SHFW, Washington D.C.
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How to survive your first trip to DC

Mom and Dad’s first Metro ride. Their expressions say it all.

If you’re visiting DC for the first time, there are somethings you need to keep in mind. First, if you’re claustrophobic and don’t like crowds, don’t take the train. Second, check for scheduled maintenance on the Metro line on the weekend. It could keep you standing on a crowded train for an hour if you’re not careful. (There is a wonderful Android app for that.) Third, exercise before you come here. If you’re not used to walking, you won’t survive here more than a few hours.

Last weekend, my parents, brother and cousin made their first trip out to DC and learned these lessons the hard way. I think they’re all still recovering from the experience.

The Washington Monument at sunset.

My dad is the claustrophobic one. He really hates crowds, doesn’t like to be in large groups of people and gets kind of freaked out in small spaces. I was kind of impressed on how he dealt with the train. I was actually the one who got more irritated by the delays we experienced trying to get out to Pentagon City Mall.

I think we all were worn out by the end of Saturday. So much that we didn’t even walk the length of the reflecting pool to get to the Lincoln Memorial. We did however, get some half-way decent shots of it from the World War II memorial. And some pretty decent shots of the WWII Memorial itself.

Obligatory family photo at Mt. Vernon.

We spent Sunday in Virginia. I didn’t realize how much I missed real trees, open spaces and large areas of grass until we got to Mt. Vernon. It’s already a beautiful place, but that beauty was magnified by the fact that I’d spent the entire previous two weeks in a concrete jungle.

This was as close as we got to Lincoln.
Pretty World War II Memorial. This is why you must see the monuments at night.
Samantha and I at the National Mall.
My “little” brother.
With Dad
With Mom. I still haven’t figured out why the color is so different in this picture.
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I’m something you don’t see every day: A person under 80 who walks around with oxygen everywhere she goes. I have Sjogren's Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder which, with the help of my stubborn refusal to go to the doctor, caused some pretty deep damage to my lungs. My lack of breath slowed me down for a while, but I'm back to adventuring - just with Gus, my little oxygen tank, in tow. This year's goal is to complete the 52 Hike Challenge and get myself into a healthier state of being. Join me on my quest to become oxygen free!

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