DC, as in Washington

The most specific memory I have of Washington DC  is of freaking out the president’s security guards. Oh sure, we wandered around the Mall, the Smithsonians, the Lincoln Memorial, the White House (exterior) – and so on and so forth.

It looked exactly like all the movies suggested it might look before the aliens blew it up.

Everything looked exactly like all the movies suggest it should look before the aliens blow it up.

Then one evening, as we were exiting a museum, the presidential motorcade rolled by. There were several cars, all tinted windows and crowds clamouring to get a view, cameras held high. The only thing I could get a good look at was the group of gun-toting security personal standing back to back on the tray of a ute – so I took a good look. A good, looooong look. It seemed to freak them out.

They eyed me warily, trigger fingers pulled taught, until the whole shebang moved on down the street. Later I found out that ignoring the presidential vehicle in favour of carefully checking its security detail is one of the Ten Signs You Might Be A Terrorist. I have passed this tip on to A, who is heading out to Washington and New York next week, ostensibly for some work-related purpose, but I’m not sure how he’s planning to use the information.

If you know anything more useful, we’d both love to hear. I have to warn you he’s never been there before and is pretty happy with the idea of spending his two point five days on The Usual, especially museums and anything to do with Lincoln (who has long been A’s fashion idol).

A wears "Lincoln" suit, contemplates being able to grow facial hair.

A wears “Lincoln” suit, contemplates being able to grow facial hair.

I don’t say this to discourage you from naming Obscure Place To Be Seen In Random Suburb X – but this is the state of play.

If you don’t have a more useful tip, feel free to pray for my patience and sanity instead and/or enjoy my Beginner’s Guide To What I Hazily Remember About Washington DC.

Beginner’s Guide To What I Hazily Remember About Washington DC (for A)

Washington has its own cherry blossom festival, but once again it’s not til late March/early April.

It’s much easier to tour the White House virtually from Singapore than to get inside it at this notice as a foreign visitor (which is virtually impossible). Here’s everything you need to know about White House tours.

There’s a whole stack of things you can do for free, or nearly-free. When a friend and I toured as grungy backpackers, most of our budget went on food rather than sightseeing. Yay for Washington!

The Smithsonian Institute can easily soak up more than a few days of your time, with indoor and outdoor museums and even a zoo. There’s a mobile app to help you figure out what to do first (second, etc).

Arlington Cemetery is a sobering sight to see.

Washington DC is home to an intimidating number of monuments and memorials, of which the best known are discussed here.

WikiHow gives a useful step-by-step guide to the Washington metro, with links at the bottom to relevant websites. And you can use this article as a jumping off point to work out how to get to and from whichever airport it is you’re after (I’m sure he told me).

Aaaaaaand that’s where my usefulness on Washington DC runs out. So. Plenty of scope for additions and improvements, much like A’s clean-shaven young chin.