Because I've only been living in the DC area for about 8 months don't get out much, I really don't know the city that well yet. I can find my way around near three or four Metro stops that I frequent, but I print out a map if I'm going anywhere else.

So I can't really complain about the tourists who wander around lost all the time, because I'm in the same boat half the time. But that doesn't mean I won't.

Family vacation season is just reaching its crescendo, and more and more mid-westerners can be seen wandering around with glazed looks. For the most part, they stay in DC, but I've been seeing a lot of them lately down here in northern Virginia, where the hotels are cheaper. You can always spot them if they've got one or more of the following:

  • Fanny packs. The tourist staple. Unacceptable at home, but somehow OK if you're in a different state.
  • DC sweatshirt. Yes, we're all very happy that you spent your vacation at our nation's capital. But do you really think it's going to impress anyone here?
  • FBI baseball cap. Same thing. No one is going to mistake you for an agent, I assure you.
  • T-shirts tucked into shorts. I'm not convinced this was ever fashionable, anywhere.
  • Cell phone conversation. "Yeah, we're right by the White House!" Not even close, buddy.
  • Kids. Having spent four years in college (not a lot of kids about, there), I didn't even notice their absence here for a month or two. It seems that no one in DC actually procreates, and I almost never see any in Crystal City...unless they're with a guy who's consulting a map and adjusting his FBI hat while his wife rifles through her fanny pack.