I really enjoy visiting new places. Not that I don’t love Denver and Colorado, but there’s nothing quite like the very first time you visit another city. My latest tourist trip: this time I’m off to Washington, D.C. for the very first time. I’ll be there over the 4th of July weekend, and you can imagine that the celebration in our nation’s capitol is going to be off the charts. We arrive tomorrow, and our first stop is the Smithsonian for this weekend’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival. This year’s festival has four main components, featuring folk music, food, history and culture of Oman, Nuestra Musica, Forest Service and Food Culture USA, which includes the festival events and special menus and events at restaurants across the city. I cannot possibly have enough time to see even part of all of them, so I think I’ll stick with some of the events featuring Latin music and American food.

We might try to hit the Fish Wharf and have a look at the great mid-Atlantic seafood available. Hopefully we’ll track down some super-fresh Maryland blue crab at a nifty little crab shack along the way. Also on the very flexible itinerary is a trip down to Virginia’s race tracks for Thoroughbred racing on Saturday, and of course Monday is the big day. Monday’s Independence Day Parade sounds like a flag-waving monstrosity of a celebration, with over 300,000 spectators expected along the parade route along Constitution Avenue. And the crowd will only get bigger through the day; the estimated crowd for the fireworks at the National Mall is over 700,000 hot, sweaty, humidity-drenched people. Hope everyone wears their deodorant. But the event sounds amazing. Called A Capitol Fourth, the event will be broadcast on PBS for the 25th year, and this year’s concert includes the National Symphony Orchestra (doing the 1812 Overture complete with real cannon fire), and music by Gloria Estefan and the Beach Boys. And the fireworks display over the backdrop of the Washington Monument is quite fittingly supposed to be the longest and grandest in the nation. Stay tuned over the next few days, as I’ll try to update you on my adventures large and small as often as possible over the holiday. Have a great 4th of July weekend.