boston and Washington DC were the names that sprang up immediately on our minds. A week later we were on the road to DC. Bright and sunny weather laced with mesmerizing music by “Robert Miles” ensured the five-hour drive was pleasant.

One thing markedly different about DC is the dominance of classical European style architecture. Later I learnt that Thomas Jefferson introduced this style to the US. The DC weather, around this time of the year, makes it conducive for tour-by-walk, providing all the time you might need to appreciate the beauty of the numerous beautiful buildings. If you find more beggers on the streets than other US cities, don’t be surprised; it’s the capital of the capitalism. A stroll in the national mall by the day and through George town by night speak volumes about the city and its culture. One thing I would have loved was the “segway” tour of the National mall. DC metro experience is a far cleaner one, if you have been on NYC subways.

The lover of art, culture and history that I am, I would have loved to visit all the museums there. But time forced me onto only the National museum of natural history. I wouldn’t say it’s a must-see unless you are a kid or a taxidermist. The various animals preserved through taxidermy are worth a quick glimpse. If Jurassic park ever caught your attention, then try the dinosaur fossil exhibits.

On the first night of our stay in DC, we tried Ethiopian cuisine at the Zed's in George town area and without a doubt that was the highlight of the trip. The moment we entered the restaurant, the strong onion and garlic smell struck some known chords. I was least prepared for what was to come. The traditional bread of Ethiopia is “Injera,” and it tastes just like… guess what?... Tamilnadu’s dosa or “appam” to be more precise!! And when you have that with the spicy non-vegetarian side dishes, you get a feel of “chettinadu” cuisine. Vegetarians!! Don’t shy away, you have a lot of choice out there too! If you ever get a chance, don’t miss Ethiopian food !!

The second day, we visited Udvar-Hazy Center of the Air and Space Museum near Washington Dulles International Airport. My recently cultivated interest in aviation history drove me to it. I was rewarded with the sight of one of the “Wright Flyers,” a bi-plane flown by Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk, NC, in 1903. Among other spectacular exhibits, it houses space shuttle “Enterprise”, the Enola Gay (the B29 that dropped the first atomic bomb) and an SR-71 Blackbird ( it’s feast to your eyes).

The Cherry blossom splendor around Potomac River Park can really take your breath away. Understandably the cherry blossom trees were a gift of “city of Tokyo” to the “city of DC”. Its looks like the shores of the lake had been white washed and splashed with lavender. It certainly is worth a look.

Overall the DC trip was a big relief away from the Big Apple!! And a special thanks to the sweet couple who accomodated us!


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