The upside of the storm was that it cooled the city down considerably. But we didn’t want to get caught out in something like that again. We tried to sleep in a bit, but it’s hard to do that in a hotel, as the maids always want to chase you out of the room so they can clean things up and go through your underwear while you aren’t looking.
Once out of the room, we headed downstairs and had the hotel shuttle drop us off at the waterfront in Old Town Alexandria. The streets were still wet from the storm, and while muggy, the temperature was down at a comfortable level. There were very few people out in the morning, so we had the waterfront to ourselves.
There was a nice marina on the river, and behind that was what appeared to be some kind of art school called “The Torpedo Factory.” Sure enough, it was made out of an old torpedo factory. There were cool bulls-eye designs in the architecture and everything. On the side was what looked like a really nice food court, but it was sealed up with police tape. We peeked inside, and it was gutted. It didn’t look too old, and there were a few Fire department warnings posted, so we had to assume that some fire damaged something inside, and was never repaired. Too bad really, It had a great view and wonderful location.
We walked up the streets and checked out the shops. Ice cream was everywhere. With the heat yesterday, it made sense. That was probably the best way to cool down in the afternoon. After walking all the way through the Old Town main street, we caught the Tourist Trolley back down again. It gave a free little historical tour as we rode, which was cool to hear. One street led to old defenses for Washington DC from the civil war, another had information about former slave trade buildings. and there were banners about the War of 1812 everywhere. We probably could have done a full day just visiting these sites, but we wanted lunch.
French food remains out default choice, and we found a nice cafe that did amazing open face sandwiches and Gazpacho soup (another thing we found everywhere was Cold Gazpacho. Perfect in the heat.) After some good food I was feeling much better, and I was sure to drink more water than I thought I needed. We checked out one of the little ice cream places later on, and while the ice cream was amazing, the Air conditioning was set so high that we couldn’t actually stay inside to eat it.
The contrast between the heavy heat of the streets, and the super air conditioning of most of the buildings was really starting to knock us around. It hurts your head to keep switching between temperature extremes. Especially when you aren’t used to it.
Later that afternoon, we went into town to meet my friend Blake. I hadn’t seen him in a long time, and we wanted to say hi and hopefully go out on his boat for a bit. As we were zipping through the metro, our phones lit up again STORM WARNING. Looked like we weren’t going out. I texted with Blake, and he had the same warning but we still wanted to say hi at the dock.
We found him at the marina, which was the last live-aboard marina in DC. It was a really cool place right in the middle of downtown. Blake’s boat was a cool old Harbormaster. A funky boat from the 70’s kinda similar to our boat. He had it setup as a liveaboard, and it was a neat place to live. He had views out of his dock to the monuments downtown, and a short ride out into the river. Development was encroaching, we could see cranes down the riverbank building like crazy. We chatted with Blake a bit, and it looked like they would get priced out of the marina within a few years. But for the moment, he had one of the best places in town to live.
The rain started, and we were really nervous about getting caught in it again. I was nervous about getting sick again, so we cut our visit short and headed back. We didn’t get far and things really opened up. We ducked into a dockside restaurant, and decided to wait it out. We wern’t too far, so I tried to call Blake and see if he could join us, now that we were trapped by the rain, but we didn’t connect. Bummer
We sat and watched the rain on the river. A couple of drinks and some snacks joined us. It was nice to take our time and just rest a bit. It was nice to just sit together and do nothing.