In order to best recap our absolutely jam-packed, kind of hectic but still fun (I swear!) First Anniversary Romantic Adventure, I shall now attempt to pay homage to one of my very favorite series, the New York Times’ 36 Hours travel articles.
Won't you join me on this journey?!
73 (ish) HOURS IN (and around) WASHINGTON, DC
Smooth Criminal | all day
Spend the full day at the National Harbor Resort, just across the river from DC attending a delightful Indian wedding. Marvel for not the first time (and likely not the last) how much more fun Indian weddings are than white people weddings. Videotape your husband and his buddies doing a choreographed dance to a Michael Jackson song.
Save the video for later blackmail purposes.
Undocumented Citizen | 11 a.m.
Awake hungover and give your wedding attire to your responsible friends who are driving back to Brooklyn so you don’t have to lug them on the rest of your trip. Go to buy a Diet Coke, only to realize that you’ve left your credit cards and government-issue ID in the pocket of your suit pants...which are now an hour and a half north, hurtling up the freeway back to NYC. Good thing you’re not due to take a cross-country flight in two days or anything. Oh no wait, you are. Panic. Call your friend. Craft half-baked recovery ideas. Panic some more. Eventually settle on a plan: your friend will mail the ID to a Fed-Ex storefront nearby where you are staying in DC for the next two days. Crisis hopefully averted.
The Two Year Itch | 1:30 p.m.
Hitch a ride into downtown DC with another couple and attempt to pleasantly kill time before your 2 p.m. Airbnb check-in, despite the fact that it is literally 98 degrees of solid humidity, one of you is still stressing over his forgotten ID situation and the other of you is pretty sure she might poop her pants. (As fun as Indian weddings are, they’re rough on the old digestive track. All you can eat curry + open bar do not a happy gut make. Woof.) (TMI? Never!) Try not to kill one another out of sheer frustration and exhaustion, realize you’re only 13.5 hours into your second year of marriage and already experiencing an unprecedented tension you never realized existed between the two of you. Make lame jokes about the honeymoon being over. Take comfort in the fact that if you can joke your way through it, it’s probably not that bad.
(Right?? Just say right.)
Buccaneer Booze Cruise | 3:30 p.m.
Beware, the Boomerang Pirate Ship stresses aggressive ID checks. Just to be prepared, at least try to have some kind of photo ID like a passport or a college ID or a color copy of an expired Cambodian tourist visa that you found deep in the recesses of your email and sent to a friend to print out because fuck the TSA, you ain’t worried about getting on that plane to Oregon...will you get on this pirate ship???
You will. They won’t even check!
Burgers, Beers, Bed | 7 - 11 p.m.
Pretty self explanatory.
Bernie Jr. | 7 a.m.
Wake with the sun, leap out of bed, dress in a breezy outfit + sensible shoes, shove some granola bars in your backpack and shake your beloved awake, ordering “Babe! Babe! You gotta wake up! It’s 7 AM and I’ve downloaded all of these self-guided walking tours!”
Realize, in a harsh, bright flash: you are your mother.
FEEL NO SHAME!! You’ve been raised well. There is no better way to spend a vacation than with an educational - yet fun! - death march through an historical city. If you don’t limp out of a vacation with 85 blisters and enough knowledge to write a humanities thesis, you’re doing it wrong
Monument Valley | 8 a.m.
Hit the town! Rack up 5 miles and a dozen monuments before 11 AM, at which point it will already be a crisp 99 degrees fahrenheit in the shade.
Froggy Bottom | 11 a.m.
Walk back to your Airbnb like a totally normal person. As you’re standing at a stoplight, a man will grab your husband’s arm and ask “Sir! Are you lost? Do you need help???”
What the WHAT. You’re not that touristy.
Realize that you’ve been calling the neighborhood where you’re staying “Froggy Bottom” when it is, in fact, “Foggy Bottom.”
Maybe you are that touristy.
Paddling into a New Decade | 3 p.m.
Meet your bestie in scenic Georgetown for an afternoon of 30th Birthday Stand-Up Paddle Boarding. It’s really not as hard as it looks, especially if you spend most of the time just laying on your board, frying in the sun like a lizard.
Make your throuple really stand out by inadvertently wearing matching outfits.
