Sight-seeing lesson #1: there is a reason they call them sensible shoes. You really just shouldn’t ever think that you can make do in sandal pumps. I not only chose these non-sensible shoes for my long walk to and through the Mall (twice), but my alternative to the burning sensation this footwear choice provided was pretty non-sensical (next photo).
Sight-seeing lesson #2: Barefoot is not the best alternative to sensible shoes, certainly not for trekking up and down the streets of, really, any big city at all.
This will only get you a big blister on the sole of your foot and (count ’em) three blisters on your toes, not to mention plenty of funny looks from folks. Even my toes are frowning!
Sight-seeing lesson #3: don’t put yourself in a position to rush through memorials and monuments. I did enjoy the novelty (and brief relief) of walking barefoot the last stretch toward Lincoln Memorial, and I convinced myself that it was quite reverent of me to have removed my shoes to enter in with quiet respect as instructed by the signs.
Up to the point of taking these shots, I was feeling really good about the pace of my visit. But my visit was also somewhat complicated by the fact that I was trying to find friends, who were about 20 minutes ahead of me at every turn. (Did I mention I am a terrible multitasker?). So, this worry along with the growing evening hour kept my attention a little removed from the full experience. My little camera phone did pretty well, though not good enough to capture the beautiful, near full (and pink) moon we had.
Even with blistered feet, and a headache and backache all through my preconference, it was a beautiful day. I’m about a day behind in my reporting, having decided to said nothing of my adventures on the official start of the conference — the day I had today was not worth mentioning except for some good conference sessions. But, I think I’ll reserve posts of the preconference and other sessions separately from the sights of this beautiful city.