Day 03 of being on holiday. It began with leaving the house a bit later than previous days due to tiredness, and standing in line at the National Archives. My friends and I waited near an hour in a bitter wind with lukewarm sun rays to reach security. I decided I’d make use of the moment and helped them take their Instagram photos.
The staff seemed more than amused and perplexed to see that I had a giant glass jar of creamy natural peanut butter in my backpack. My lunch condiment made it through with me.
In person, I was finally able to see the Magna Carta, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence and Constitution. A lot of documents to define a country, and quite a bit to process in a single afternoon. It was interesting to see how drafts of these documents progressed our country toward the ideals, laws and final documents that we see in the glass cases today. It provoked the pressing thought that our freedom came from the collective labors of hundreds.
I was happy to find the signature of Alexander Hamilton in the section of signatures representing New York on the Constitution. Having met my current best friend from a middle school project based on Hamilton’s life, the Founding Father holds a special place in my heart.
My friends and I separated after the Archives to explore corners of the city on our own. I ended up taking the train to Brookland and hiking up Monroe Steet. to find a progressive and plant-based cafe called Busboys and Poets. I went on a non-event day, but was able to find books, two open outlets, and a sweet and spicy latte with extra cinnamon, caramel syrup drizzles and almond milk.
I sipped the latte while working on yesterday’s blog post. People trickled in as the sun dipped low in late afternoon. I thanked my stars that the crowds weren’t present when I arrived because I had trouble finding the entrance and had to walk into a locked hotel lobby to ask for directions.
The latte was warm, and while the words didn’t come right away, they did arrive by the time my friends decided to rendezvous at 7pm in the Silver Springs station.
I walked back with a bag of sliced apple wedges down the breezy street, hoping to spot free tacos on a Tuesday evening. I did end up stopping briefly to observe the packing up of a winter Farmer’s Market vendor. The two old men manning the tables stopped to chat. They were marketing charcuterie products and fresh-baked bread midweek until the Saturday markets returned. The Russian black loaves were tempting. However, I’d already splurged on my latte.
I walked back to the station to become distracted by the sunset painting the sky behind the pattern of a chain link fence, netting the landscape of railroad tracks and a tireless train pushing onward.
Meeting the seat of the metro car finally, I was perched with other quiet souls on their way home from work. The bright orb of dying sun flickering between the trees was reflected by the burning feeling I had in my soul. I was traveling alone in a metro car in an unfamiliar capital, but the beauty and wonder of the city reminded me why I pushed to explore the great, big world. My eyes were glassy, but I didn’t shed a tear. This was my happiness.
I returned to Silver Springs to be greeted with warm, mint-hued sips of a matcha latte from my housemate at Peet’s Coffee. We ogled West Coast inspired mugs and then met up with the final member of the trio to head home.
We ended the night with strawberry moscato in glittering glasses while finishing the latter half of “Girls Night”. My AirBNB host made me a full pan of macaroni and cheese with carrots, peas and broccoli and crisp, seared tofu.
I could not have been happier with a heaping bowl of creamy pasta and a full glass of wine. My friends and I stayed bundled up tight, watching movies and indulging in peanut butter spooned over marshmellows.
I could not ask for a better time than this.