That’s the question we’ve been asking ourselves for the last three days, as that’s about how long I’ve been coughing almost non-stop, and we’re not just talking about a quiet back-row semi-silent *cough*, no, we’re talking cough-up-a-lung-wet-your-pants-pass-out-from-lack-of-oxygen coughing. That head cold I picked up in a lovely souvenir shop in L.A. has become the most unhelpful tour guide ever known to mankind, or Pik-kind for that matter. What started as the odd snuffle and sneeze outside of New Orleans has in fact turned into a full blown factory of fun as we approached Washington D.C. yesterday morning.
It was in this snot induced haze that we boarded a cab and with the aid of waving hands and gesticulating fingers that we gave the driver the address of our destination, now between the Australian accent, the cold-garbled voices and the sore throats we’re both sporting, this address was deciphered and roughly translated into something that vaguely resembled our intentions. So on through the streets of D.C. we began to hurtle. No great thrills you’d think, well, you’d be wrong. D.C. is currently undergoing some major roadworks and refurb near Union Station, so as the cab we were strapped into darted left and right, stopping suddenly and racing off even more atrociously was quite alarming, now add to that equasion the fact that no sooner had we crossed the first main intersection than our grateful driver picks up his iphone and starts calling someone. So now in your mind picture this, it’s the 1980s, sepia toned film flickering as two innocent, ill and somewhat befuddled individuals huddle in the backseat of said taxi as it races through unknown streets to a destination that the occupants hope is in the same direction, the driver speaking in what could be either Russian or Arabic mentioning words like Embassy, and cars, and green card together with a vaguely funny comment of ‘wha? you think I dumb? I speak English you know!’ and you’ll start to see how we might have been caught between deeply amused and pants-wettingly terrified!
A harrowing 10mins later and we looked up from the footwells of the taxi just long enough to see the actual address we wanted go whizzing past the window, the driver still ranting and raving on the phone to whoever it was who obviously didn’t speak English and quite possibly thought he was dumb. After several taps on the shoulder of increasing force eventually he stops and says ‘Wha you want now?’ to which we responded ‘stop the car! We’re getting out!’. And so we did. Fortunately we thought not to pay him until we’d grabbed our bags from the trunk of his car before watching him speed off into the distance still waving his arms furiously and screaming into the phone again.
Welcome to the nation’s capitol!
Stumbling along the footpath we finally found the address we’d wanted, climbed the stairs and approached the doors to what we can only describe as our own personal oasis. A three storey, brick, restored Victorian home, a B&B that would be our sanctuary for the coming days and nights. It’s welcoming doors opened without hinderance (once we figured out how the locks worked that is) and into its cooling and calming parlour. The host taking one look at us, assessing our red and weary faces and directed us straight to our room – at the very top of the building. The climb up the stairs was worth it though, our comforting room over looks a serene garden to the rear, is close to the washroom and is lovely and quiet.
I’d like to say we freshened up and then hit the streets, but truth be told, we collapsed. Somewhere in the vacinity of 3pm we awoke and navigated our way to a nearby street and paid a visit to Oohhs & Aahhs, which you may remember we mentioned a few posts back, well, we found them, and it was worth the effort. The food is to die for! The fried wings are crispy and succulent, the potato salad smooth and creamy (almost as good as my Mum’s! Sorry guys!) and the mac ‘n cheese the best we’ve had so far. But the bit I loved best was the homemade lemonade, on a sore throat that stuff is the best! We enjoyed a good chat, or rather good squeak, with the boss, and promised him we’d vote for them on Facebook – so we’d like to ask you all to do the same please, these guys and gals really do do a great meal and are so welcoming! Full and happy we ambled back to our bed for the night, and tried not to wake the rest of the house with our constant coughing, sneezing and muttering about being so sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Morning came all too soon and with it the feeling that the cold may be lifting, hooray! A light breakfast later and we were on our way back to the heart of the city, we had an appointment with a duck! A big duck. A 70yr old metal duck! Boarding the M.V. Lame Duck, an veteran amphibious vehicle from WWII and a novel way of taking a tour of the capitol. Driving past many of the standard sights including; Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, WWII, WWI and a host of other memorials, key buildings such as the FBI headquarters (with some rather witty commentary too) and then onto the highlight of the tour, crossing over and then driving up the Potomac River. Yes, that’s right folks, first we crossed over the river via a bridge, then we sailed on under it and up three miles before setting foot on dry land again. All the time the captain giving an informative and amusing discourse on political and social history of the area. If you’re ever in D.C. we’d highly recommend taking this tour. It returns via the Smithsonian and eventually past that big white building that has two fronts but no back, the tour finishing back at Union Station where it started. Thoroughly elated, and exhausted we returned ‘home’ again for the evening, debating where to go for dinner.
Tomorrow, fingers crossed, will be day of the nerd! We’ll be exploring all that the we can in one day at the Smithsonian. One day is not nearly enough time to do any of it justice, but it’s all time permits. Well, time and this blasted cold that persists in annoying us. If anyone has any suggestions on how to offload an unwanted hanger-oner, please, email us! As the saying goes, two’s company, three’s a crowd!