Surviving the Outer Banks: Day Four

     Hey, there! Matthew here, checking in on day three of Surviving the Outer Banks.
     If you’ve been keeping up with our trip, you’re aware we are on an adventure in North Carolina. Today is a bit different, though…we’re in Washington, D.C.! I’ll be writing this entry throughout the day today – in fact, I’m tapping this bit out on our metro ride into the city. We’re at King Street station, starting from Franconia-Springfield, and we’ve just been moved to another rail car due to the air conditioning system failing in the car we were in previously.

On the metro into the city

     That is one thing Washington, D.C.’s metro has over the London Underground – air conditioned cars. A few of the Tube’s newer stock are equipped with it, but not all of them. Hopefully by the time we go back that will have changed for the better.
     On that note, I’ll add that due to our trip to London in 2015 (want to read about it?), Valeri and are pretty familiar with the way urban rail transportation systems work, and have grown quite fond of them. I was actually quite looking forward to the metro commute.

     Before I get very far into this entry, I need to mention the drive up here.
     If you’ve ever been within earshot of Valeri’s brother, David, you’ve probably been exposed to his peculiar communication style – which consists mostly of quotes from movies you have never seen before. Entertaining, but at times confusing. Of the few movies I do recognize, he does a decent job of impersonating the actors. Don’t tell him I said that though – pride and all.

     Our first stop was the Lincoln Memorial – which was much grander in scale than I could have ever imagined. The amount of skill and craftsmanship that went into creating that structure had to be immense. Everything is so very precise and well thought out – and massive!

Just a quick snap with Lincoln

     For lunch, we made a stop at Amsterdam Falafel Shop. I had the Lamb Shawarma Bowl, Valeri had the Chicken Pita, David had the Lamb Shawarma Pita and Jody had the Falafel Pita (which was a little non-traditional: Falafel smashed inside a pita). It was all pretty tasty. Well…I didn’t go around taking bites of everyone’s food, but it was reported to me that everyone enjoyed their selection.

Amsterdam Falafel Shop … yum

     Honestly, at that point, the food could have been prison gruel, and we would have still been glad because the facility was air conditioned.

     We then ventured on to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. The entry exhibit was fascinating, but there must have been a bit of a breakdown with the crowd control in the main exhibit, because it was a solid mass of people. Shoulder-to-shoulder is too spacious a description for this. We ended up giving up on forward movement and left.

Getting our tickets to the tour

     It was a bit sad, because it’s an interesting part of history; a very sad bit, but interesting nonetheless. Just before the main exhibit, we were issued identification booklets – but they contained the identity of a Holocaust victim. The booklet told the victim’s story, including whether or not they survived.
     Here are the IDs we were given and how the victims fared:
     Valeri:       Judith Schwed, of Hungary, Fallen
     Matthew:  Wiadyslaw Piotroski, of Poland, Fallen
     Jody:         Emma Arnold, of France, Survivor
     David:       György Pick, of Hungary, Survivor
     One of the neatest parts of this was that at the reception desk, we were greeted and assisted by a holocaust survivor, Rae Goldfarb.

Holocaust survivor and museum volunteer, Rae Goldfarb

     David and I decided to explore the International Spy Museum while Valeri and Jody perused the Smithsonian Art Museum collection.

The International Spy Museum had the Aston Martin DB5

Introducing Ninja David

     I can’t speak about Valeri’s adventure with any authority, but I can say David and I had a lot to look at. We didn’t even have enough time to get through everything. If you’re interested – even in the slightest – in the world behind the shadows, definitely check it out.

This is Val … loved the Smithsonian Art Museum
This is Jody taking in one of the sections

     Unfortunately, the temperature was far too high to be comfortable. Big surprise in July, huh? We survived, but there were a few times throughout our journey that I seriously doubted we would. I think we all lost a few pounds via perspiration.

Before leaving the city, we checked out the White House. It’s the speck of a building behind us.

     Due to the heat and the fact we had woken up pretty early, we decided to head out of D.C. a bit earlier than we’d originally planned – and it is a good thing we did, because Siri’s idea of the ideal return route didn’t quite live up to its name.
     We did finally make it home – and after 17 hours of commuting to D.C., exploring D.C. Then commuting from D.C., this bed has never felt so comfortable!

“At the beach, life is different … time doesn’t move hour to hour,
but mood to moment.”

     More photos can be found by clicking the PhotoStream icon on our website.

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