“I cannot live without books” – Thomas Jefferson‏

It’s 11am here and I can’t get out of bed. I’m so tired. My legs are aching and I have blisters on the soles of my feet from walking so much yesterday.

Yesterday I went on a day trip to Washington DC.  I set my alarm for 4.30, got up and called Mary for her birthday, then I got ready to leave. I ended up deciding to catch the 7am super fast  train instead of the 6am slow train.  I did however catch the slow train home. The slow train is like your vline train – but first class. The fast train is designed for business people with free wifi. There’s about 1 hour difference in how long they take to make the trip.

The tickets were rather expensive. The return trip cost me $366. I think that’s because I booked them so late.  But who knows when I’ll be back here, and seeing the White House would be cool. Besides $300 is probably good value when you’re going through 5 states of America to get to your destination.

I got to Washington DC at 9.47am. It was hot and I was dressed inappropriately. I had jeans and a shirt on, so the first thing I did was roll up my jeans to make them 3/4 length.

First stop was Congress.

On my gosh this is a beautiful building.  It was definitely the highlight of the day.  It’s so elegant and imposing. I did a tour of this before going to the Library of Congress and doing a tour of that.

Then I walked down to the White House and visited the House White info centre. You can do a tour of the White House, but you have to organize it 6 months in advance.

Then it was onto the Washington monument, and then I walked down to the Lincoln Memorial. Unfortunately the Reflecting Pool is being rebuilt, so it was a bit of a construction site.  From here you can see Congress which is down the other end of the Mall – about a 50-60 min walk away.

You could have easily spent another day there, as there are heaps of museums, but I’m happy with what I got done.  Seeing Congress, the Library of Congress (the biggest library in the world) and the White House were definite highlights of this trip.

Some more thought on my day:

– Really loved Washington.  I think I could live there over New York. There’s lots of green spaces, and parks. I didn’t realize how much I was missing that in NY.

– Was the design of Canberra based on Washington? They are incredibly similar.

– Less annoying French tourists. Actually less tourists altogether than NY.

– Americans are incredibly friendly. Met some great people on the train. Talked politics and the economy all the way from Washington to Phillidephia.

– They seem to have a lot of conductors on the trains. Another example of the way that there services are inefficient, but how they provide greater service to customers. EG if you’re asleep they come by and tell you it’s your stop.

I think it will be a quiet day today. I’m meeting Jenelle (a librarian from Australia) at 4.30 today. I  might wander around the shops, but I don’t think I have the energy for anything else.

Lots of love
Alison

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