On my way back from Tampa, I was fortunate enough to have an overbooked flight and a flexible schedule. I volunteered my seat for a flight 4 hours later, where I was given a first class seat and a free round trip ticket good anywhere in the 48 states and some money for lunch. So I sat in the airport for an extra 4 hours and read the book that I would have been reading at home anyway. As the next flight came around, the same thing happened, and I volunteered my seat again, this time getting a voucher for dinner and breakfast, a night in a hotel, and shuttle to and from the hotel, as well as another round trip ticket. It was a pretty sweet deal, and I had nothing else going on that night that required me to be in Richland.
This is a long way to tell you that in mid December I used one of those tickets for a trip to Washington D.C. to explore the city and see a couple friends. I was able to stay at a friend’s house while I was there, and the flight was free, so it was a fairly cheap trip for me. I did a lot of exploring, and had a really good time while I was there. There were a lot of younger people around, there were so many things to do and see, the Metro was amazing for getting around, and the feeling of the place was great. In one day I did the entire mall. I started at 7:30 am and walked straight until 5:30. I had done 8 miles by 10:30. By the time I was done, I had gone well over 20 miles (I used google maps to trace my path and measure the distance, but I have to estimate all the walking I did inside the museums). My feet had never felt like they did that day. It was intense, but very cool. It’s incredible to be so close to so many important things. I can see how people get used to it living there, but as a tourist, being near all these buildings and artifacts and their history is amazing.
We did other stuff, too, like go to a nice restaurant, see a play, and go dancing. There’s so much in D.C. and it really appeals to me. I can definitely see myself living there and doing interesting and important things.
On the way back, I passed through Denver the night before the storm, so I got lucky. The next day I had scheduled all of my meetings for the week at work, because I had only planned to work one day that week, and I needed to get a lot done. I had 5 meetings that day and got a ton of work done before heading to Great Falls for the next part of my whirlwind December.