April 16, 2012

Visting Washington DC

Filed under: Culture,travel — mmrobins @ 8:48 pm

I spent this past week in Washington DC for orientation for my new job at LivingSocial. I’ll be working in Portland, but they’re headquartered there, so the week is to meet some people face to face and get to know the company.

I enjoyed the city more than I would have thought. There’s an amazing amount to do, great food, and the whether was gorgeous. I don’t think I could visiting in the summer when it gets too hot, but the spring is a lot like Portland when it’s nice.

Kim decided not to come with since she doesn’t know anyone in the city, and there was no guarantee how much time I’d have to spend with her and Geneveve. It turned out I had plenty of free time to see the sights outside of work since little extra activity was scheduled outside the normal work day, and really I could just as easily work at night.

This meant that I had the opportunity to spend time seeing the monuments, at the Smithsonian museums (natural history, air and space, art), the Newseum (one of the few museums with an admission, but well worth it), shows (plays, movies and musicals) and eat plenty of good food. It’s been rare since having a baby to be able to do those sorts of things, so while I was on my own I made the most of it and filled my time up as much as possible.

I was able to get around the city very quickly with a really cool bike sharing program called Capital Bike Share. For $15 I could grab a bike from all over the city, go to my destination, and drop it off. It was incredibly convenient – next time I’ll need to remember to bring my own helmet since those aren’t provided and I kept getting to bike shops after they closed so I never bought one. The city streets felt pretty safe though with plenty of bike lanes, and traffic never moves to fast with all the lights and intersections.

During the day I would go to the main LivingSocial office, which is about a block from the White House, but there are offices all over the downtown DC area, and I visited a few to get to know what people who use some of the software I may write do with their day to day jobs. LivingSocial is a much bigger company than I’m used to working at, but if has the semi-chaotic feel of smaller, startup companies.

I’m looking forward to returning to DC, and when I do I’ll have to remember to book some tours of the major government buildings like the Capitol and the Pentagon in advance. Unfortunately, these aren’t places that you can just walk into on any given day, at least that I could figure out. There’s still more to see in and do than could possibly be seen or done.

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