When we were planning our big move last winter, one of the reasons why Baltimore scored much higher than it would have (and that was just about damned near perfect) is because its close to my most favorite place in the whole wide world, Washington DC. Cookie lived there 30 years ago and I came out of the closet there in January 1983, so this was like coming back home. There was also an added bonus that my eldest niece, her family and their children were there as well.
But, things being what they have been, a caprice to DC was not in the making, as getting accustomed to Baltimore was my number one job. And while I don't know where everything thing is here, I'm made enough inroads that if stuck on a freeway, I can hop off and take back roads to get where I need to go without driving through a neighborhood that is a poster child for The Wire.
With that under my belt, today I made my first solo trip into Washington DC since the big move. Like I said, its been 30 years since I lived there, and things change. And my direction of approach to the city is drastically different then its been since those school days. So my day was to stop by and see Niecy and the kids, and then make my way to some familiar turf.
In the car with me was was a Garmin GPS navigation unit that we have named "Garmin Miranda"
My thing with nav units is that they are handy if you don't know where you are going, and they came be aggravating as Hell IF you do know where you are going.
Niecy lives in Alexandria, and from Baltimore, you just can't take a freeway and get there unless you want to go 20 miles out of the way. So Garmin Miranda did a good job at walking me through the steps of getting off at East Capital Street NE, hoping on South Carolina NE, and then South Carolina Street SE, onto Virginia Avenue SE and then across the river.
After the visit, I told it that I wanted to go to the Christ Child Opportunity Shop in Georgetown, which is one of my old haunts because everything there is fabulous, and I know Georgetown. So I went there and shopped, and bought a wonderful Eikholt paperweight signed and dated 1983.
Traffic in DC get squirly around 3PM on a week day, and I left CCO at 2:45PM. I thought about just shooting up Wisconsin Avenue to the beltway, but I made the mistake of asking Garmin Mirada to get me home. And if you have ever driven in DC, it is second to driving in Boston (proper) for hair raising idiocy.
She not only chartered our course, but she took me on a wild goose chase as well as traveled through the heart of the city and into neighborhoods that I don't even recall from my college days.
The route she took me to get to the Beltway on is in blue, the route I would have taken is in red:
Now, from Georgetown, I would have hiked up Wisconsin Avenue, cut across to the Connecticut Avenue and then used that to get to the beltway. Minimum number of turns.
But Ms. Garmin Miranda took me through Georgetown, Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan, Mount Pleasant, Columbia Heights, Petworth, Fort Totten, Manor Park, Lamond Park, and at least seven other communities before she availed the beltway. This whole escapade over Gods creation was an HOUR of travel. An HOUR.
Suffice it to say, we've had a day. It's good to be home. But tomorrow is another adventure.