So I'm sitting here in the lobby of a Raddison Hotel in Crystal City, waiting for Nicole and Mal to pick up our rental car. (This hotel has TRULY free wireless! I didn't need an access code or anything! We're not staying here, but I am fully connected to the internet... sweet!) Anyway, my camera ran out of battery yesterday in front of the White House, and then I forgot to charge it back up last night. I've been getting a lot of grief for that grave error, even though I'm the only one of the three of us who even remembered to bring a camera in the first place. *sigh*
Anyway, so Mallory and I got into the hotel around 5 on Wednesday evening. We had been hoping to do a little sight-seeing that day, but we were ultimately too pooped to do so. We DID manage to get into the pool for a swim, which was a pretty decent pool as far as hotel pools go. It wasn't rectangular, per se... it was kind of trapezoidal, but at least it wasn't the dreaded-but-popular kidney shape. And the height of the trapezoid was maybe 20 yards, so we could sort of swim laps (although, the lack of lines on the bottom of the pool and any defined crease between the bottom and the wall made it really difficult to tell where the walls were). Anyway, we had been swimming for about 20 minutes when some children came out to the pool area. We didn't think it very likely that they would actually get in and swim, given how cold the water was... how very wrong we were. Not only did they get in to swim/jump/splash, but they were quickly joined by about 30 of their closest friends. Also, I think all of these 10-12 year-olds should immediately get their vision checked, because none of them seemed to notice that we were in the pool trying to swim. I ran into the same kids over and over and over, and they were surprised every time! And we narrowly missed death by littletykejumpedonmyneckitis. I don't know if the adults with them were parents or some sort of program coordinators, but they did a remarkably poor job of supervising the children... we didn't even get yelled at for running over them as our frustration mounted. And the guy who we assumed to be the lifeguard just stood there while we got mauled. Needless to say, our workout didn't last very long.
Nicole arrived at around 8:15 yesterday morning, due to her accidental booking of a flight that was 12 hours later than she had intended. We attempted to swim in the morning, even though the pool didn't officially open until 10 AM, but we got kicked out, so we just showered and got ready to go out on our day of sight-seeing. We started at the National Zoo (free!) and checked out all the lions and tigers and bears (oh my!). Actually, we didn't see any bears... I think there were sloth bears? (Not really sure if those are sloths or bears.) We didn't get to that part of the park, but we did spend a good 3 or 4 hours wandering around, and I've got a wonderful purse tan-line (or burn-line) to show for it.
After that, it was lunch at Starbucks, and then off to the International Spy Museum. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take pictures in that museum, but if you're ever in D.C., I would highly recommend it! It started out with a room where you picked out a cover story, which you had to remember during your trip through the museum (we were tested on it later). The cover story and the "de-briefing room" gave us the false impression that the museum was going to be much more mission-styled than it ended up being, but it was still pretty awesome anyway. (You could pay $14 extra for a mission thing, but as Nicole and I are just poor college students, and Mallory is just... poor, we didn't want to shell out.) Mallory's favorite part about the museum was finding out that all the spy stuff she thought was only found in the movies was actually the real deal.
Finally, we headed out to the National Mall to look around... pictures at the Washington Monument and WWII Memorial, hiked down the reflecting pool to the Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Memorial, and Vietnam War Memorial. Weirdly, Nicole and I both remembered the Iwo Jima Memorial to be near the Vietnam one, but we couldn't find it. Anyway, we then headed down to see the White House, which we sat in front of for about 15 minutes to rest our poor tired feet, and finally set off for the hotel (way too late to make the 9 pm closing time of the pool... *sigh*)
All right, Nicole just called me and said we have the car, so I've got to head out. I think we're off to the Holocaust Museum today before heading down to the location of the actual race. Over and out.