Week 1.3: Washington D.C.

On Monday, after I left Skydive Crosskeys, I drove straight down to DC where I met my very first couchsurfing host, MaryJo.  I had hosted surfers before, but never surfed with a host through the site myself.  The original plan was to arrive Sunday night, sight-see all day Monday, find an open mic in the evening, then leave Tuesday morning.  Since I ended up staying at Crosskeys on Sunday night, the plans for DC changed.

I ended up arriving in D.C. pretty late, around 6pm.  MaryJo wasn’t ready yet so I stopped at a coffee shop, grabbed a crepe and accessed the wifi.

IMG_2424After I got the okay to swing by, I headed to her place in Columbia Heights.  We got acquainted, then she hooked me up with a parking permit so I wouldn’t get towed.  Sweet!  We decided to go meet her friend Clintin to pick up her guitar and some produce.

At Clintin’s, MaryJo told me a story about how she was playing at a local farmers market when a farmer pulled up and totally blocked her with his truck.  He felt so bad about his unrealized mistake that he gave her a bunch of fresh produce, which we were picking up from Clintin.

Clintin was a nice guy, and when he found out about my travels, he began giving me some advice for places to check out in Charleston and Savannah.  Clintin and MJ were both hungry, so he suggested a pizza shop down the street for their pizza & a beer special.

MaryJo knew that I wanted to play an open mic while in DC, so while we hung out at the pizza place, she tried like hell to find me an open mic.  After a valiant effort by MJ to help me out, we gave up on the open mic plan and decided to check out a punk/ska show that her friend told her about.  Right up my alley!

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At a bar called the Pinch, a ska band was cranking out some energetic tunes in the basement.   IMG_2430

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After the band finished their set, we headed back to Columbia Heights where I slept on MJ’s comfortable couch.

Day 4: Tuesday, July 30th

The next morning I walked over to the Giant to fill my cooler with some ice and food before heading down to the National Mall to check out the Capital Building and a museum or two.  When I returned, I brought MJ’s parking pass back up to her, and in the time it took me to get back down to my vehicle, I got a parking ticket!  In disbelief, I set it aside so I could later contest it.

I went downtown, and after driving around looking for a spot for what seemed like an hour, I only had time for one museum.  So I checked out the National Gallery of Art.  In my previous professional position, I ran a project supplying the East Building renovations with some materials, which was a bit of irony for me.

On my way in, I checked out the Botanical Gardens:

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Then walked towards the museum.

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Inside the NGA, I checked out some cool artwork as I made my way through it all.

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Finally it was time to say good bye to D.C. and start the drive to Durham, where a friend was waiting.

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I hopped in my car, waved goodbye to Barack Obama, and hit the road.  My first couchsurfing experience was a great one, and the road ahead looked bright!

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