Dr. B Goes to Washington

Noorali in front of the White House
Noorali in front of the White House

Alia, Hussein, Sabiya, and Noorali at Lincoln Memorial
Alia, Hussein, Sabiya and Noorali at Lincoln Memorial

I am back.

I feel good and refreshed after two weeks of a healthy holiday in Washington, DC, New York City, New York and Calgary, Alberta.

So what is so healthy about taking a holiday especially in those three busy cities? Isn’t traveling itself stressful these days?

Regular readers of my column may recall Leonardo da Vinci’s (1452-1519) quote which I often use in my holiday articles. It says, “Every now and then go away, have little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgement will be surer; since to remain constantly at work will cause you to lose power of judgement.”

We all have a busy lifestyle. We forget that we need time off for ourselves and for our families. As the Eddie Bauer ad says: Never confuse having a career with having a life. I always come back from holidays tired but relaxed, richer in experience and ready to go back to work with a fresh mind and a healthy attitude.

Traveling these days is stressful. But the price is worth paying for security and peace of mind. Only one segment of our trip was stressful. There is no direct flight from Calgary to Washington, DC. We flew by Air Canada to Toronto where we had to take another Air Canada connecting flight. We had to change planes, terminals and go through US immigration, customs and several security checks within one hour and 10 minutes.

We were lucky the plane did not leave without us. It took off several minutes late so we did not miss the connection. But our luggage did not make it. It arrived the next day. We felt very rushed, stressed and tired during the change over time.

Rest of the time in Washington was wonderful. The weather was nice and hot like Medicine Hat. People are very nice and friendly. We extensively used the Metro subway system and walked a lot. We do lot of walking on our holidays more than what we do in Medicine Hat. Our hotel was located in the Foggy Bottom Metro station area close to Georgetown and George Washington University.

There are several ways to see Washington. We used three methods: walking, Metro subway system and Tourmobile Sightseeing’s shuttle system (hop-on and hop-off). We had done some home work before leaving Medicine Hat. We had received maps and suggestion for three days/two nights ‘what to see’ itinerary from Washington, DC Convention and Tourism Corporation (www.washington.org).

The city is well organized and we were able to see a lot. We made stops at the White House, US Capitol, Union Station, Arlington National Cemetery, Lincoln Memorial (my favourite) and International Spy Museum. Smithsonian Institution has 15 fascinating museums. They are all free! We had time to see only two. There isn’t enough room to mention all the places we visited and every thing we did. But I was happy to visit Washington, DC and would like to go there and spend more time. I would not have said this a month ago.

Happiness is good for health and next week I will tell you about the enchanting New York City and the meaning of friendship which brought me so much happiness. Ciao.

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