Greetings from Washington, D.C.! That’s right, for the next few days I’m here in our nation’s capital city, which also happens to be my previous home city. I lived here for three years, and it’s a little strange to be back. Strange in that…it doesn’t feel as though any time has passed since Kevin and I moved to Colorado back in June. Our hotel is also a ten minute walk from our old apartment, so I’ve been using the same metro station and eating at the same Panera Bread that I’ve been relying on for years.
Since D.C. is old hat to me at this point – when I first moved to the city from Connecticut, I spent hours every day exploring its streets and museums – I decided to spend Monday morning checking out the National Christmas Tree, which can be found on the Mall near the White House. Despite the fact I love anything and everything Christmas, in the three Decembers I spent as a DC resident not once did I ever scope out the tree.
Side note: isn’t that how it always works? Locals never seem to be familiar with their city’s top attractions. When I was in Paris a few years ago, I got to talking to a woman who was born and raised in Paris. She spoke fluent English. Yet, when I asked her for directions to the famed Shakespeare and Co. bookstore, she was unable to help me.
Anyways, that’s all changed. I’ve seen the tree! And it’s huge! I’ve also visited New York City during December, so I can’t compare the National Christmas Tree to the one in Rockefeller Center, but D.C.’s homage to the holiday season is spectacular.
Perhaps my favorite part of the National Christmas Tree was not the tree itself but rather the dozens of trees that surround each, each one dedicated to an individual state, commonwealth, or territory. The ornaments for each tree are sent to D.C. on behalf of a school or organization in that specific state. The highlights for me are Colorado (the snow-themed bulbs are lovely…and I’m biased), American Samoa, Hawaii, and Nevada. Nevada’s tree features bulbs with Las Vegas landmarks inside – like the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign! I found it kitschy but, at the same time, unique. If you’re in the D.C. area over the next few weeks, do check this out!