What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Washington D.C.? For many it is the US Capital. So of course that is where our journey started. Well, kind of. Let me go back to the previous night when we arrived. Our East Coast Adventure began after a full day of work on a Friday. After working most of a day we hurried home, gathered our luggage, and rushed to the airport for what seemed like a short flight of only a couple of hours to Reagan National Airport. We arrived as the sun was setting allowing us to look out over Washington at night. It was exciting to see the monuments all lit up from the sky signifying our arrival to this historic city and the beginning of another Monopoly Travel.
This was the most difficult portion of our board travels for me to get excited for. There are several reasons all of which include lots and lots of people. I tend to like quieter destinations with less traffic and parking issues. With such a popular area it meant that costs where going to be higher and traveling around the city and East Coast where going to be more challenging. Still, now here we where and the excitement to experience our nations capital and share that with our children for the first time had found us again.
One unrelated reason this Monopoly adventure was a little more difficult to get excited for was that we are over half way done with our board and each trip brings us closer to the end of adventures that I love and don’t want to end. It’s almost like I created this great way to share experiences with my family that is beginning to cause some sadness and resentment. Why? Because I know that after our last trip our oldest daughter will be graduating from high school and our family will be changing after that. These adventures together will be harder to continue as the children go off in their own directions and that causes some sadness. All the more reason to take in as much as I can while I still have the chance and that reminder had to surface a few times on this East Coast Adventure.
Back to arriving in Arlington. Why Arlington? That’s where our hotel was located. Just a few blocks from the Iwo Jima Memorial. While waiting for our baggage we discussed our best options to get to the hotel. We could take a taxi which would be the easiest and also the most expensive or we could take the train which had a stop a few blocks from our hotel. Let’s go for the train since using public transportation in this part of the country is highly recommended. What a better time to figure out how to use it. In case it isn’t obvious at this point, I don’t use a lot of public transit. While we waited for the luggage I went to the station to get tickets and see which train we needed. That took about 10 minutes and I was back with the rest of the family waiting for our luggage. So, we found all of our luggage and continued towards the train, getting on the right line after calling the hotel to confirm which train we needed. Easy enough.
Arriving at our stop we got off of the train and headed towards the exit taking a minute to look over a map to make sure we headed in the right direction. At the suggestion of our daughter, I took a picture of the map with my phone in case we needed to revisit it while walking to the hotel. Confident in where we needed to go we headed outside where it was completely dark and no way of knowing north, south, east, or west to get a baring of where we were. Use the phone GPS you say. Of course that would make sense. Hmm.. all of our phones are pretty much dead. Brilliant! I decided to save what little battery I had to look at the map from time to time and began to navigate the dimly lit streets of Arlington. After walking a few blocks I re-examined the map only to determine this wasn’t the correct direction. Not a good situation with a family of exhausted people hauling around all of our luggage up and down the hills of this city. Ok, back up the hill we just came down to the other side of this hill. After passing the train station again we found our way relatively quickly and got to the hotel in a few minutes more. What a relief! Bed is going to feel good tonight.