It was 80 degrees when I left Charlotte last Friday. I saw a dude walking down Morehead Street in flip flops, swimming trunks, and a towel (a bit ambitious). Saturday morning at the White House, it was as picturesque as a post card. By midday, I was in a snowstorm.
I started the day at all of the monuments, not having been there in years. I mean, I was at the center of the world. The home of the most powerful position on Earth. I spent a couple of hours there, and then as usual, started my real exploration. I drove east to the area called Anacostia. Google the crime stats. I saw some revitalization going on, but I also saw buildings boarded up and covered with graffiti. I saw a car with the tires slashed and bullet holes through the windows. It reminded me of a time in Atlanta when I saw a man get shot. I then took a stop at the newish Washington Nationals Park, and then straight into the construction zone that is DC United’s new Audi Field. I drove by the Capitol, by what looked like a drug rehabilitation center, and then across downtown DC to the posh Georgetown area. I made a wrong turn (if there is such a thing in Georgetown), and ended up at the Potomac Boat Club. From Anacostia to the Potomac Boat Club. From Earth to Mars.
I had 3 really fantastic family meals. Mexican and margaritas. Sushi and ramen (my 3 year old son can use chopsticks and I can’t). And a banging Sriracha Thai Shrimp Burger that was a huge risk, but turned out fantastic.
On Sunday, the family took the hour drive to Baltimore to take my son to the National Aquarium. Live dolphin shows. Worth the price of admission. It was freezing outside. Hot as hell in the tropical rainforest inside. A quick detour to the amazing Camden Yards on the way out. Great ballpark. Baltimore is wild. The touristy Inner Harbor is lovely. 3 streets away, I was almost robbed with my mate Vinny back in 2005.
Monday, I spent about 2 hours by myself at the greatest outlet shopping mall on the planet, Leesburg Premium Outlets in Northern Virginia. The Saks Off Fifth and Armani Outlet have all sorts of hidden gems. I picked up 3 beautiful pieces from Armani, as I realized I hadn’t showered in 4 days.
Let’s be honest. The best part of the trip was seeing my long lost love Sarah. I saved her life years ago. I loved her. Then I had to give her away. And now I get to see her maybe once a year…and I so cherish that time.
So what’s the point? Some people like routine. I hate it. It sucks all the air out of the proverbial room. I like different things and differences among people and lifestyles. I like different viewpoints and different activities. And you know why I like it? Because if you have seen, experienced, and felt various options, you can actively choose the one or ones that you love. If you only know one way, well then, you only know one way. And I’m not saying it is bad, but have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone that only knows one way?
Have a great week.-Benj
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