Hometown Tourist

This weekend, I packed up my whole life and moved out of my apartment in Arlington, Virginia. Everything I own is currently sitting in my parents’ living room, my childhood bedroom, and even in the back of my mother’s minivan. For the next two weeks, I’ll be hanging around in my hometown, preparing for more than 4 months abroad. I love staying with my parents. They’re always so happy to see me, but not as happy as my dog (who currently has an adorably hilarious new haircut). 

Stolen from my sister’s Facebook.

 

Anyway, last weekend, in anticipation of my imminent departure, I invited all my grad school friends out to my favorite beer bar in Washington, DC. (It’s called Bier Baron and it’s near DuPont Circle. If you like a low key place with an amazing beer list and ample seating, I cannot recommend this place enough. Julia loves it, too. It has the official Wild Wanderlings seal of approval.) We drank. We laughed. And one of my friends asked me, “Aren’t you sad to be leaving?”

The fact is, I have been so caught up in the details of my move and planning visits to friends and vacations to new places that I completely forgot to be sad about leaving. And, as is often the case, I never really realized what I had at my fingertips until it was time to leave. I have been living in DC for 2 years, and I haven’t really done any sightseeing. I lived in a lovely neighborhood, and I studied in a lovely neighborhood, and I never really took the time to appreciate it. I have seen a great deal of people come and go on Georgetown’s campus during my time there, snapping photos and looking generally excited to be there. So last week, I decided to walk around my neck of the woods with my camera and a traveler’s frame of mind.

Almost as if to apologize for the rest of July’s sultry, sticky summer heat, the weather in Georgetown on the day of my touristy meander was 71 degrees and breezy. Absolutely gorgeous. I began in Rosslyn, walking towards Georgetown across Key Bridge.

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The views from the bridge were absolutely lovely.

Love locks aren't just for bridges in Paris, it would seem.

Love locks aren’t just for bridges in Paris, it would seem.

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The Potomac & Washington Monument from Key Bridge.

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Once you reach M Street from the Bridge, you see a couple of monuments to Francis Scott Key, for whom the bridge is named.

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The original Star Spangled Banner, with 13 stars.

The original Star Spangled Banner, with 13 stars.

I decided to follow the walking path I took on the days when I walked to campus instead of taking the bus. It wasn’t a particularly long or eventful journey, but it gave me the opportunity to notice a few interesting or pretty things that I overlooked or took for granted before.

What is this? Why is it outside a liquor store?

What is this? Why is it outside a liquor store?

A view of Key Bridge from the "Exorcist Stairs".

A view of Key Bridge from the “Exorcist Stairs”.

Right next to Georgetown's main library.

Right next to Georgetown’s main library.

A serene little fountain on Georgetown's campus.

A serene little fountain on Georgetown’s campus.

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And of course, walking home around sunset afforded me some lovely views of the Potomac and Georgetown.

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Traveling and seeing new places is an amazing experience. I simply can’t get enough of breathing the air and seeing the skies of a new place. But we should all make sure not to get so caught up in our wanderlust that we miss the beauty in our own backyards.

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