Thursday, April 6, 9:00 PM:
After a stressful period of long hours, work has become pretty quiet in the office since we turned in a construction set for a project earlier this week. I am sitting at home having dinner, starting to think about what to do over the weekend.
Thursday, April 6, 9:05 PM:
I receive a text message from my boss thanking me for the hard work on said project and giving me the following day off – HOORAY!
Thursday, April 6, 10:30 PM:
It is clear now what to do for the weekend. A quick research for the best weekend trips from NYC resulted in the decision to go to – where I initially planned to go a couple of weekends earlier, but couldn’t, because I had to work the weekend on mentioned project – Washington D.C. An intensive research about sights, restaurants, good architecture, hostels, and bus tickets follows.
Friday, April 7, 2:15 AM:
I finally go to bed. Hostel and bus tieckets are booked, countless locations are saved on my phone.
Friday, April 7, 9:20 AM:
A morning full of oversleeping, rushing to pack my stuff and buying breakfast at a grocery store still could not stop me from arriving at the bus stopping location (there was no actual bus stop – the ticket was so cheap, the bus didn’t even have the company’s name printed on it and just stopped in front of a bank) 10 minutes before the scheduled departure.
Friday, April 7, 9:45 AM:
The bus leaves 15min delayed. All seats are taken. The first moments of the trip were used by staring out of the windows while being navigated through the urban canyons of NYC. The rest of the trip became a mixture of sleeping and reading – alternating and sometimes simultaneously.
Friday, April 7, 2:00 PM:
Punctual arrival in DC. No bus stop either. We are simply being dropped off at the side of a road. The DC exploration shall begin!
Friday, April 7, 4:00 PM:
Already one Smithsonian and one Mies van der Rohe crossed from the list. Stopping for lunch at a burger place when I suddenly can’t find my credit card. I empty my entire backpack – nothing. First reaction: panic! Going through the last uses. Probably I have forgotten to put it back into my wallet after purchasinf hostel and bus tickets last evening. Calming down. Luckily I have a second card (with international fees though, but that pill has to be swallowed).
Friday, April 7, 5:15 PM:
Heading to the hostel I am quite disappointed by DC. I always pictured it a beatiful city, when all I’ve seen so far was typical American, characterless, postmodern architecture and car-focussed urbanism. Brutalist concrete architecture from the 60s and 70s, which is usually ill-reputed in other cities, sticks out positively here being the only buildings with character. Hopefully the main sights at the national mall will turn out being prettier, which I’ve avoided today as I want to save them for the next days with better weather.
Friday, April 7, 5:20 PM:
I pass through a typical backyard-alleyway with lots of storage rooms and garages. This is the first part of the city, I encounter, which has a character. I enjoy strolling through the maze-like network of narrow alleys and cute, small squares. To my surprise there are some hipster stores and restaurants here – they must have gotton the same feeling of the place as I have.
Friday, April 7, 5:25:
Arriving at the hostel I realize that I’ve forgotten a second, very important thing: My passport. The receptionist allows me to check in sending him a digital copy. I sit down in the common area trying to charge my phone’s dead battery when I notice: I took my charger, but I forgot the adaptor! After borrowing a charger, charging my phone and eventually finding an email with my passport attached I can finally check in.
Friday, April 7, 9:45 PM:
With relaxing, meeting new people, dinner and chatting I’m having a fun and laid-back evening in the hostel. Someone eventually pulls out Monopoly and we start playing – using coins for tokens and poker chips as houses as we are too many players. Purest hostel-life.
Saturday, April 8, 9:00 AM:
Though the Monopoly-night later turned into a bar-night and we came back home late, I still managed to get up and get ready relatively early. The complimentary breakfast turned out to be freshly made chocolate pancakes with maple sirup and the sun made it possible to chill in the hammoks and couches on the rooftop terrace. A great start for a great day!
Saturday, April 8, 4:50 PM:
Fast-Forward. A full day of sightseeing is going to an end. After seeing the cherry blossom parade (Man, America! I really expected more from your countless parades than just a handful people walking down the road sluggishly), countless monuments and famous buildings, while strolling through the national mall in bright sunshine, I feel like I have crossed enough from the list to enjoy another museum. Unfortunately I have to find out that they all close at 5 PM! At least some of them still let you enter to have a pee…
Saturday, April 8, 10:00 PM:
After relaxing back at the hostel and delicious dinner in chinatown with newly made friends, we are going out again, checking out some bars in the neigborhood of our hostel.
Sunday, April 9, 11:00 AM:
As the evening became quite long, I slept in a little.
Sunday, April 9, 1:00 PM:
My plans for this day needed to be drastically shortened as my bus is leaving at 2 PM already. There is only really time for a breakfast/ lunch together with my hostel friends. After finally arriving at the recommended restaurant, there is a wait of 40min for a table – not possible for me. So we’re ending up having cheap pizza slices, when I realize: My credit card (the other one) is gone – again! I suudenly remember that, being sceptical about the procedure in the beginning, last night I had kept my card “open” in a bar for the first time… And then I must have forgotten to check out when I left – DAMMIT! There is no time for going there and catching my bus in time! Luckily you’re never alone in a hostel: My new friend offers me to get the card for me and send it to me by post – great!
Sunday, April 9, 9:30 PM:
We arrived in NYC with a little delay and I finally got home. It was a fun weekend! Needs to be repeated soon. I check my room, expecting my credit card there – it isn’t! Panic again. Should I block the card already? No. I’ll give it one more try. Now it’s been lost for 3 days already, one more before blocking it won’t make a change.
Monday, April, 10, 9:00 PM:
On my way to work I pass by the grocery store where I had bought my breakfast on Friday morning. Thankfully, they have my card! Being so rushed, I must have forgotten it at the check out on Friday.
A couple of days later:
Also my other credit card arrives by mail. Now the DC-trip is formally closed – but it shall remain as a good memory!
Sorry that this post became way too long! I am not offended if you fell asleep during the read! Pictures will follow soon… Have a great day!