Week 11.5: The Greenbelt in the Beltway

Hi friends,

We’re a bit further behind than usual after spending the last 3 weeks in El Paso making some major renovations to our RV:  we replaced the floor, the countertops, faucets, a sink, a backsplash, and more.  Not to toot our own horns, but it looks pretty great!  We’ll post some pictures soon.

In the meantime, let’s reminisce about that time we went to Washington, D.C.  Cue obligatory White House selfie.

Capitol Camping

After leaving Pennsylvania behind, we headed south towards Washington, D.C., with some trepidation.  We’ve had bad experiences on the Beltway before, but this trip was mercifully smooth.  We headed to a national park right inside the Beltway called Greenbelt Park.  Greenbelt Park is spacious, cheap ($16 a night),  wooded, and totally empty – apparently because nobody knows about it.  From their website’s FAQs:

Why haven’t I heard about Greenbelt Park or the Greenbelt Park campground ? Since we are a federal government agency, we cannot spend taxpayer dollars on advertisements. We rely on word of mouth, Internet, and campground directories. We are a hidden jewel of the National Park Service.

They claim to have never been totally full, and when we were there on a warm weekend in September, we were nearly alone.  We saw more deer than people.  Definitely unusual for a campground near a major city, so if you’re in the area, you might want to check it out.

Though, you might want to avoid the bathrooms.

They weren’t moving.  Just staring.

Incidentally, the campground is extremely close to an Ikea.  We went over and strolled through, to dream about throwing away all our crappy RV furniture and replacing it with real furniture.  Or semi-real; it is Ikea, after all.  But it turned out there was nothing there we really wanted (or could fit) except Swedish meatballs and a 99¢ toilet brush.

Well, we got the meatballs, but the line to buy the toilet brush was about a half hour too long.  So, we gave up and, seeing nowhere else to return it, hid it in a potted plant.  Sorry, Ikea!

Social Medium

Most of our time in D.C. was spent visiting friends, and we won’t bore you all with the details of people you may not know, but we will say thanks for a great time to Nila & Patrick, LD, Rachel, Ashi, Alex, and the other folks we met up with.  We had delicious Sri Lankan food, delicious beers, and even an accidental front-row seat at a bar for the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight.

We did want to give a special shout-out to our friend and unpaid social media coach Kaoru, who allowed us to crash at her place and taught us how to use Twitter for personal benefit (our favorite kind of benefit!).  Also, how to use it at all.

Kaoru was once the “Bravoholic,” which is like being an addict for social media about terrible reality shows, and now she is our “social medium,” a new term we just invented for probably the four millionth time.  Among her other duties, she politely yells at us when we fail to post things correctly, which is frequent.  She also helped us get free cupcakes, using the power of social media.  Oh, and!  She taught us what all the buttons do in the Twitter app, which sadly is not a joke.

We wanted to say thanks for the help, so please feel free to visit her blog or twitter or instagram or… smoke signal region?  Whatever the kids are into now.  Everyone else, try to think about you how you can earn your own paragraph.

Nothing Mundane growing its social media presence (via GIPHY)

Strolling The Mall

We have both been to D.C. several times, but we decided to walk around and see all the tourist-y stuff again anyway.  We took the Metro into downtown and although we walked about 8 miles, according to our pedometer, it felt like we barely scratched the surface.  We saw the sculpture gallery, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, White House, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, WWII & Korean War  Memorials, the MLK Memorial (surprisingly weird), and many more miscellaneous fancy buildings.  We have photos of some of our favorites below.

Sculpture Garden

National Museum of Natural History

Just like A Night at the Museum, except not at night, and without Ben Stiller or Owen Wilson.  And nothing came alive.  Otherwise, exactly the same.

We really enjoyed the gem and mineral collection at the museum. Our take aways:  (1) the Hope Diamond isn’t all that big, and (2) minerals grow in crazy, cool ways – they can look furry, defy gravity, glow in the dark, and a million other naturally occurring, wholly unnatural things.

Monuments & Stately Buildings

Washington, especially the Mall, is just packed full of monuments and memorials. We tried to look up how many official monuments there are in DC, for a “fun” trivia fact, but our google-fu failed us.  So we are going to say there are more than… five! Can you believe it??

Our favorite part?  The below sign on the new Trump Hotel, very close to the White House.  It reads “Coming 2016, Trump.”  Amusing, but also, please God no.


What’s next:  Currently, we are back in El Paso for a home-cooked Thanksgiving.  We’re headed back soon to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, where the sunsets are beautiful and the medicinal hot springs can out-cure any brand of snake oil.

Obligatory social media self-promotion:  If you want to follow along and you haven’t yet, please Like us on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter (@NothingMundane) and/or Instagram (NothingMundane) to make sure you get all the updates.  It will help us make Kaoru proud.

Shamefully missed a prior post?  We made a list of the most recent ones, just for you.

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