The most awful, terrible day: Mt. Vernon attempt #1

((In our attempt to have an "Enrichment Day" so people at the Barlow Center could do something and then write a paper about it later, we decided to go to Mt. Vernon. It was a DISASTER. Ryan wrote the story for his paper, but then realized that this crazy story took up too much space, so he re-wrote it and I decided it was a pretty dang good story, and way better than the silly posts I normally wrote. So for your viewing pleasure, our terrible day, narrated by Ryan...with extra comments by me))

As soon as we entered the bike store, her ((yes, mine)) sunglasses broke. That was only the beginning of our enrichment day that can only be described as unbelievable. Because a couple in our ward graciously lent us four bicycles, Amanda, Dave (where you can totally check out a more detailed version (that takes up three posts total) of our perilous journey), Emily and I all felt lucky to have saved money and time not having to rent bicycles for our journey to Mt. Vernon. How little we knew.

The bike tires had no air in them, so we went to a bike shop just down the road only to find out that one of our bikes had a badly bent rim. After suffering subpar customer service ((they were SUPER rude and made us feel like we were all 8 years old: lame)) and paying thirty dollars, we hit the road for Mt. Vernon. Traveling down 23rd St., however, Emily discovered that her brakes failed to function. During a quick stop by the Lincoln Memorial, I raced to another bike shop where I negotiated for an Allen wrench ((he gave them his Library of Congress card as collateral--who knew a library card had so much power?!)), which allowed us to secure the loose brake pad. Two and a half hours behind schedule, we arrived at the bike path.

After several gorgeous miles of riverside greenery my front bike tire found a thorn; within minutes had completely deflated ((we pulled over because Ryan's bike seat was slowly lowering and right as we did we heard the "ssssss" coming out of the tire)). The emotional roller coaster continued as our two partners found a bike shop a mile ahead only to discover that no bike tire patch kits were in stock. Three of us stayed behind while Dave rode ahead to find a bike store with patches. Upon his arrival, we patched the tire.

With Mt. Vernon no longer feasible, we decided to enjoy Alexandria to its fullest. We arrived at a notable candy store ((with a super amazing selection of taffy and candy from all over the world!)) and prepared to lock our bikes; unfortunately, our partners had misplaced the keys to the expensive lock our lender bought for the sole purpose of our trip ((We look happy after getting our candy though, right??)). 

Frustrated, they retraced their steps to locate the key. Meanwhile, Emily and I visited a few shops. Upon returning to our bikes half an hour later, my tire had deflated once again ((We were planning on getting some dinner about five miles away, but with no bike, to ride on, I was not going to walk all the way. Seriously, we were so dejected.)). Surrendering ourselves to fate, we walked fifteen blocks to the metro where a manager informed us we could not board the metro for two hours because bikes were prohibited during rush hour ((Yes, this is where my eyes proceeded to tear up, I seriously hate being rejected and I just wanted to go home so bad right then)).

1. Yes, I'm totally wearing a UVU hat. It was free, ok?
2. Here we are at the waterfront near the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria...ahh it was a happier time back then, before we knew Ryan's bike would be flat for the second time that day...

Miraculously, our foursome found some happiness in this day. To pass the time waiting for the Metro, we met at a restaurant on King St. that served delicious food ((Cafe Salsa. Latin American Food. SO GOOD.)). For the first time that day, we enjoyed ourselves. As soon as we were permitted, we rode the metro to our apartments, where we spent the rest of the evening in solace and comfort ((eating ice cream and watching Oceans 11)).

mmmmm. Brazilian nachos with plantains instead of tortilla strips!!

The disaster on our enrichment day made became a learning experience during our actual trip to Mt. Vernon the following Monday. Distressed that the faulty bikes had ruined our day, the lenders lent again; this time, however, it was a vehicle. Our second journey suffered no setbacks, giving us the chance to learn about and empathize with George Washington.

We found this restaurant as we were walking to the Metro for the bajillionth time that day. It just sums up perfectly our day.


  1. haha, oh man. my bangs looks disgusting. just nasty. great story! we should link to each other! woot woot! nice commentary!

  2. SO sad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Girl, I'm sorry. I love the Hard Times Cafe. Perfect. Hopefully attempt #2 will be more successful! But the candy sure looked yummy :)


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