Washington DC Day 2 – Sadness & Shenanigans

This morning we had a bit of a sleep in as we were catching the coach to the national mall at 9:15. The national mall is the centre of all of the tourist attractions in Washington DC. It’s large and really beautiful. We had a classic breakfast at the shitty Tesoro restaurant next door. They had tater tots – win.

Prior to this Aimee woke up at 6am to buy tickets for us to the Holocaust Memorial Museum. She did this as the lines get massive and they only sell a limited amount of tickets and you can’t get tickets until the day of your visit. Success!  We arrived at the museum there pretty early so we couldn’t get into the main exhibit yet so we checked out a special exhibit called “Some were neighbours: collaboration and complicity in the holocaust.” The some were neighbours exhibit examined a variety of motives and pressures that influenced individual choices to act. These influences often reflect fear, indifference, antisemitism, career concerns, community standing, peer pressure, or chances for material gain. This exhibition was just amazing. It was absolutely heart breaking learning about the way that some of the Germans that turned on their Jewish neighbours and friends when the holocaust started. Hearing stories from survivors of the holocaust was difficult. We are glad we did this but it definitely got us down.

Holocaust

Following this we went to the we went and saw an exhibit called “Remember the Children: Daniel’s Story” The exhibition tells the story of one Jewish family’s experiences during the Holocaust from the perspective of a boy growing up in Nazi Germany. You get to walk through what his house looked like before the war and then into his house once he was displaced and then into his home in the concentration camp. It was absolutely horrible. Definitely a great exhibit but yet again it was very eye opening and soul crushing.

It was finally time for the main exhibition, by this point we were emotionally drained, but felt ready for what was ahead of us. A feature of this exhibit is that you get an ID card of a real person that experienced the holocaust. You read one page per floor of the museum and then at the end you find out if they survived or not. It is four floors that tells the story of the holocaust and has lots of stories, testimonials, photos and artefacts. It had a room that was full of the shoes that the Jews were forced to remove before they entered the gas chambers.

Shoes

It was extremely emotionally draining. We walked through one of the train carriages that so many of them go packed into to be transported to their deaths. It was one of the best museums we have ever been to. It made me hurt inside for these people and the atrocities that they endured. We had heard a lot about the Holocaust before but to be confronted with it in such a way was emotional. The man we had on our ID card was named Dawid Szpiro. He ended up getting tortured to death after he saved his mum and brother. Pretty sad. We really thought he was gonna survive, he seemed like a very resourceful guy, but got caught in the end. 😦

After that experience we walked over to Union Square station which is a massive train station that has lots of shops and restaurants in it. We ate Shake Shack for the first time. It was pretty good. Delicious shake and fresh burger, we liked it.

Shake Shack

Then we walked to the Capitol building which is where the United States Senate and the House of Representatives is located. It is akin to Australia’s Parliament House. We did a tour of the Capitol building which was really good. They showed us all of the statues they have in there and the giant paintings and just got to look through the building. It was a really good experience. We were pretty wrecked after what was essentially two museums.

Capitol

We caught an Uber back to the hotel for a bit of rest. We had planned to have a quiet night with a quiet dinner. Well we didn’t end up getting any dinner and we were invited out for some drinking which we cautiously accepted.

We ended up at a small dive bar called Shenanigans. Above Shenanigans is an upstairs bar, which certainly lived up to its name. It was $10 for unlimited drinks for two hours from 9-11. What a deal! This is where it gets messy. We were only the vodka/lemonades and vodka/orange juices. Of course as we only had 2 hours, we wanted to get our monies worth, which we did after the first drink (would’ve been about $10ea at the Ox in Bathurst!). Many drinks and several poor attempts at dancing later and Aimee’s stomach let her down. She started vomiting on the dance floor. We knew at this point, it was getting out of hand. The combination of no food, too much drinking and dancing never turns out well. At this point we were both exceptionally plastered.

One of the more responsible girls on our tour called Veronica helped us get down the stairs and then out the front of the club where a few other from our group were. The bouncer gave Aimee some water but it didn’t help. Aimee vomited outside the club in the gutter while I was laying on the sidewalk. How embarrassing!

Veronica somehow got us into the Uber which was about a 10 minute drive. About 5 minutes in the driver had to pull over as Aimee chundered all over herself and the Uber…and didn’t stop vomiting. She opened the door and stuck her head out and vomited out there. Sorry for the icky details! Luckily we don’t have photos of this! Then we got going again, we felt bad so Ronnie tipped the Uber driver heaps of money to get her car cleaned. She was nice though and understanding somehow. We got lucky on that one, she could have easily kicked us our of her car. We got back to the hotel and Veronica got us to our room and put us to bed. Aimee was out like a light. Ronnie has a technique that he always uses when drinking to try and avoid being sick and hungover that has two rules – don’t go to sleep drunk and drink ALL the water.

It got a bit boring staying up alone while Aimee slept. People from our group were chilling in the hallway so Ronnie went out there and hung out with them for a few hours. A girl from the tour, Susan, rocked up  with a massive bag of McDonalds that Uber eats delivered to her. Fuck yeah! So good. After this Ronnie went to bed confident that he would not be hungover in the morning….this was 3:30am. He was up at 4 with his head in the toilet bowl yakking up every little bit of McDonalds plus all the vodka. At this point he regretted every drop of alcohol. Though it isn’t Contiki if you don’t spend at least one night hugging the bowl!

DC is an absolutely amazing city. It is stunning, emotional and educational during the day and it absolutely kicked out fuckin ass at night. Top quality day in DC. And we still had another day here!

Much love,

Ronnie & Aimee.

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