I had promised my 16 year old son a trip to Baltimore to go to Deathfest. Yes, Deathfest. When I told people why we were going there, I’d be vague about the ‘concert’ he was attending, but then people would always ask and I’d have to confess he was going to ‘Deathfest’. Believe me, there’s a lot of judgement from other people for allowing your kid to go to something called ‘Deathfest’ but I didn’t care because it meant some rare time with my almost-adult son. Besides, ‘Deathfest’ was safer for him than Baltimore was for me, but that’s for another post.
So DC. I have been to Washington once before, to campaign for Obama in 2008. I realized quickly in America that you don’t broadcast your support for Obama unless you are really really sure of people’s political leanings. Mostly this was a trip of keeping my mouth shut. Keeping my mouth shut except when I was eating, of course.
We opted to stay in Washington instead of Baltimore. I was so pleased with my choice of hotel – Hotel Helix, near Logan Circle, which is about a 20 minute walk north of the White House, near the up and coming U-Street neighbourhood, right off 14th. The hotel was in a real live Washington residential district, a block away from a new Whole Foods. Plus Hotel Helix is a Kimpton hotel, which means it was funky, rock and roll and boutiquey. You gotta love a hotel that hands you a glass of sangria when you walk in the door.
This was a brilliant place to stay, if I do say so myself, because it lent itself directly into my whole ‘slow travel’ philosophy of travelling, even if it was for only five days. (Thanks to Jennifer Cockrall-King for the link to the slow travel article from the Wall Street Journal). I found myself wandering down for a latte and to read the Washington Post every morning while I waited for Isaac to wake up from his teenage slumber. Then Isaac would awaken and make his way to Whole Foods to pile up chicken wings and scrambled eggs for his daily breakfast.
(This blog entry to be delivered in many segments. This is the introduction – Part 1).