Archive for October 22nd, 2008

The last time I really played tourist in D.C., I was ten years old and on my super special 5th grade class field trip. We woke up at 4am, got to the school by 5am, and then drove from Philadelphia to D.C. – four charter buses full of excited kids and their already-exhausted chaperones. And what do I remember from that field trip, that every 5th grader so highly anticipated? I remember what I wore (thanks in large part to pictures), buying a pair of earrings at the Natural History Museum, and taking some pictures with (and then getting in a fight with) my three best girl friends. Ten-year-old drama is rough!

So, when my college roommate and her boyfriend decided to come down to visit this past weekend, I knew I’d have the chance to play tourist again.

Yo & Jus head to Lincoln (Yo was very impressed!)

Yo & Jus head to Lincoln (Yo was very impressed!)

Jus (the roommate) had been to D.C. several times, but not in a while, and Yo (her boyfriend) is Israeli, and had never been. We hit some of the major sights – the White House, Washington Monument, WWII Memorial, Lincoln Memorial – in addition to our general stroll up and down the Mall, and did a brief tour of the Air and Space Museum right before closing. Somewhere throughout the course of the day, though, I felt myself transition from tourist to tour guide. Yo would ask, “So what exactly is this monument for?” or “What else goes on in the Capitol/White House?

Jus & Liebchen

Jus & Liebchen

And he’d turn to Jus. And she would turn to me. And I, with no one to turn to, would frantically wrack my brain, trying to remember each relevant American history/government lesson. Talk about pressure.

I’m fairly certain that everything I said was accurate. Or, at least, mostly accurate. Shit.

In any case, the memories from this weekend are a little different than those of twelve years ago:

  • To begin with, there was none of this 4am business.  A 10am wake-up is much nicer after a 2am bedtime.
  • I didn’t buy anything. In 5th grade I was spending Mom and Dad’s money. Now it’s my own. And I’m poor.
  • No drama!
  • When we visited the White House, the cops cleared the sidewalk just moments after Yo had gotten his first picture. We never did find out why.
  • And the best comment I heard all day from a 20-something guy on his phone during our second visit to the Washington Monument: “Hi, Mom? I need you to turn on channel 2, to the Jets game. I need the quarter, time left, score, possession, and position.

Clearly he’s as interested in the capital’s history as I was at age ten. Since when do the Jets trump D.C.?

The Eagles, on the other hand…

*An example of one of the questions I could actually answer.

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