Friday, November 11, 2016

The Ins and Outs of Washington, D.C.

After this year's rancorous presidential campaign, it's over.  "Thank God!," many are saying!  Whether your candidate won or not, it's time to look past those loyalties to the common goal of  strengthening our democracy.  It's time to work together to build a future that is brighter for all Americans.

Just like the Obamas, it's also time for many Washingtonians to look for another residence.  The District of Columbia and its surrounding suburbs are a transitory location.  Over the 14 years we lived here, we had many friends move in and out of the area.  It was difficult to say goodbye to these intimates with whom we'd shared life.  Still, we've been fortunate that with our current lifestyle, we've been able to rekindle some of those friendships as we've traveled the country.

This week Tim and I moved back to D.C. temporarily.  Rather than go through the hassle of finding a new healthcare network, we kept our doctors here. Over the past four days and between the two of us, we've had 11 medical encounters with doctors, dentists, imaging centers and my audiologist.

The historic domed Billings Hospital at Johns Hopkins Medical Center

In spite of the good health we both enjoy, I must confess--most of those appointments were mine.  Due to my progressive hearing loss, I've decided it's time to have a second cochlear implant.  I've scheduled this surgery for next March at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore.

There are few campgrounds in the D.C. area, but we found a fine one in College Park, MD just northeast of the district.  Cherry Hill Park has full hookups, pull-thru sites and spacious campsites.  

Best of all, public transportation is right there.  Every hour the Metro bus makes a regular stop within the premises of the campground, picking up tourists and dropping them off at the College Park Metro Station four miles away.  Anyone who has dealt with the clogged Beltway and District streets knows what a wonderful boon that is.

Once campers have visited all the museums and monuments that D.C. has to offer, they can return to Cherry Hill Park to soak in the pool or hot tub or play a few rounds of (miniature) golf.  

In addition, just down the road is the pedestrian/biking Paint Branch Trail.  The trail is part of the Anacostia Tributary Trail System which leads 15 miles south to the District.  

Tim and I walked a portion of it last Sunday.  We've made plans to return to this campground next spring; it will be a good home base while I recover from surgery.


However, the most important part of our stay here were the opportunities to visit family and friends.  Our son Richard and his girlfriend Montana joined us for dinner at El Centro, a restaurant in the District that not only features delicious Mexican entrees but also has a rooftop bar and a basement tequileria where one could order over 200 tequilas or Mescal drinks.  Not that we tried any of those!  We were too busy talking and tasting the to-die-for guacamole.

Sunday morning we worshipped the Lord and reconnected with friends at Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in Arlington, VA.  We also finalized our plans to have dinner with four couples who were our closest friends during our last stint in D.C.  It was wonderful to catch up on the events in their lives over the past year since we left.  But those ins and outs of Washington, D.C. were once again evident.  Two of the couples are moving out of the area.  Steve and Tami are counting the days until retirement when they'll relocate to the home they've purchased on Cape Cod.  Jim and Karen are anticipating their cross-country move to San Francisco where their son, daughter-in-law and grandchild live.

Today we are leaving D.C. after our brief stay to travel south to Florida, chalking up another in & out to our list of stays in Washington, D.C.


  1. Sounds like a great trip back home! Glad you got to see family and friends and get some appointments done. We have never stayed at Cherry Hills but did do a 'drive through' one time and it looked like a very nice place. And I would think you can't beat the transportation to downtown. After a long time in the area, we find that more and more of our old friends are moving away too from the DC area. Hopefully we will be able to see you all some time in the next few weeks in FL!

    1. Washington, D.C. has so much to see and do, but the traffic and the expense makes it difficult to live there. Some of the young families we know believe they will never be able to buy their own home there. That's sad! We are looking forward to seeing you and Pam soon. Safe travels!

  2. We have DC on our travel docket for next fall ... Thanks for the hints on how to get into the city as Doug is not too keen on driving the Wildebeest on to the National Mall!

    1. Hahaha! Yes, the Wildebeest would definitely be out of its habitat! But every American ought to make the trek to D.C. You will love it! It's capital dome far surpasses any state.