Our first full day in America started with a hunt for a Walmart to sort out a GPS and SIM cards for our phones. I mapped a route on Google Maps again and after many a wrong turn (I seem to have forgotten how left and right works in retirement!) we arrived at Walmart – me with camera at the ready in case I spotted anyone/anything bizarre enough to take pictures of! I was sorely disappointed though and we quickly found what we were looking for and dashed out again, in time to get back to the hotel for breakfast. After putting everything on charge and realising that I won’t have to go cold turkey from electronics after all I could relax a little bit!
We made our way into DC by Metro and spent a few hours sightseeing and taking a ridiculous amount of pictures of a big needly thing, some bloke’s house and some big bloke on a chair. There were lots of school groups and old blokes in wheelchairs around and it was a lovely sunny day to walk around in – until the afternoon’s thunderstorm of course.
We found a really nice sculpture gallery and took lots of pictures of modern art as you can see below.
At this point I was very disappointed in the general lack of seeing all the erm, big people that everyone keeps telling me are everywhere in America; instead everywhere in DC people were jogging or playing sports and being active – though maybe DC is different from the rest of the country – time will tell. Though we found a foodcourt in DC we didn’t have any lunch as we were still full up from breakfast. The Washington Metro was easy to navigate with smartcards similar to Oystercards, though their paper tickets are also ‘smart’ and you can add money to it if you need to (yes, I know I’m sad).
We headed back to the suburbs and decided to go and see what Fairfax town looks like. It turned out to be quite a quaint town and we had a meal at The Auld Shebeen, an Irish pub run by an actual Irishman. The food was better than expected and we had a couple of drinks there before heading back to Hooters again – they do have fast Wi-Fi after all!
Back at the hotel and a few sheets to the wind I attempted to activate the phones with little to no success and booked a room for the next night – Philly here we come!
Impressions of Washington: Flags, flags and more flags everywhere – American flags of course! The city is very clean and bustling, with people everywhere who seem very keen on exercise.