Yes, camped. Yes, in College Park.
It only seemed like the medial strip of the intersection of I-95 and I-495 but it was actually a commercial camp ground. There were overhead power lines, the sound the distant Interstate traffic and of course the prying eyes of the NSA's radar.
Luckily, Mr C, one of our assistant scout masters, rendered our camp site invisible to their prowling radar with strategically placed pieces of aluminum foil and rope looped around sticks.
We spent a rainy Friday night in the stealth camp site listening to the overhead power lines hum from the dry comfort of our tents.
In the morning we ate a quick breakfast and headed to the minivans to make our way into L'Enfant's nightmare.
I have gotten lost every single time I've driven in D.C. but we made in OK because we headed in on Connecticut Ave through 8 million traffic lights and two traffic circles.
We lined up with the other temporary vagrants on the federal dole, looking for free handouts in the form of tickets to the Washington Monument. We got 16 tickets for 2 PM and a block of cheese.
Next we headed off to see the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution at the National Archives. Funny, I didn't remember a huge line in front of the building when Nick Cage went in to steal the Declaration of Independence in National Treasure. We waited in this line to see the famous documents which the founding fathers had the foresight to write in a special ink that disappears with flash photography. Fortunately, ones with real ink are available in the gift shop for $7 and not the $35 like the movie.
After a quick lunch in our temporary hooverville,
we headed off to the Lincoln Memorial where Abraham Lincoln sits as we best remember him, on the bridge of the Star Ship Enterprise. I'm kidding of course since everyone knows that Abraham Lincoln discovered America. I hope that is true since that is what we told the boys.
We walked back over to the Washington Monument to use our free tickets. It was my first time in the obelisk and I was happy they had put in an elevator. Every time I had been to DC previously, the monument was covered is scaffolding. I think they were painting it or maybe they were putting in an elevator. I don't know but I seemed like for years it was covered. Here is a picture from 1999. Then we headed back to the stealth camp site but instead going back out Connecticut Ave we fell into the trap of thinking that getting out of DC was easily accomplished on I-395. I-395 actually only goes around in big circle and is only meant for Senators to get to the capitol quickly not for tourists getting in and out of DC and I fell for it again.
After driving in circles for a short bit we found our way back to the stealth camp site for dinner. The boys broke down their tent in the pouring rain and we headed home to dry beds.
(note the tin foil in the lower left still protecting our site)(You thought I was kidding)