Wednesday, September 13

Washington DC is like the financial district of New York on steroids. The yuppies are yuppier, the clothes are business-ier, the vibe of the professionals is way too serious and everyone else is too poor. That's my impression after two days, anyway.

OK, I've learned this lesson enough times already. Stop using google maps for directions. Oy.

Joe's Place

Still needing to top off the oil in the bike, I set out to the nearest motorcycle shop from the city, in Falls Church, VA. The directions from Google Maps turned out to be bad, but my phone's navigation saved the day again, and I got there 10 minutes before closing. They had the oil and the guy who sold it to me even recommended a good bike shop near Highland Park. (Good motorcycle shops are like that, they know all the other good motorcycle shops.)
On the way from Falls Church to Bethesda I stopped at an Italian restaurant called "Joe's Place," where I'm now eating the $8.99 all-you-can-eat buffet of pizza, pasta, salad etc. (The pitcher in the photo is what they call a cup here.) Andrea Boccelli is playing on the speakers, the waiters are all speaking in Italian and I can see my bike (as it normally looks, without all the bags, which are in Bethesda) from the window. (I've decided I like it much better with all the luggage.)

The weather forecast doesn't look good, so I'll probably be riding in the rain tomorrow to somewhere in West Virginia. If it isn't raining too hard I'll camp out there. Tonight I'm still in Bethesda.

Enough time in Washington

Well I found the cafe I was looking for yesterday...I just stumbled upon it now after deciding I needed a break from DC riding for a while.
The spy museum was fun. I got out around 4, by then I was too exhausted to see another museum. Just as well, it turned out, because there's no parking by the Holocaust museum, and I was too tired to park far away and walk. Then I got on the freeway by accident - it was that or cut across 4 lanes of angry traffic. It took several miles of highway driving to get back into the city, where I found myself back on M Street, near Georgetown. I drove a few blocks, decided to pull over and see what I saw, and presto! - there was a French cafe right in front of me.
A little too cafe-ish, though, because the seats upstairs are little cushion chairs with no backs, a few inches below round wood tables, so it's quite uncomfortable to use a laptop on them. (I've been carrying a pretty heavy backpack around all day so my spine needed a rest.) Luckily there was one big wood table which I found a seat at, along with two other people doing the same.

I don't think I like DC very much. I look forward to leaving tomorrow morning, hopefully to a campsite between here and Illinois.

Late morning

I discovered this morning that, unlike all the previous phones I've had, this one does not set off the alarm when the phone is off. I slept well, though. I'll probably stay here again tonight and then head out tomorrow morning. Today it's the museums.