Visiting a Black Man in a White House!April 15, 2012
We said yet another fond goodbye, this time it was Sandy and Carol in North Carolina. Feeling rejuvenated after our brief but well needed few days, we got up and on the road early. Next stop, Washington DC.
The drive was about 350 miles from Sandy and Carols place, snaking us through the states of Virginia and Maryland.
We made good time and the drive was basically smooth sailing all the way there, we even managed to avoid getting pulled over this time. The driving success took something of a steep downturn shortly after we saw this sign…
Who’d have thought driving through the Capital city of the USA in an RV was a bad idea.. to this moment I still can’t fathom why neither me nor Tam had had the foresight to go to an RV park first, and get the train into Washington. Still, 2idiotsabroad.com.
Once we finally did fight our way through the concrete jungle (no thanks to the Sat Nav lady who quite frankly was being a complete bitch) we found ourselves on what we figured was the main road, and almost immediately found parking (we cheered a little), it was just about big enough to cram the RV in.
The J Edgar Hoover FBI Building
The Newseum, Which displays the front page for every state newspaper in the USA
Tam infront of The Needle Washington Monument
US Flags around The Needle Washington Monument
US Flags around The Needle Washington Monument
Walking up to the Lincoln Memorial
Ahh wait, got the right camera setting that time!
Ben in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC
The two of us with the Washington Monument in the background
The Lincoln Memorial at Night
Unfortunately the night caught up with us, and having no idea where we had left the RV at this point, and no plans for where we were going to park up for the night, we decided to go and figure that out and come back to Washington the next day. We eventually found the RV, with some difficulty given that about 5 minutes after we took this picture it was pitch black. Once back in our home from home, we started trying to look up “RV Parks” in the Sat Nav’s search facility. As I mentioned earlier, the Sat Nav lady was being a complete bitch about things, and she apparently was having her fun once more, handing us phone numbers to inner city kids art programs, and camps for the visually impaired, rather than “RV Campsites” which we had clearly typed in. Unfortunately, the only way to find out whether the Sat Nav had given us a useful number was to call it and see. The other problem we faced, was that even when we did get through to a legitimate campsite, it was usually a disgruntled american on the other end of the phone informing us that we had called him late on a Sunday night and his campsite was closed for the winter. One of them actually tried to impersonate a british accent whilst he told us we had no chance of finding a place to camp.
Eventually we did find a place, it was grossly expensive and 25 miles back out of Washington. After some grumbling we decided we had no choice, and headed for it.
The next day, we headed back into Washington, feeling confident that we now knew our way around a little better than the day before, and we had cleverly bookmarked the location of our free parking from the day before.. yep.. we were feeling good. It didn’t last.
We got through the concrete Jungle once again and started driving through the suburbs, happily following Sat Nav lady (whom I had made up with), until we saw those dreaded police sirens, and saw a policeman pointing and waving wildly in the opposite direction to where Sat Nav lady was telling us to go.. we were forced to turn around, with no information as to why we had been made to do so.. we hit a cross roads, and took a left thinking it would bring us back around to… BAM, another policeman, “TURN AROUND SIR, GO THAT WAY”.. swinging the RV back around diagonally across the cross street not even sure which lights were red or which were green anymore, horns blaring, everyone looking over at the two fools who had tried to drive and RV into Washington DC. We pulled up further down the road and found another policeman, this time an actual civil human being, capable of 2 way communication, he told us that trucks, vans and RVs (although i think it’s the first time anyone had actually seen an RV in Washington) were not allowed to drive on certain roads going into the centre on weekdays, “for security”. This meant another hour detour around the city to get to our little free parking spot. Several more wrong turns and we eventually did find it again, with the relationship with the Sat Nav once again under considerable strain. It was at this point we found out that the parking was for Government vehicles only during the weekdays.. fan bloody tastic. Now we had no where to park, no idea where to go next, and half the roads which surrounded us had police which screamed at us if we tried to drive on them. I won’t keep going on, needless to say it was 3pm before we finally did find somewhere to park, and we were only allowed 2 hours, because apparently between the hours of 5pm and 6pm you will be towed for parking.. even more unquestionable logic for us to deal with… We decided to try and make the most of it, and ran to the Smithsonian Museum, which by sheer coincidence was only a couple of blocks from where we had parked.
Tam in the Smithsonian
Ben looking for the Bear
I’m pretty sure this is the main room from “A Night at the Museum”.
Washington DC was fantastic, a beautiful clean city, lots of amazing things to do and see. A place I would really love to spend a week getting lost. My only piece of advice. Leave the RV at home.