April 18, 2017
Leaving Shanendoah, it is only a few hours to Washington, D.C. We quickly closed the distance and dropped the RV off at Cherry Hill Park (the closest RV park to Washington D.C., located in College Park, MD). We took the truck into D.C. so we could catch a bus tour to catch some landmarks and do some recon of the National Mall so we would know where to go for our museum visits tomorrow. Suffice to say, driving a full-size truck (an F-250) in the city is greatly frowned upon. We tried to enter two parking garages, but both built for small vehicles only. So we spent almost an hour looking for a parking space on the street (during rush hour, during the week no less). We finally found one on L’enfant Plaza, so we parked and jumped on the double decker bus to tour the city.
The bus tour was the last bus to leave the Post Office Headquarters for the day (at 5PM), which took us around the National Mall area. We ventured past the Capitol, the museums of the Smithsonian, government offices, up to Chinatown, then down to war memorials and the White House. All in all, the tour was a quick way to cover a lot of ground. We were saddled with a self-deprecating tour guide that seemed to use his spotlight to get through some deep-seated psychological issues (hard to tell if he was kidding or not). His knowledge of the city was very good, and we learned about statues and other tidbits that we wouldn’t have noticed without his monologue. After we got off, we went to the municipal wharf (we noticed it on the tour), which had several seafood markets and a few restaurants. The wharf was very dirty (it’s a public market and located next to an active construction site, which the pigeons and gulls use as restaurant and bathroom), but we bought some hushpuppies and ceviches (both really good and pretty fresh, if a bit expensive). We didn’t want a lot of fried food, so we got back to the truck and returned to Cherry Park. Tomorrow, we’ll get a Lyft and avoid dealing with finding a spot for our truck.
What we wish we could do: Some extra time and energy to explore some of the city (most of the attractions were closing before we even started the tour).
What we will do tomorrow: Check out the National Museum of Natural History (and as many other museums we can squeeze in).