This past week I went to DC for the first time as a grown up. Not as one of 30 middle schoolers packed into white church vans on a mission trip or as the oldest of a family of six with our hiking shoes and Colorado t-shirts, but as an adult. We went for business, so really we went to work. We were only in the city less than 48 hours. We flew in Tuesday, flew home Thursday. That is the way work trips go.
It was oddly nostalgic as I rode the metro from the airport to our hotel past the town I was born in – did you know that I was born in Fairfax, VA? I was brought home to Reston, a suburb of Washington DC. It is okay if you didn’t know that, I probably have never mentioned it here before. I move when I was only 6 months old to Colorado and we never moved since. I define myself as a Colorado Native but it is only kind of true.
I wonder what would my life looked liked if my parents stayed? There was nothing there that felt like home – the pace was fast, the skies were gray, the buildings were tall… but it still felt like coming home. I liked that feeling. The feeling of being on an adventure but also somewhere known.
I slipped on my dress and zipped up my boots as I prepared to walk the chilly walk in the dark early morning from our hotel to the capitol. I wished I was wearing my chacos and I wished my Colorado puffy coat wasn’t so out of the ordinary. The DC people dash on these sidewalks with cell phones and cups of coffee, flinging themselves into Taxis and pushing their way out of subway doors. I joined in step with them, for the hour was too early and the weather was too chilly for anything else.
It was magical and terrifying all at once. Speeding through the day, wandering the senate halls for our next business meeting. and interacting professionally in a way we don’t do everyday when talking to teenagers. It was exhilarating, exhausting, and fun.
We packed our free time with local eateries and coffee shops, two Smithsonians, a morning in Georgetown, and random walking adventures. It was a beautiful trip that was over so fast. We loved what we got to do while we were there but felt a great sense of comfort as we stepped off the plane back in Colorado – to the mountains, blue skies, causal wear, and home.
Have you ever been to Washington DC before? Do you love going to new places but coming home too? Are you a big city or small city dweller?