Sunday, September 11, 2016

A Visit to Washington, D.C.: Preview

On the White House Lawn for Queen Elizabeth's visit. 2007.

The spring/summer of 2016 has been the season for hip-hoppity travel before going to my next year-long sojourn in a new home.

Dentist's office. Washington, D.C. 2007

At this point in my 2016 story, then, I've left Colorado, spent a bit of time in Missouri, and am now off to Washington, D.C.

In Antigua, I stayed at an airbnb. In Colorado, I nested with my sister, Murphy. In both these places, I had my own bedroom and own bath. Shared a kitchen and common living area.

While in DC, a very expensive place to live, I was right cozy with my friend, "Suzanne," who lived in a studio-plus apartment. I say "plus" because it has a generous balcony and a large closet/storage area. Before I forget, she may also have one of the best showers I've ever enjoyed. Not because of its design or size, but because of the perfection of its water pressure and the massage-like, needle-y rays of water from the shower head.

Off of U Street. Washington, D.C. 2007

Staying a week with Suzanne in D.C. (more technically, Bethesda, Maryland) and then two weeks with friend, "Rachel," in Toronto's city center, was an illuminating experience in living with another person in compact quarters, as a guest and not a resident.

For one, it speaks volumes that my hostesses welcomed me into their petite homes for a week and two weeks, respectively. This was generosity extraordinaire on their parts. Sharing a bathroom, kitchen, air and floor space for a sustained period when normally they've got such precious real estate all to themselves - I don't take this for granted.

For me, it was an excellent practice in the art of being a good guest (hopefully), by respecting the hostesses' preferences for where to place things, cleaning up, etc. There are also the questions of lights-out times and getting-up times.

Murky Coffee. Washington, D.C. 2007

And keys. In apartment buildings, the sharing of one's keys with a guest demonstrates a great deal of trust in the recipient's reliability. Replacement keys can be mighty expensive. And even if they're replaced, it is disconcerting to think of a little piece of your household floating about lost in the unknown.

... But getting back to D.C. in particular. I've been to the city a number of times in the past, thus have visited the usual tourist spots. My agenda for this trip was simply to flow with Suzanne's river, without any destination expectations.

The week I visited coincided with the DC Jazz Festival - cool! Suzanne and I checked that out. More on this later.

We visited the United States Botanical Garden. More later.

Fessenden blooms. Washington, D.C. 2007

Suzanne and I tried out Uber for the first time, and then a second and third time. More on this later.

And since it seemed the summer was shaping up to be a jazz-themed season, we also checked out an Ethiopian-American jazz club. More later.

The photos in this article are from prior trips to D.C.

Metro art. Washington, D.C. 2007

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