Instagram feed

15 June 2011

From DC to Philly (Through Crabby Maryland and Orwellian Delaware)

Day 21: Friday, 10 June 2011

"In Maryland we don't say cheese, we say crabs"

Aaron nudged me awake around 7am to say goodbye. It was around 10 that Ueli and I were up and ready to go. We left Annandale and drove into DC, heading straight for the monuments. I was lucky enough to find a parking lot just south of the Washington Monument. So Ueli and I walked all the way through the WWII Memorial to the Lincoln Memorial. There were throngs of tourists walking around the National Mall, and it was hot - on its way close to 100 degrees yet again. The reflecting pool was drained and turned into one big construction area. We also visited the Vietnam Memorial and walked back to the car; I took my shirt off so it wouldn't be covered in sweat (yuck).

It was the early afternoon as we drove out of DC into Maryland through moderately heavy traffic. There was a rest area/Maryland welcome center; I asked the woman for any "Welcome to Maryland" sign that we could photograph, and she immediately snapped back at me, angrily lecturing me that we were 35 miles from the border and why would there be a sign there. She was definitely more confrontational and curt than the people I had encountered in the South; yet she was able to be a little helpful and gave us directions to avoid paying tolls.

I drove us into Baltimore, putting some Good Charlotte on my ipod. We simply drove through without stopping, but I took side streets through several rough neighborhoods. Black people panhandling everywhere, abandoned buildings on either side… it seemed very gritty and simply unpleasant. After about 25 minutes, I got us back onto the freeway and soon exited to avoid the tolls on the bridges heading into Delaware. We drove north, then east along rural country roads, through forests and small towns with large houses. School buses were dropping off students and holding up traffic. I imagined how pleasant it must be to grow up in such an environment; it seemed so stereotypically small-town America, with children playing in the backyard swing sets and the parents preparing a weekend picnic. Then I thought, living so far away from the city - what if you want to see a concert? go to the beach? Find a place to repair your camera? Go to the consulate? Or just hang in a funky bookstore? I don't know what to do without a big city around me…

We entered Delaware suddenly. I had to slam on the brakes and pull off to the side so that we could take a picture. We then headed for the Christiana Mall, taking roads that wound through the town. I stopped by Dick's Sporting Goods to look for a new sleeping bag or travel backpack - no luck. Then to the mall (there was no exit from Dick's parking lot!), where Ueli shopped (enjoyably haha) for a t-shirt.

The weirdest thing happened to Ueli while I was in the bathroom: A police officer stopped him and asked him for his ID. Apparently he looks like he's under 18, and you're not allowed to be in the mall after 5pm if you're under 18. What. the. fuck! Man, I really don't understand the east coast. Ueli ended up getting 2 shirts from Target.

We then drove on into Philadelphia. There was some traffic on the bridge entering the city, likely due to a Phillies game. I drove into downtown Philly and was circling city hall when Alisa called and asked to be picked up. We met her at 30th St Station and headed to Ardmore, stopping by Whole Foods to look for their tapioca flouse (which they were out of!). We settled in to the apartment, where Laura was already preparing a gourmet dinner - ginger garlic chicken with whole green noodles and dumplings. Another wonderful LAC creation :) We stayed in the apartment; I enjoyed several glasses of pink lemonade with Bacardi and we played telephone dictionary, which was quite hilarious at times (and then a short couple rounds of Taboo). Laura insisted on giving up her bed, and I obliged. Ueli took the air mattress.

No comments:

Post a Comment