I flew in Friday evening, and the minute I stepped off the plane was slammed in the chest with the oppressive heat. Holy cow! We New Englanders are not built to deal with any temperature exceeding 85 degrees, and we start to get cranky far before that. Needless to say, the stifling humidity and 100+ temps were not to my liking. I threw myself onto the metro and reveled in the air conditioning before getting to Chinatown, where my friend, Nicole, met me. I had jokingly emailed her earlier to ensure she had AC in her apartment, which she assured me she did, but I guess fate thought it would be hilariously ironic to intervene, because a few minutes after we exchanged emails, the AC in her apartment shut down. Not news I was pleased to hear while sweating bullets. I'm still not sure how the AC could be working in the hallways but not in any of the apartments, but I'm no electrician. Anyway, I dropped my bags off, and we immediately turned around in search of an air conditioned restaurant for dinner. We walked back to the center of Chinatown where two of my college buddies were waiting, and together we decided on Matchbox for dinner. I probably would have been pleased with any place offering AC and a drink, but Matchbox was truly delicious. We ordered two pizzas, but it was really more like four since we mixed and matched flavors. We had one pie with meatballs and chicken, and another with meat galore and four cheese. You'd think half a pizza each would be too much food, but we polished those suckers off with no problem. Mmm good.
After dinner, we walked down to the Mall to listen to a little jazz music before deciding it felt less hot to keep moving. We moseyed among the Smithsonians for a bit, where I took these pictures. I also got some very exciting news, which will present itself in a blog post later this week. ;)
When we could bear it no longer, Nicole and I headed back to her apartment, where we rode the elevator up and down a little bit while we finished reading the AC update posted inside. Turns out a unique manufacturing part broke and couldn't be replaced until Tuesday. Not ok. We trudged inside and brainstormed ways to stay cool. We ended up dumbing the freezer's ice box into her bathtub and soaking our feet. Yes, we're classy broads. Still, it was quite effective. When the ice melted, we went up to the roof to dip our feet in the pool, but that wasn't nearly as successful. So back out we went in pursuit of ice cream (and more AC; you'll notice this is a popular theme). When we could put it off no longer, we returned to the apartment to go to bed, where we essentially just laid very still and hoped it didn't get any hotter.
Saturday dawned as hot as ever, and we headed to the Newseum. I'd never been but heard many wonderful things, and I can now confirm they're all true. Perhaps it's my PR mind and love of news and pop culture, but the Newseum is insanely awesome (and air conditioned). Lining the way to the entrance are cases with the day's front pages from newspapers from each state and several countries. I found New Hampshire's and caught up on what the news was back home (nothing too exciting, shocker). Inside, the museum houses exhibits featuring the Berlin Wall, Hurricane Katrina, 9/11, Pulitzer Prize winning photographs, the role of the media in FBI cases, free press around the world, and a whole interactive floor where you can stand in front of a camera and act as a newscaster. We spent almost five hours in the museum and still didn't see every last thing. Given that news changes so quickly too, you could probably visit the museum every day and never see the same thing. If you're ever in DC, I highly recommend making a stop here.
Extreme bravery - or more likely momentary insanity - then struck us, and we decided to walk a few blocks down from the Newseum to see the Capitol up close. I suppose the views were worth it, but the walk was brutal. I just hoped that with all the sweating I was doing, hopefully I'd at least get some sun. I did, but barely.
We stopped for some AC on our way back to the apartment, and then passed out on the tile floor with homemade ice packs for an hour before meeting up once again with my college pals for dinner. We dined at Capitol City Brewing Company, which was delicious if not simple American. With our food comas and probable heat stroke setting in, we returned to the apartment for chick flicks and another ice bath. We also discovered that the heat index for the day had been 121 degrees. How we survived, I do not know.
On Sunday, we headed to the Eastern Market area to visit my cousin and her 3.5 lbs Chorkie (that's a Chihuahua and a Yorkie) named Paco, or Paquito since he's so tiny. She also had AC, so that's a plus. Paco performed tricks and gave us many kisses for about an hour and then we were off again. But not before capturing the standard "cousins" photo of course. (The little black thing between us is Paco.)
Nicole and I grabbed some Five Guys for lunch, and then I was off to the airport once again. In all my recent travels, I've never experienced the body scanner or even needed a pat-down; I was beginning to think the whole thing had been way overblown. Well DC set that record straight. Not only did I have to go through a scanner, I then had to be patted down. Why we even bother with the scanners if there's going to be a pat-down anyway, I know not, but the TSA didn't ask me when setting procedure. Anywho, I made it through security and onto the plane... where we sat on the tarmac for an hour and a half waiting for New York's Laguardia to lift a ground hold. As if Bostonians needed another reason to hate New York, oy. Also not sure how or why NYC weather would affect a DC to Boston flight, but again, nobody asked me. We eventually made it into the air and back home. All in all, a pretty successful trip. I wish it hadn't been so hot so we could have walked around more; half the fun of DC is taking in the monuments and gorgeous scenery, but I guess I'll just have to go back now. Shucks ;)
Tomorrow is another big day in Boston. But more about that later this week (cliffhanger!) :-)