Roaming around campus on Wednesday morning felt like I was wandering through a ghost town. The campus was supposed to be closed at 2 p.m., and everyone I knew had already left. I was one of the two-three people on campus when I went to pick up a package from the post office and buy some snacks at the market in the Global Village Plaza.
My flight was scheduled to depart at 4:45 p.m. Since Thanksgiving represents the most travelled time of the year in the United States, it made sense to purchase a cheaper ticket for DC, but which made a stop at Boston first. My route was Rochester-Boston-DC. As is typical for such popular holidays, my flight to Boston was delayed, and then my flight from Boston to DC was delayed, as well! As a result, I arrived in DC at around 10 p.m.; I had spent a total of 7 hours in airports and on airplanes, when I could have easily spent only 3 at maximum if I had had a direct flight, and not a connecting one. But, it was perfectly fine. I had arrived at one of my favorite places in the US and I was welcomed by my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew, all of whom live in DC and all of whom I had missed so much.
We spent the last Thursday of the month at a family-and-friends gathering, with a typical Thanksgiving dinner: turkey (which I didn’t eat because I don’t consume meat), gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, squash salad, corn, drinks, and so forth. When there are four couples, each of them with 2-3 kids, you can’t expect for the dinner to be a quiet one. Instead, the kids were laughing and crying over toys and the grown-ups were discussing and laughing over drinks.
The next day I went to Georgetown, a DC district located along the Potomac River. Georgetown is my favorite area in DC: it is full of beautiful, colorful, bricked houses; has a magnificent view from the waterfront; is home to the famous Georgetown University and the Exorcist steps that were featured in the film The Exorcist; and, it is a place that makes you feel like you’re walking down some alleys in historical European cities.
Later in the day, my sister and I went to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets™ in Concert at the Kennedy Center. The National Symphony Orchestra performed the entire film score, while the movie was playing on a large screen just above the performers. The movie is magical itself and it has never ceased to amaze me, but in combination with live performers of its score, the entire experience was beyond magical – it was something I can’t even describe through words. Our seats were in a perfect location and we easily submerged ourselves in the film with the amazing performance of the orchestra. Every once in a while, I would be reminded that the music was not coming from the film and then I’d focus on the orchestra before the movie took my attention (again!) shortly after.
On Saturday, which was my last day in DC, we went to the Eastern Market. As with the Rochester Public Market, I fell in love with this one, too! The market was huge and it had everything from handmade jewelry to homemade, organic olive oil. We sat for drinks at an Italian café, which also sold Italian products, mainly wine and pasta, most of which are also sold in Kosovo. After we visited all the stands, we went to the National Mall where the famous Washington Monument and Capitol Hill are situated. Almost all the national and Smithsonian museums are located in the same area, so this time we visited the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art. This wing is primarily home to modern art movements and minimalism. A lighted, underground tunnel takes you to the West Wing of the gallery, where you will be able to see all the famous classical paintings, sculptures, and furniture, and also rest at a dream-like garden, full of flowers and tall trees with large leaves.
If you plan to go to DC for a few days or more, here’s a list of my favorite places that you should definitely visit
The Botanic Garden
The Air and Space Museum
The Natural History Museum
The Library of Congress