This was originally published on my old blog, Rebel Catholic that recorded my adventures doing a nun run in 2013. I’m republishing it here in honour of the third anniversary since I returned home and the beginning of life in the married vocation I am called to.
Part 15: Capitol Time!
Originally Published: Wednesday August 12th, 2013
I pulled out of Boston South End station at 7 in the morning for a long 6 hour train ride to Washington DC ahead of me. It was a nice train ride, I got some work done, had a nice sandwich, read some more G.K. Chesterton. I arrived in DC to sweltering heat which was to be theme for the next six days.
The Hostel I stayed in was the William Penn House and I was not bad at all. I was in a girls dorm with 5 sets of bunk beds It was clean, and pretty comfortable for what it was, which was forty bucks a night! It was as I discovered in a fantastic location, about a 10 minute walk from the Capitol and another 15 minutes down the road was the White House.
I went and did the things you do in DC, walk around and see the sights. DC has literally no skyscrapers, but that doesn’t stop the buildings being monumental.
I spent a day in the air and space museum… I’m going to get my pilots license. Anyone have a working Spitfire lying around I could practice in?
Wandered around the important buildings and monuments…. like the White House… (No I did not meet the President. He has important things to do apparently).
And the Washington Monument… Which is sadly closed for major stabilising and restoration work.
But my favourite day was my pilgrimage out to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. More about that later.
My second most favourite day was my last day. It did not start off well. I headed out to see the American History Museum and my apple maps let me down first. Then my brain decides to not function directionally and I get myself lost and travelling in the wrong direction. It was mid afternoon and it was hot and I was hungry. So I abandoned my attempt to educate myself and found my way back to Capitol Hill towards food which was extremely satisfying. The day took a turn for the better back at the hostel where my new friend Asata and I headed off to the old post office tower for the best view of DC. We weren’t disappointed!
We also encountered my first squirrel! He was pretty tame, but completely and adorably twitchy!
So my thoughts on Washington: It struck me in many ways to be like Rome. The weather certainly didn’t help being so hot and steamy. But it is Rome without the deep roots. The buildings are big, the personalities are big, but it all seems a bit… shallow? The architecture is a clear mimic of all the great empires, Greek, Roman and even Egyptian, trying to capture the grandeur of these mighty societies of old, but it falls short. People forget that America is still so young. Powerful, but still incredibly young in terms of history. So young it has to manufacture its image of permanency.
But I’m done with the musing… I have had a nice time, but I am ready to get to Ron and Kathy and settle into some ordinary routine. Until the next post!