That Time When – I got a first class tour of Washington DC by a famous author

​The year was 2010, I was working in New York at a day camp, teaching students how to do animation, graphic design and web coding and it was my weekend off and the one thing i loved doing on these days was exploring and site seeing. Someone I was working with recommended that I got the bus down to Washington DC as it was cheap and you can do it in a day. I booked my tickets online to got hat saturday – it was only $20 for a return, however the journey was 4 hours – it probably would of been quicker and easier to get the train.
So, the day that I did go to DC, I had to leave my accomadation at 4am in the morning to make sure was in the city in the right location by 5am. Obviously not a lot was happening at that time on a saturday morning, apart from the very active and awake black squirrels near my accomodation were leaping about. I got on the coach and then travelled four hours by bus to the capital. I don’t remember much about the journey because I was asleep all of it pretty much.
When we arrived at DC the first thing that struck my mind was how clean and tidy it was – i was absolutely shocked as it was definitely the tidiest Capital City I had ever been too. It was early morning still so it was also very quiet. I spent the first part of the morning getting breakfast and getting used to the location and my surroundings. I was walking around the areas of the museums and then got to the central part which is the most famous part of Washington that isn’t the White House – The Washington Monument. I didn’t want to just head down to the Lincoln Memorial – instead I saw another building across the lake and planned to go there first – but I didn’t know what it was and didn’t want to waste my time walking all the way round a massive lake if it was going to be a government building that I wasn’t allowed into. So I decided to ask a stranger for help.
I saw a man walk past who was smartly dressed, in his late fifties / early sixties and looked like he knew DC well so I decided to ask him if it was worth the walk around the lake. This man looked at me both shocked and also excited that I didn’t know what the building was. He was going that way anyway and started to just talk to me. When we were walking around the lake he started giving me sort of like a tour guides talk about the history of DC. He also started telling me about his job he was a well known author from California who was in DC to launch his brand new book which was about Nuclear Weapons.
He wasn’t in favour for them he was an author who found the topic fascinating and wrote about them from a scholer level as well as interviewing very important people. He told me all about his travels with his wife and about how much he loved America. We eventually got to the building that I saw from the other side of the lake and it happened to be The Jefferson Memorial.
The author I was with who was already very enthusiastic about talking about both his book and about his passion for Washington DC went into a complete different mode of admiration. As soon as we walked into the memorial he became sort of hypnotised by it and sort of transfixed and wouldn’t stop declaring his love and passion for Jefferson. It was great to see this much passion from someone about their country but it was getting to a point where I wasn’t feeling comfortable anymore.
I made excuses to leave and to move on and thanked him for his time and went exploring the rest of DC. I havenn’t ever forgotton that meeting as it was one of the most interesting I think I have had – you go to one of the biggest political areas of the world and the first person you speak to happens to work in high Government areas. It was great to see someone who was so passionate about their country – you don’t see that much anymore and I haven’t seen it when I have visited America since. He gave me his email address so that I can find out more about his book and go to the launch when it was up in New York City – I never did go but the memory of meeting such a patriotic man will stick with me forever. If only the Jefferson Memorial in The Simpsons could of seen this man – he would of known that people DO visit him because they want to not just because the Lincoln Column is busy.

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