We planned to spend only a couple of nights in the capital but after arriving and realising there is so much to see (and FOR FREE) we decided to extend our stay. We spent our days lapping up the cultural institutions, swanning around the art galleries and dining on Cinnamon Swirls, Pain au Chocolats and Blueberry Muffins from [the trash at] Starbucks.
I had previously visited DC as a tourist and found it to be sterile and uninviting and I was in no rush to go back. How wrong I was! DC has some amazing communities and we were very fortunate to get a glimpse into a really special one, the DC Burners. By the end of the week we managed to tear ourselves away from Washington and onto Baltimore (“Good Morning Baltimore! Every day’s like an open door…”).
Thank you to everyone that made this week wonderful ❤
Darrell, what an incredible character! He has a huge smile and an even bigger heart. We Couchsurfed with Darrell in his wonderful home called The GlowHouse in Washington DC. The house has seen many Couchsurfers walk through its door and it hosts a community of holistic practitioners, burners, and meditators. Darrell runs Camp Contact at Burning Man and has been attending the festival since 2004. On our first evening, he taught us acro-yoga which neither of us had tried before (see above…). On the weekend he took us to a party where we met a few of his friends; he’s very well loved in the community. He said we could help ourselves to his festival stash of food, which really helped us out as we were mainly running on snacks. Hopefully we’ll catch him at Burning Man one day!
AK, what a legend! We Couchsurfed with AK on our last night in DC because Darrell had other guests arriving and we’d already stayed longer than initially planned! AK picked us up from The GlowHouse and took us for dinner, drinks and salsa. Neither of us had salsa’d before, another first for us. That’s a really cool thing about Couchsurfing is that you’re introduced to all these new things that you’ve never tried before. AK had written us a really lovely message – he was delighted and in awe of our trip and what we’d achieved. We were sad to not have more time to spend with AK and meet his lovely daughter but we had to leave DC at some point!!
Alan replied to our ad on Craigslist for a ride from DC to Baltimore. He loved the English because he had once lived in England and so he was keen to meet us and hear all about our adventure. He was very well spoken and even had a bit of an English accent! He had some amazing stories to tell, including one where he was hit by lightening on the top of a mountain! Insane that it didn’t kill him but it did leave him with a white eyebrow and bleached skin. He offered to take us to a Mexican restaurant for dinner, obviously we couldn’t refuse, and so we spent the evening exchanging stories over quesadillas and beer. He said cheerio and sent us off with a roll of twenty-five dollar coins each (that we’re donating to charity, of course). Thanks Alan!
Ujjwal was our Couchsurfing host in Baltimore. He had recently moved there for a job with Google. Ujjwal asked us to meet him at Tin Roof Bar for a night of karaoke. It wasn’t actually that bad because there was a live band and [most of] the people could actually sing. Ujjwal got up there in a group and gave a great performance of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”. Baltimore is a beautiful city around a harbour and it was nice to explore it with our host. We went to Bertha’s for some mussels and a pint and picked up a lot of free snacks outside a healthy food convention! Thanks Ujjwal!