We returned to Colorado: 2006-7-16 00:00:00 GMT-07:00 ago.

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« Departing Denver and Figuring out Transportation | Main | Our First Official "Tourist Day!" »

The Hains Point Giant Awakening and DC Metro travel

We rented a car at Baltimore's Airport, and drove down to where we are staying in Vienna, VA.  The first night we got here, we must have been total zombies.  But Yvette was nice enough to deal with us, and help to brainstorm a list of places we should see, and more importantly, the order we should see them in.

Because the public transportation system is very good in Washington D.C., we decided to return our rental car, rather than adding additional days.  But we decided that we would see the out of the way "Hains Point Giant" statue before returning the rental carWashington D.C. Traffic sign What we noticed was the huge contrast between us (HAPPY), and the majority of people on the road.

But that's to be expected when we're on vacation in a new place, and they're just going about the daily grind.
Check out these unhappy drivers. The guy in the blue car was FUMING.

We seriously thought he was going to kill someone.
Washington D.C. Traffic - unhappy driver 1 Washington D.C. Traffic - unhappy driver 3 Washington D.C. Traffic - unhappy driver Washington D.C. Traffic - unhappy driver - anger

Now, here's me! Very happy about seeing famous Washington D.C. landmarks out the window.
Washington D.C. Traffic - happy driver DC Monument from car

So after some slight driving confusion and significant traffic, we got to Hains Point park, and drove to see "The Giant!"

If you don't know what the giant is, it's actually a statue on Hains Point called "The Awakening".
Read more about "The Awakening"

Hains Point Giant distance Hains Point Giant whole giant Hains Point Giant Picture
Hains Point Giant picture head hand Hains Point Giant picture head hand Hains Point Giant picture legs Hains Point Giant picture head

Hains Point Giant picture - Carrie mouth

I told Carrie that it would be funny if she took a picture sitting in the giant's mouth. So Carrie tried to crawl into the giant's mouth, and she told me that he tried to bite her.

I had a hard time believing her. After all, this is just a statue of a giant, right?

But, just to be on the safe side, I approached very cautiously.

I tried to sneak into the giant's mouth

Hains Point Giant picture - sneaky

As I was crawling in, I realized that Carrie was right. This giant was alive, and he had FOUL breath!

Hains Point Giant picture - bad breath

So I got out of there as quickly as I could, in case he decided to take a bite.

Hains Point Giant picture - get out

As I scampered out of his mouth, his giant hand moved, and looked like it would come right down and crush me.

Hains Point Giant picture - Jonathan Hand Hains Point Giant picture - Jonathan Hand

So Carrie and I pondered - maybe we should head for friendlier parts of the giant.

Hains Point Giant picture - chin

Carrie courted the feet and knee
Hains Point Giant picture - Carrie toe
Hains Point Giant - Carrie foot
Hains Point Giant - knee Carrie Hains Point Giant - knee

While I found the hand to be quite nice.
Hains Point Giant - hand

Hains Point Park also has a lot of other nice locations to see, and things to do.
Hains Point fisherman
Hains Point-view

On the way to Reagan Washington National airport (to return the car), we got a view (from the distance), of the Thomas Jefferson memorial.
Thomas Jefferson Memorial 2Thomas Jefferson Memorial

We'll return back here in a couple of days.

One of life's little rules is "Always return a borrowed car with the gas tank full." Nowhere is that more the case than with a rental car. But, based on what I was told at the car rental place, I did not re-fuel the car before returning it. That was a mistake.

Long story short, a one day car rental cost us $112.00. Yes, this may quality for the most expensive car rental (for a one day compact car rental) in history. Moral of the story: "Always return a borrowed car with the gas tank full" no matter what the person behind the counter tells you.

Also, you really should have your contracts reviewed, ALWAYS, before you sign them. Sometimes it's inconvenient, but it's ALWAYS a good idea.

We then took the DC Metro blue line from Reagan Washington National Airport to the orange line, to head out to Vienna, VA.
Washington National Control Tower Washington National Metro Sign
Washington National Metro - Lighthouse

Washington National Metro

Washington DC Metro - long
Washington DC Metro Welcome to VA Virginia metro sign

We took the DC Metro to the bus stop, and then walked about 10 minutes from the bus stop back to where we're staying, with our friends Misti and Yvette. Where we're staying is pretty close to this building.
Nobel Sheraton Hotel - Vienna, VA



Yes you should ALWAYS have your contracts reviewed---especially b/c you know a 3L law student who will do it via phone for FREE!!! But that being said-a rental car app is really a contract of adhesion (meaning you have no power and they have all the power, and it's presented to you on a take it or leave it basis) so you really don't have much of an alternative unless something is so grotesque as to warrant your finding of another rental car company. Also---important to note---if you don't read the fine print (or even the BOLD, ITALICIZED, CAPS LOCKED, 24 pt font print) it is still binding on you. So read up, and call if you need basic contracts advice (I will, undoubtedly, pass you along to a real lawyer as I am prohibited from giving legal advice until I pass the bar).


That's a nice looking logo you are wearing there in these photos! :) Looks like you guys are having a great time! We're thinking about you... keep in touch! Brian & Jamie

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Official Travel Pictures
(What's online and available at the moment...)

Day 1 -  The Hains Point Giant "The Awakening" and DC Metro       Pictures/stories    No Video
Day 2 -  Our First Official "Tourist Day!"                                    
Pictures/stories    Summary Video  
Day 3 -  National Museum of Art, Constitution, and Carrie's Bday   
Pictures/stories    Summary Video
Day 4 -  Arlington, Iwo Jima, FDR, Jefferson, Holocaust Museum    
Pictures/stories    Summary Video
Day 5 -  Washington D.C. Museums and the Hope Diamond           
Pictures/stories    Summary Video
Day 6 -  Mellow relax and Catch-up day with our friends Misty and Yvette
Day 7 -  Delaware, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania      
Pictures/stories    Summary Video
Day 8 -  Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Mamma Mia! on Broadway    Pictures/stories    Summary Video
Day 9 -  New York City, The Empire State Building, Long Island      
Pictures/stories    Summary Video
Day 10 - Catch-up/prep day with our friends Viliam and Julie, as well as the New Jersey PPL Briefing
Day 11/12  Travel to Africa  (Arriving in Africa the evening of Day 12, which was June 22nd)
Day 13 - Safari in Arusha National Park and touring the lodge        
Pictures/stories    Summary Video(s)
Day 14 - Traveling to Mount Kilimanjaro and beginning our climb     
Pictures/stories    Summary Video
Day 15 - Second Climb Day on Mt Kilimanjaro                              Pictures/stories    Summary Video
Day 16 - Third Climb Day on Mt Kilimanjaro                                 Pictures/stories    Summary Video

In the meantime, check out the Gear page!