Don't take short cuts through garages!

Trip Start Mar 17, 2012
Trip End Jun 26, 2012

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Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Saturday, April 7, 2012

We crossed into DC (that's Washington, DC) around mid-afternoon. We would be 2 nights here so made ourselves comfortable in our hotel room and contacted Michele & Pete who just happened to be staying in DC for the weekend as well. We arranged to pick them up from their hotel opposite the White House at 6.00 pm which gave us an hour and a half or so to check out some sights. Navigation was to be really easy. All I had to do was to exit the hotel and turn left and drive straight ahead until the White House blocked my path. Our hotel was located on New York Avenue and it ended at the White House. The fact that we had about 4 miles to drive shouldn't have been an issue.

Once exiting the hotel, to turn left was not possible so I continued across the intersection and followed a small car with 4 black people in it, which turned left just after the intersection into a garage then exited right, onto the road where the left turn at the intersection was barred. After following for about a mile (for no reason other than they were ahead and travelling in the same direction) we came to a halt at a set of traffic lights. At that moment a police car came wailing up the wrong side of the road and blocked the intersection at which we were stopped. Two police jumped out of the car and ran in our direction with guns drawn and yelling "put your hands where I can see them!" After the initial shock and the brain computing what was happening I turned to Gail and commanded "give me the camera, quickly!". At this point Gail had slid under the dash mumbling something about not wanting to be part of a gun battle. I grabbed the camera amid her protests something about the police might think I was aiming a gun (does a Sony camera look like a gun??). I photographed the tail end of the action before reversing a fraction in order to drive around the 'now under control situation' by the 2 police. 
<Note to self: Don't take a short cut through the garage just in case that was the problem>
Now we will just continue straight on to complete our original plan. 
Well, for those that have had the pleasure of driving in Canberra, the sense of direction goes out the window once a wrong turn has been taken. 

So it was for DC. A long road does not go in a straight line, and any rotary (roundabout), square (that you have to go around), or monument that sits in the middle of the road, all contribute to confound even the most diligent navigator (especially when the GPS was given a rest because we only had one road to drive on!)

We arrive to Michele & Pete's hotel about 10 minutes late after seeing most of Washington but none of the tourist sights we had set out to see. No problem, we still had one more full day and should be enough!! At least we had something to talk about at dinner.

We all enjoyed a wonderful meal at the original Clyde's of Georgetown. Opened in 1963 in Washington's most fashionable neighbourhood, Clyde's now boasts 13 establishments across greater Washington.
After a most enjoyable night we bid Michele & Pete farewell. Although we would later travel through their home state North Carolina, we would not be going near where they reside.

The next morning, we set out early to snare a good car park (parking is free on Sundays) whilst most were still in church. I guess being such a multi-cultural and diverse society, there were less in church than I had thought, however we were lucky and got one within walking distance of the White House. After parking the car we set out for a full day of touring.

The day consisted of about 6 miles of walking, sightseeing, picture snapping, museum attending (they are all free in DC), driving to 'too far to walk' attractions/sights and just a bit of eating at a great Mexican establishment.

Oh! And I forgot to mention - the lady you can see walking with her entourage is Michelle Obama and Barak bringing up the rear.

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Katherine on

Hi guys where are the police /bandit photos.
Seriously don't know how you fit everything in , I have trouble keeping up this end ,
Cheers , enjoy

Leonie on

I am trying to make time to read each blog as it comes in but am finding it difficult to do so. Cant believe you fit so much into a day & then have time to write about it. Still loving your journey & all the little incidents along the way. Stay safe & enjoy ! xx

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