It was love at first sight on a beautiful winter day in 1984. There was a fresh coat of snow on the ground and the tree branches, the air was still and crisp and of course the traffic was horrible. We were just passing through but stopped to walk a little by the river. I don’t remember a lot of that day, but I do have many memories of other visits and I lived about 20 minutes away in Maryland for about a year and a half back in 2001-2002. It was a very busy but very fun 18 months. Nearly all the museums, the zoo, and many of the official tours are free or very reasonably priced so it was a great place to do things with the family. While we lived there we had one terrific 4th of July on The Mall and watched the fireworks while standing just below the Washington Monument and looking across the reflecting pool toward the Lincoln Memorial.
It was awesome and I was so glad to be able to share that with my kids. Now, I travel to Washington DC regularly for business and rarely miss a chance to walk or better yet run on The Mall. During one run last spring there were dozens of softball games filling every open space. I would love the scenery, monuments, museums, and the history of the place even if there was no one else there, but my favorite part of the “place” is the “people”. It is always so busy, so filled with activity, and everyone seems as happy as I am to be there.
I’ve been just across the river in Virginia on two separate short trips during the last two weeks. However, due to injuries and bad weather I did not get to The Mall. Big disappointment! This week at least my room looked out across the river and gave me a great view of what I was missing. I can’t wait for the next opportunity to really enjoy one of my favorite places.