Speak Softly and Carry a Big Drink | 8 p.m.
End the evening toasting your gal’s birthday among a gorgeous group of her buds at a Teddy Roosevelt themed restaurant because yes DC is that much of a cliche of itself and YES you love it.
(Happy Birthday Maureeneyface!)
Mall Madness | 9 a.m.
Don’t get your hopes up walking the National Mall anytime soon because whoops, it’s under construction until early 2017.
Do however, spend the rest of your morning visiting the National Museum of the American Indian. It’s incredibly well curated, accessible and doesn’t shy away from reminders on the historical and present realities of Native American tribes. Feel sad and a little guilty. This nation was founded by some reallll dicks, y’all.
The Citizen Becomes Documented! | 11:30 a.m.
Make a brief pit-stop into at the Fed-Ex store where praise be to Vai, your ID is ready and waiting. Enjoy a brief moment of angst when they ask to see ID in order for you to claim the package (oh, the irony!) and don’t really seem to find the Cambodian visa thing as cute as you do.
Rejoice when they accept your work ID as a valid backup and graciously return your driver’s license.
Readin’ & Eatin’ | 12 p.m.
Round out your visit by indulging in your two passions: literature and sandwiches. First up, a visit to Kramerbooks and Afterwords, where you snatch up this delightful novel (coming soon to a Hottreads near you!). Where better to shop for souvenirs than at the local independent bookseller?! (ANSWER: Nowhere!!)
Then head a few blocks south for BOMB DOT COM hoagies at Bub and Pop’s.
I mean...can you even?!
You Can Checkout Anytime You Like… | 1:30 p.m.
Return to your Airbnb to shower and finish packing before leaving for the airport only to find there has been a mixup between the host and the cleaning staff. You’d discussed a late check-out...and put off bathing and packing as a result...but the cleaning woman never got the message and is already hard at work. Feel awkward. Stammer a lot. Frantically shove your belongings into your suitcases and flee into a waiting Uber.
(Realize, just this moment, how dependent you’ve become on the “sharing economy.”)
A New Frontier | 2 p.m.
Arrive at Reagan Airport three hours early for your 5 p.m. flight to Portland. Marvel at the fact that Reagan is apparently America’s pre-eminent airport for international diplomats, which is highly surprising because it doesn’t seem like it’s been updated since about 1904 and is smaller than your one bedroom apartment. Discover that, for some inexplicable reason, no Fronteir flights leave before 5 and the desk (even the automated kiosks!) does not open until two hours before.
Find yourself back where your journey began, just days ago, sitting on the ground, frustrated with the world.
Finally check-in. Learn that Frontier charges $40 PER ITEM for carry on luggage (and only $30 for checked!), explaining why you got that good deal on tickets in the first place. Feel badly for not realizing this fact in the first place / try not to get mad at your husband for not realizing this fact in the first place, respectively. (You know it’s not his fault. You’re just tired!) Haul ass to security. Discover that the woman at the check-in desk has printed the wrong tickets. Haul ass back to get them fixed and then back again. Send your $80 worth of carry-on luggage through the x-rays. Have one bag flagged for additional search. Stand around trying not to panic that you’ve somehow ended up with a backpack full of hashish in some sort of horrific Locked Up Abroad situation. Unclench when it turns out to be a false alarm.
W(h)ine About It | 3 p.m.
Flop around the terminal. Call your mom and bitch about how traumatic your life is. Feel mad at your partner for unspecified reasons. Buy hand lotion from a drugstore kiosk. Wallow, wallow, wallow and THEN (!!) remind yourself that, no matter how stressful the past few hours have been (not actually that stressful, in the grand scheme) and how long (very!) a flight you have ahead, you’re still on friggin’ vacation, baby. And what better way to unwind than by ponying up to the airport bar for a cool, crisp ($13) glass of sauvy b.
Wheels Up | 5 p.m.
Wave farewell to the Great City of Magnificent Intentions. You’re airborne and headed to the West Coast!
But that, dear readers, is another tale for another day. I hope you’ve enjoyed this installment of 36 (or more or less!) Hours in (or around or near!) A Great American (or wherever!) City. I know I sure have.
See you in the PDX, babes.
xx Liz Hott