I Heart DC II

This morning’s drizzly, grey (but blessedly SO much cooler) weather is quite in line with my feelings: today marks my friend Ai Rei‘s last day with me here in DC. I shall now pause for a moment of silence.


While she’s been here, it’s been really fun for me to see the area that I live in with fresh eyes. I think that all people tend to suffer from “local” syndrome, no matter what city or town you live in. Despite the fact that there are so many awesome things about living in the DC area, I rarely take advantage of them because they’re either too touristy or too crowded or I’m simply too cool for that ish (bahaha). Rei’s visit has, as a side-effect of taking her around to see the sights and whatnot, rejuvenated my appreciation for our nation’s capital — which is really cool! Though I am, admittedly, pretty affected by standard Northern Virginian superiority to things that go on in the actual District, but I guess the truth is that I really do <3 DC. 🙂


There’s a reason why things are touristy, after all. It’s because they’re worth seeing! I can tell you that the last time I really ventured into the city to take in the monuments was when my LAST out-of-town guest came to visit… and that was like three years ago (oops!). I want to say that I’ll be making an effort from now on to take better advantage of the cool things my city has to offer, but the truth is that I probably won’t really change things up that much. I will, however, be much looking forward to the next time I get to experience this stuff through the eyes of someone new.


Ai Rei’s trip down here has also brought some hilarious and adorable excitement that I wasn’t actually expecting. Specifically, her raging excitement over things like how many varying flavors of chewing gum we have (Creamsicle! Key Lime Pie! Mint Chocolate Chip!), The Cheesecake Factory (for the cheesecake, not for the food), inexpensive books, Amazon.com (vs. Amazon.ca), and Target. It’s been a long time since I’ve lived in Canada, so I forget that even though our countries are obviously super similar, there are still a lot of things that aren’t quite replicated in either. Neither is better or worse, of course, it just makes me more appreciative of the things that I have access to here that Rei doesn’t. And it’s not just a Canada vs. US thing either; Colorado doesn’t have Trader Joe’s, we don’t have In-n-Out burgers, the list goes on.

What’s one traditionally “touristy” thing you tend to avoid where you live?


  1. I live in San Antonio so I avoid the River Walk and The Alamo like the plague. I’ve lived here for almost a year and a half and have only been downtown 3 times and once was when my family visited. I can totally relate to you and your desire not to visit the touristy spots too often, though I love visiting other places and playing the tourist. 🙂

  2. Jamiesays:

    Hey CO is getting a Trader Joe’s soon 🙂 They are putting one in Boulder.

  3. I live in Schaumburg, Illinois. Around the holidays, I avoid IKEA and Woodfield Mall like the plague. It is not a pleasant place to be with so many tourists.

    • OMG, yes! I live about 30 minutes from there and REFUSE to even go near Woodfield between October- January! Ha!

  4. Even though I live about 30 minutes from Churchill Downs, I’ve never been to the Kentucky Derby! It’s definitely on my bucket list (I mean, who wouldn’t want to get dressed up, don a big ass fancy hat and drink bourbon all day?) but it is SO crowded and SO touristy that it’s hard to justify the stress.

    Worth noting: when my Canadian in-laws come, they pretty much bee-line for Target within about 24 hours of arriving. They are all coming to visit in October and I’ve already been told we are hitting up Target, TJ Maxx, Costco, Menards and Trader Joe’s.

  5. I feel you. I avoid going into DC like the plague…even though I live on the metro. The only time I ever go is when I have guests in town, and even then I try to avoid Chinatown and the Mall. Just too crowded!

  6. Living in Boston makes it hard to avoid touristy things since the whole city is pretty touristy. I do try to avoid Faneuil Hall during the summer though!

  7. Wait Canada doesn’t have Target?! I can never visit Canada…lol

    I seem to forget all the cool things that Richmond has to offer because I’ve lived 45 minutes from there all my life. I am just now starting to take advantage of it!

  8. I live in the ‘burbs of Chicago, and don’t really go downtown all that often in general, because almost EVERYTHING down there is touristy.. The Shedd Aquarium, the museums, State Street. Me no likey crowds. 😉

    Funny you posted this though. My BF and I were JUST talking about how we wanted to go back to DC since neither of us have been since our 8th grade trips! lol!

  9. jannysays:

    Seattle’s Pike Place Market. I love the place, but I’ll only go there if I HAVE to.

  10. Katesays:

    I avoid the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, never been to the science center. Don’t usually go to the aquarium. But I do love me some Canton and Fells Point.

  11. I live in Toronto and for us, it’s the CN Tower. If you’re a resident, you stay far away from that tower.

  12. I feel the same way as you. I really only go into DC when we have people visiting.. sad, but there is always so much traffic and parking is so terrible that it never makes me want to go. But I really should because it is a beautiful city.

  13. If you ever want a buddy to explore with, shoot me a note. I *love* living in DC because all of these amazing sights and attractions are right at my fingertips — I walk past the White House every day at lunch, a view of the Washington Monument from my roof and free museums in which to cool down on hot days. It’s fun to find DC sightseeing opportunities off the beaten path, too (which means avoiding the hordes of tourists).

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