2009-04-22

A Soggy Nation

I'm in DC again for the 5th or 6th time. This trip, I was optimistic about being able to catch a glimpse of the cherry blossoms around the mall, which is probably the only touristy thing that I've wanted to do but been unable to enjoy in my previous trips here. It's a little harder than it sounds because there is a two week window of fragrant white, pink, and purple blossoms framing white marble monuments, and the exact time changes every year.

This year I'm about a week too late. Though some trees are still blooming, and they are magnificent, this week so far has been much more soggy than blossomy. Being from the desert, I'm not sure we appreciate real rain like they have out here. It's like God throwing little watery javelins at you. Fortunately I was ensconced within my POS rental PT Cruiser, which, despite many flaws, did prove capable of keeping out the rain.

Driving around the soggy capitol, I made a few observations:

  • It seems like everyone runs here. At every intersection, along with a bunch of people in suits, is at least one or two people jogging in place like they're auditioning for Jazzercise.
  • It also seems like everyone has a dog, too, and some people try to run with them. This includes this very small Asian gentleman and his 3 month old black lab pup. At first, all I saw was a man's head jerking violently every few steps behind the row of parked cars. Then I saw the dog on the leash. Good luck dude, that dog is going to weigh more than you in about 3 months and then he'll be walking you.
  • Few things are more miserable looking than a group of wet tourists. Unlike me, they paid their own money to traipse around the national mall in the rain. They are also probably more than a little miffed by having to wear a 2 dollar gift-shop poncho. Can we say "not flattering?" At least it keeps them fresh, like meat under cellophane.