Today was home day. Sad but true. Luckily our flight wasn’t until later in the day so we were able to enjoy a few more hours of DC before venturing off home. After all of our walking and museum visitations we thought we’d go a different direction with our last day: The Big Bus Company Sightseeing Bus.
We started with the Yellow Loop. This ride took us up through Georgetown. We’re glad we spent some time on the streets of this hipster neighborhood but the bus provided us with a larger look at what Georgetown has to offer. Next time we’d love to spend some time exploring & patronizing the cute boutique shops that litter the streets and try some more funky restaurants.
Yellow also worked as our link to the Green Loop. Green weaves the streets of north-west tourist DC. Here we were afforded views of the National Cathedral, which is quite grand and Notre-Dame-esque…although it is visibly newer. Apparently there are carvings of Darth Vader in the stone. The Neo-Gothic architecture isn’t fooling anyone into thinking it’s truly gothic. It’s just to squeaky clean & not at all crumbly. We were also driven down Embassy Row. This is the strip where most nations keep their American-based embassy. But not Canada. We still had yet to pass by our ‘true north strong & free’ nations representation in our southern neighbor’s country. Being geography nerds we found trying to name the flags hanging in front of each door a most-excellent game. It would have helped if it had been windy…a limp flag is much harder to recognize than one waving in the breeze. A little air movement would also have helped with the stifling heat. So hot!
The Blue Loop was the one Justine was most psyched for, not because it necessarily had the best sites but because of where they were. Virginia! Justine can cross another state off her list! We passed the Pentagon, which is one of the world’s largest office buildings square footage wise (encompassing over 6 million square feet!). It’s also famously the home of the US Department of Defense & Department of War. One side holds a simple yet poignant memorial to the people killed in the September 11th attack. Lighted benches are engraved with the names of those who lost their lives. Their orientations reflect where they were when they died: If they were in the Pentagon their names will be correct when looking at the building. If they were on the plane their names will read right when looking away from the building into the open sky. Also in Virginia is Arlington National Cemetery, the final resting place of Presidents Taft & JFK. Kris spent some time here on her previous visit and Justine thinks she’d like to return to walk amongst the graves.
We concluded with the Red Loop. By this time we felt as if we were wax figures melting into pools on the floor of the double-decker bus, but we were determined to do the highlights blitz this last tour offered. We had a recap of the monuments around the Tidal Basin and Mall, although the views are not good from the road so definitely actually visit them if you’re in DC! And finally as we approached the last stop before Union Station (where we’d disembark) we found the Canadian Embassy. It is right in the thick of things on Constitution Ave, giving us the impression that the US thinks highly of its northern friends. The building is quite nice with an abundance of Canadian flags waving. Oh Canada, our home & native land!
The sightseeing bus is an effective and fun way to see the city, but is hardly the fastest way to get anywhere. The last leg of the tour took forever…however we still arrived back at the train station with plenty of time for a late crepe lunch. When we were fed & watered we grabbed our bags and changed into comfy flying clothes. The airport was an easy Metro ride away. And Canada, aka Toronto, was only a short plane ride away. Flight delays pushed that short ride back a bit but our lengthy layover in TO allowed for that.
In Toronto it was supper time (technically we landed after conventional dinner time but it was our first chance to eat an evening meal). After customs and baggage check and security we found a restaurant in the terminal. Justine ordered a burger and fries, while Kris feasted on bacon and eggs (because she can never pass up all-day breakfast). We finished in perfect time to catch our next plane. This flight had sporadic stretches of pretty bad turbulence but we got home fine. It was super late so all we wanted was to get home to bed! Recaps of the trip still to come!
WHAT WE LEARNED TODAY:
– Some people really struggle…like really hard.
– Kris is a vampire that must avoid sunlight to survive.
– Hipster Amish is a thing….right??
Love, Luck & Loops,
Justine & Kris