National Book Festival

Washington DC Capitol Building at night

Living so close to DC I often forget that people travel hundreds and thousands of miles to visit what’s a 20 minutes metro ride away from my door step.

So despite the dreary weather on Saturday, I put on my rain jacket and headed to the National Mall where the National Book Festival was in full swing. After hording loads of free stuff and listening to a couple of great authors, I headed for lunch at the Mitsitam Cafe at the National Museum of American Indian. There isn’t a sexier museum in DC than this one and the only thing more memorable than the exhibits and the architecture was the food. I ordered enough to feed four.

After my late lunch and a museum tour, I headed to the festivities planned by the National Parks Foundation to celebrate National Public Lands Day. At this time, the light drizzle had elevated to steady rain but my adventurous spirit was still warm and toasty. I walked around visiting the booths set up by the 14 national parks of the national capital area. I was pretty much being forced to take the free stuff at this point because there was hardly anyone else there. Despite my refusal, I scored more pens, post its, pencils, T-shirt, and an ice cream sandwich.

Finally it was 7:00pm, time for the premier of Ken Burn’s latest Documentary, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. The screening followed a brief speech by the man himself, Ken Burns and the writer/produder Dayton Duncan. The steady rain had elevated yet again to a down pour. My adventurous spirit was slightly damn and wanted to be in my cozy apartment with wool socks. But once the screening started, it was hard to get up and leave. It is truly a wonderful series and I can’t wait to see all six episodes.

I got home at 9:00pm, wet, cold, hungry, and feeling like a homeless man. In retrospect the day reminded me of my first backpacking trip in Europe during December 2004: painful but undeniably fun.

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Chika Gujarathi is a freelance writer based in Raleigh, NC. She writes about everything from travel, food, books, and family. Her current project includes a series of children's books to teach Hindi. She is a native Tar Heel who has also lived in Washington DC and Chicago.

One thought on “National Book Festival

  1. hehe… ignore my comment on the last entry…
    i should've read this entry before posting a comment asking you how the national book festival went… heheh

    nice pictures!!!

    Like

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