Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A piece of me will always be with that beautiful city

My whole life I have lived a mere hour (sometimes less, sometimes more traffic dependent) from the capital of the United States of America. My family would occasionally venture in for some sight-seeing, but I far from knew the city. I had always considered this a very sad fact of my life. People go on whole vacations just to see DC, and there I was living so close and I had no idea how to work the metro.

When I was a secretary, we had a lot of down-time in the later months bc it wasn't summer and people didn't have as many bugs. We serviced some buildings in DC and one day I took out one of our maps and was determined to walk away from work that day with an increased knowledge of DC. I casually mentioned to my co-workers that I have always wished to know our nation's capital better than I did. I doubt they remember this, but Heavenly Father certainly did. I think that is why Heavenly Father helped me get this job. Sometimes I just feel like such a favorite of His :)

I am so sold on this city. It is wonderful! I love the metro, the low skyline, the monuments, the small-town/big city feel it somehow manages to pull off.

I would like to share some of the things I had the opportunity to learn while living in DC....

1. I love the nanny club
One day I was talking to my mom and I commented on all the nice friends you meet just because you are pushing around a stroller. All these fellow stroller-pushers come up to you and soon you're chatting like old friends. I was kind-of bewildered by this at first, but my mom just smiled and said, "that's the moms club."

I love the nannies I became friends with, and even though I couldn't give you half their names that is okay, because I seriously know so many. The best way to make friends on Connecticut Ave. is to walk around with a baby.

Nannies and Au Pairs are all so friendly and want so many good things for each other. When I told Madeline and other nanny that I was going back to school they each smiled and implored me to "work hard." Madeline is from Senegal and other nanny is from some country in South America I believe. They each have worked so hard and want their children to have the best possible future, and because I was one of the youngest nannies in our little Connecticut Ave. group I was like a daughter to many of them, and that was nice :)

2. Everyone loves babies.
Countless times I would get on the metro with the lil guy and it would be during rush hour, when you are literally packed in like sardines. I could prolly count on one hand the number of times someone didn't offer me their seat, or the big crowd in front of the metro door didn't part like the Red Sea for me to get through.

People in DC are busy and important, but the baby trick works with anyone. One time (this didn't happen very often because I am AWESOME) I was lost and asked this man if he knew how to get to the Dept of Education. He whipped out his fancy phone and figured out the directions so quickly. He was dressed in a suit and had a shiny, black briefcase, but the instant he saw my lil guy he was cooing and baby talking. Babies work, people.

3. The National Zoo can be your personal paradise when you are a nanny during the winter months
Starting about September the enormous crowd at the zoo starts to thin. By the end of the month it is your playground! There were so many times that the lil guy and I ventured to our favorite spot and we and a couple other nannies and their kids were the only ones there.

4. All the best playgrounds are at the tops of mountains.
Which can get very annoying, but man do your calves get a work-out!

5. The metro is very easy to use.
At first it can be quite intimidating, but don't you worry! It is a wonderful invention. Here are some helpful metro clues....

  • If you ever get lost in DC and want to find the metro, just look at the ground for the vents and follow them
  • The end cars are always the best ones to be on bc no one wants to walk that far
  • If you miss your stop, just get out at the next one and board the opposite train. You'll be fine.
  • If you are only wanting to maneuver about downtown, you needn't worry if you are on the green or yellow line, or the orange or blue line. For all intents and purposes they are the same thing.
  • For about five stops the red line is exclusively on Connecticut Ave..
  • Just because it is the Smithsonian station does not mean that it is closest to the Smithsonian you desire to see. Natural History and American History are both closest to the Federal Triangle station, and Air and Space and poss Native American and the Botanical Gardens are closest to L'Enfant. The capitol building is very close to L'Enfant as well, in case you were wondering.
  • Using public transportation is nothing to be ashamed of. It saves you money and time. People from all walks of life use the metro. It is a great idea.

I miss DC. I miss it every day. I miss the Zoo and the hustle and bustle and the place with my favorite pumpkin walnut muffins. I miss the metro and I miss the nanny club. I miss Frederike and Madeline and Sarah from the lobby. I miss seeing all these people dressed up so professionally and the big groups surging off the curb and onto the crosswalk seconds before the white walk light turns on, because by that time they have memorized the light's schedule. Have I ever mentioned that driving in DC must be a nightmare?

I miss seeing embassies and diplomat cars. I miss looking around at all these sharply-dressed people and knowing that they were off to their very-important jobs. I want sooo badly to work in DC. I have never felt so energized in my life than when I was living there.

Most of all I miss my lil guy and nanny family. I am so blessed for being offered that job. Those were some the happiest four months of my life.

Dear DC,
One day I will be back, but I'll be different. I will be dressed up in a cute pencil skirt and a professional-looking shirt and classy-looking heels. I will have an ID that, when swiped, will allow me into some amazing building where I will be a part of an amazing team and do amazing work. I will ride the metro and have a special pair of comfy shoes that I will keep in my purse just for my commute. I will read The Economist and also briefs from work while I wait for my stop. I will go home to my beautiful, small apartment (prolly in Cleveland Park). I will go eat at Sorriso a lot with my friends and get calamari every time. I will go running in the Zoo and pick up a strawberry frappicino (no, that is not coffee) and a pumpkin walnut muffin from the Firehook Bakery on my way home. I will have a big dog, who I will take on walks and no one will dare mess with me. I will go to a Singles Ward full of people like me. I will travel abroad for my job and fly in private jets! Or at least 1st Class.  I will be contributing to society and making a difference. No, don't you worry, DC. I will be back. I promise.

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