Enjoy spring season with a weekend getaway trip

March 31, 2011

This is a good time to take those short two- or three-day trips around the local area, just to get away for a few days before the traffic and tourist season starts. You know, places like the Civil War battlefields, colorful country inns and historical districts with lots of antiques shops and small-town ambiance.

Of course, none of those appealed to me, which is why I decided to take a trip to Washington, D.C.; well, actually I had some other business there, but still, Washington is always an interesting place. And it’s our nation’s capital, but not in the financial sense.

One of the things I really love about the city is taking cabs everywhere. Personally, I enjoy a good taxi ride. There is nothing more exciting than having your coat and perhaps even part of your thigh bone caught in the cab door as the driver peels away at 200 miles an hour directly into a U-turn on a one-way street.

The smell of burnt rubber from other drivers hitting the brakes and the squeal of tires careening off the pavement just can’t be duplicated anywhere else. It’s music to your ears.

For some strange reason which I’m sure might be illegal, the first day in Washington I had a taxi driver who spoke perfect English. Go figure.

Anyway, what a conversationalist he was too. Well, he wasn’t exactly speaking to me, more like calling out to a higher power or I guess you could call it anyone. This running conversation usually was a commentary on the other driver’s intelligence.

“Did you see how stupid he was, cutting in front of me that way,” he pleaded with what looked like the ceiling of the cab. Of course, I did notice that the ambulance that maneuvered around us was in a hurry. It was hard to tell with all the lights flashing and the sirens screaming.

“I tell you, nothing but morons and idiots, that’s what is happening. No, no, no, I cut your eyeballs out if you try that again,” he screamed out the window. You know, I felt right at home, as if it was a beautiful Fourth of July weekend.

Miraculously we arrived at my destination, the National Gallery of Art. I say miraculously because as I exited the cab, I walked as if I was leaving the proctologist’s office. You see, there was this spring in the back seat - well, never mind.

Anyway, that is the thing about Washington. There are all kinds of museums and monuments displaying everything from artwork and documents to the world’s smallest thimbles.

So I toured two rooms filled with masterpieces of art. Wall after wall of oils painted in vibrant colors and unusual scenes took my breath away. I shook my head and I’m sure the paramount question that I had which was in everyone’s mind who saw the exhibit was: How do those museum security guards stand all day without getting deep-vein thrombosis? Do they take stuff like blood thinners or what? Okay, that’s two questions; still you’ve got to wonder.

Of course, every city has its price too. For those of us here in a resort area it’s parking meters, streaming traffic and the sight of a tourist shopping in nothing but a thong.

In Washington it’s a price we should be willing to pay. And that is a visit to those memorials, the Vietnam, the Korean and the World War II.

If you don’t do anything else while visiting our nation’s capital, you owe it to your fellow countrymen to include those fallen heroes along with their monuments.

Rehoboth may be the Nation’s Summer Capital, but don’t forget the year is made up of more than one season.

  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.