Traveler’s guide to Washington

Published 12:16 am Sunday, October 19, 2008

I offer the following suggestions to those who plan to visit our nation’s capital. Trust me. The suggestions are worthwhile and is the result spending the past week in Washington D.C.

First, realize you will not be driving to all the historic buildings and monuments. Parking (almost) does not exist for those of us who do not know Washington like the natives there do.

Second, understand that the Washington “Mall” is not a shopping complex filled with places to rest, buy soft drinks and fast food. The Mall is actually a massive 2.5-mile-plus lawn that runs from the Capitol building to Abraham Lincoln’s Memorial.

Prior to leaving on your trip you should spend time planning every hour of every day of your trip. Then realize your plans will change many times every day due to availability of tickets even when the tickets are free.

Above all, make absolutely sure you carry a comfortable pair of walking shoes. And, you should carry a box of Band-Aids just in case your shoes are not a comfortable as you think they are.

Once you begin your tour of the sites in Washington, realize you will have to allow yourself more time to go one-half mile than you would any where else in the world. If you don’t, you’ll likely miss your appointed time.

You need to go on the internet and study the public bus and metro (subway) schedules. Know that the bus lines serving the downtown area do not run after 9 p.m. You could find yourself walking long distances after hours.

The above may lead you to believe I do not believe a visit to Washington is a good idea. That’s not correct.

It is a great idea for you to go to Washington, see the memorials and government buildings that hopefully will inspire you as they did me this past week.

I just hope the suggestions above will make your visit more enjoyable.