Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Fun #3

One of the downsides, and there really aren't many, of living in DC is the tourists.  Now, don't get me wrong, I'm a tourist a lot of the time.  I support travel and tourism, both figuratively and literally.  Really, I think traveling to see places you might otherwise just read about is essential and it is one of my absolute favorite things to do.  But, I prefer, when possible, to travel off-season.  It is so much more enjoyable that way, for the tourists and the locals.  Disney World in January is ideal.  Paris in October is perfect.  London in February, though chilly, is far better than a summer time visit.  DC, understandably, is a major travel destination and from mid-April (beginning with the cherry blossoms) until Labor Day is teeming with tour buses.  We go out of our way to avoid the major sites because they are overrun with tourists.  I appreciate that people want to see this city and soak in the history of it all, and I understand that summer is the best time for most people to do that, but being a local, sometimes it is just plain annoying.  Especially on days like today.

Today the mercury shot up to its highest point of the year so far.  The heat that has plagued the rest of the nation finally arrived in DC and at 11 am the temperature was well into the 90s.  UGH!  Certainly we have been expecting summer, but it arrived with a vengeance today.  And, with heat like that, our options for diversions are limited.  Sure, there are a gazillion museums we could visit, but they are packed to the gills with visitors, making them crowded and unpleasant.  And, there are federal buildings to tour, but again, the lines to get in snake around the block because the tourists too are desperate for relief from the deadly combination of high heat and equally intense humidity that characterizes summer in this city that was, foolishly, strategic considerations aside, built on a large tract of swampland.  And, we could hit the pool.  But, our community pool requires adults in the water with less than stellar swimmers, like mine, and trying to monitor Claire and the boys at the same time around water sounds like a recipe for disaster.

So, we had to get creative.  And, thankfully, our efforts paid off.  We stumbled upon a nearly deserted spray park just minutes from home where the boys frolicked in the water until they could frolic no longer and then headed to the playground for even more amusement.  Claire and I spread out a blanket under the trees and soaked up the cool shade while the boys danced and played, completely oblivious to the sun beating down on their increasingly (despite slathering them with sunscreen any time we go out) freckled, little faces.  It was fun, which was, after all, the point, and with the heat likely to be sticking around for awhile we'll be going back, often.




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