We’ve been in DC for just over two weeks now and we’re pretty much settled in. Teddy and I have a fairly standard routine in place which consists of me going to the gym, Teddy’s long midday walk (usually 8km +), lunch at home and then in the afternoon I grab groceries or go exploring. Before we got here I wondered how I would fill my days, but I don’t seem to have had many problems so far.
We’re located close to Georgetown which is along the Potomac river. 15 minutes (walk) from Lincoln memorial and about 20 minutes to all of the free Smithsonian museums, galleries and the like. Suffice to say, there is no shortage of things to see and do! In terms of parks and places to walk Ted, there are so many around and they all seem to be HUGE. Near us there is the rock creek parkway which has both a walking track and bush track to explore.
When I get bored of all those places, there are also shopping malls etc. I can catch the train to and I’ve also started volunteering to get me out of the house, to meet new people and to be able to have some human interaction during the day when Steve is at work. On weekends there are plenty of places we can drive to for weekend trips. We have NY in one direction, Virginia in another, North and South Carolina (although they’re a bit further), Delaware etc. I’m keen to check out as much as we can while we are here.
A few things about DC:
- It is loud here. People honking horns, sirens going (all the time!!), military planes flying over. I feel like it is a constant stream of noise.
- You have to pay attention when crossing the road as most pedestrian crossings don’t make a noise to indicate it is safe to walk.
- Whole Foods is heaven. Slightly more expensive than a regular supermarket (still cheaper than AU) but worth it for most things. All my fresh produce I bought last week is still fresh! Also, they have happy hour some days where they set up food and wine tastings and it’s abuzz with college students. Best to avoid it during those times if you want to be able to get around the store.
- Using US words for things is screwing with my mind. I ordered a burger with tomato sauce and the guy said I should always call it ketchup or I risk being served food with tomato pasta sauce. Also, check for bill, fries for chips, gas for petrol…
- In DC itself, I haven’t found a supermarket that stocks everything you need. Wholefood sells organic food and cleaning products, Trader Joes only sells food and a limited selection at that and CVS (which I thought was a pharmacy) stocks other household items and things like cling wrap..though, I’m still looking for baking paper. Apparently there are bigger supermarkets, but none within walking distance to me.
- There are a lot of cool neighbourhoods. Before we moved here, a lot of people told me it is just a big Canberra and I’d get bored. Well, I beg to differ. There are heaps of neighbourhoods that have nice bars and restaurants and most you can walk to or catch a quick uber. Canberra’s good options are few and far between and you almost have to drive everywhere.
- The street numbers are conveniently either numbered or named by alphabet. They also have NW, SW etc. depending on what side of Capitol Hill it sits on. Makes it easy to get around because I know which street I live on and I can either count up/down numbers or the alphabet. Unless of course a random street name is thrown in!
- Public transport is good here and easy to navigate. I’ve heard there can be delays sometimes, but I haven’t experienced any yet.
- The parks are incredible. I think Fall has a lot to do with it, but they are so spectacularly beautiful. The parks aren’t just big open spaces either. Most have bushland with walking trails and creeks etc. Our favourite is Dumbarton Oaks which also has a garden attached that I’d like to check out.
Not working has made the transition a lot easier for me. Getting to know my bearings and having time to explore has been fantastic!