D. C. On a Dime

Nomadic life is not the same as being a tourist on vacation. Nomadic life contains all the same mundane qualities of stationary life, just in motion. We have to do laundry, grocery shop, make meals, clean our bus, do school work, book musical gigs, find communities and host families to neighbor alongside, negotiate the road ways in a 40 ft rig, take care of maintenance on our bus and van and sleep, yes, sleep is good. And then, depending on our host and how we are all feeling, we might venture out to see the main attractions but usually our preference is to actively engage with the local culture through the eyes of our host. Once in a while, however, we get to go explore like a tourist. The difficulty for us, is the most of those moments, we’re broke. Ha! So, it was with our visit to DC.

We did find, though, that there were plenty of things to do on a dime. In fact, there were a number of free things DC had to offer. We visited the White House, the Capitol building, most of the Memorials and Monuments, the Smithsonian museums, including the Natural History, Air & Space, US History, the Zoo and Botanical gardens. We had a few spare dollars for parking and for meals. Our first dinner was at an authentic Ethiopian restaurant called Dukem Restaurant and our second meal was at District Taco.

 

And, then as a special treat, Craig took our son, Banjo, to his first major league baseball game. They saw the Washington Nationals vs. Craig’s favorite Chicago Cubs. Sadly the Cubs lost, but they had a great time and Banjo fell in love with the game. Being his first experience in the big leagues, he had a funny little moment while walking in to the stadium, pointing out the Nationals logo on everyone shirts with confusion and asking Craig if there was a Walgreens convention going on at the game that night. Craig laughed and quickly explained that it was the team logo. Banjo, was embarrassed but still found it silly that they would have such similar logos.

 

All up, our favorite museum was the Air & Space and we loved the Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Our favorite monument was good ol’ Abe as it was exhilarating to sit on the steps, people watch, and look across the reflecting pool at the Washington Monument. And for our meals, Dukem was probably a bit out of our price range but we ended up sharing a platter for two and one extra main between the five of us, and it was plenty. The food was amazing! District Taco was fast, delicious and we were able to fill our bellies for about $8 a person.

Our time was well spent and we learned a ton but next time around, we’d hope to connect with a host family or community and get the other side of life in Washington DC.

Advertisements

When in Roswell

20140520-144206.jpgWe stopped for a night in Roswell, NM to see what all of the alien hoop-la was about. We visited the International UFO Museum and Research Center, which is a museum that provides information about the 1947 Roswell Incident, as well as other phenomenon’s relating to UFO’s.  Other than a few faux reenactment exhibits, the museum was mostly papers and photos on story board. Sort of reminded us of a middle school science fair from the 1970’s.

My favorite exhibit was reproduced from TOP SECRET/MAJIC by permission of Mr. Stanton Friedman, titled “Why cover-up the Mountain of UFO data?” The answers varied from rule number one for security, ‘that you can’t tell your friends anything without also telling your enemies. Opening files would give competitors access to the new technology.’ To theories that suggest that the acceptance of aliens would ultimately push for a new view of ourselves. Instead of thinking… American, Canadian, Chinese, French etc… we would start to think of ourselves as earthlings and no government wants it citizens to owe their allegiance to the planet instead of a nation.’ Fascinating to think about but a little steep at $5 a person. However, when in Roswell…

Bottomless Lake State Park SunsetAfter an hour in the museum, we were looking for more to do. It was about 98 degrees so finding water was pretty high on the list. We looked up watering holes and found the Bottomless Lakes State Park just 10 miles down the road. The unique lakes at this park are sinkholes, ranging from 17 to 90 feet deep. The water was salty and reminiscent of the Great Salt Lake in Utah. There were fun hiking trails everywhere and the sunset was spectacular off the bathhouse.

We’ll remember this stop for next time around, as the rate for full hook ups was only $18 a night as opposed to our $50 a night at the local RV park.  

Bottomless Lake State Park

100 Acre Woods

One Memorial day we spent a lovely afternoon with the Roberson family, exploring the 100 Acre woods. A fantastic place to picnic and hike, the 100 Acre Woods is free to visitors. It is part of the Indianapolis Museum of Art and is one of the largest museum art parks in the country. 100 Acres is open daily from dawn until dusk.  For more information visit www.imamuseum.org