I was a little concerned about not having a car in Washington, but was assured that the Metro system would be more than sufficient for most of our daily and weekly needs.

So far, I would agree. The metro lines run everywhere we want to be, and we’re on both the Blue and the Orange lines, the major lines into the city and the environs. Plus, the trains run frequently enough that you never feel like you’re standing and waiting for any great length of time (I’ve never waited more than 12 minutes, and frequently it’s less than 4).

The local metro stop (Rosslyn) is just about seven blocks away, uphill. No great trek. But oh how I wish I were 5’4″! While Tom and Aubrey lope toward the metro, I’m scurrying alongside, never loping, never ambling. We counted footsteps today. When Tom took 124 steps, Aubrey took 129 steps. Me, I had taken 142. That was 18 more steps than Tom in one block. Given the miles we walk around here, I’d say a pedometer would give me credit for a lot more mileage than either Tom or Aubrey would get!

This is not an easy city for the non-ambulatory. Even if you take the Metro, it’s typically a walk to get to the station, and then a walk to get wherever you are destined once you get to the station. When we first arrived, I’d constantly ask, how many blocks?, just trying to gauge how tired or hot I would be upon arrival. Now, two weeks later, I never ask. I just throw back my shoulders and walk on. It’s a good feeling to know I’m getting stronger.

Plus, I take the dogs on walks several times a day, so that adds miles right there (okay, maybe a mile or two). But, already, I feel much fitter and my pants are beginning to bag as they haven’t for years. Keep this up, and I’ll be thin as a rail. I’ll also be several inches shorter, wearing off inches from the soles of my feet.

Yep, you’ve gotta walk in DC, as I suspect will be the case in Sao Paulo, as well. It’s a nice change, since it was almost impossible to walk anywhere in San Diego, certainly not to dinner or to run errands.

Still, there are times when you need a car. But they have an answer for that, too.

Yesterday, needing to get to Woodbridge to the IKEA store, Aubrey and I rented a Zipcar. What a great idea! We needed the car for a couple of hours, and paid $11/hr to get where we needed and back. Tomorrow, we’ll rent another one for an hour, to go and get a Christmas tree. Don’t want to try to bring it back on the Metro, and it’s too far to walk. So, we’ll rent a car! For longer durations, it’s best to rent a car through Enterprise, but for the odd hour here and there, it’s Zip all the way for me! And the great thing is that there are five or six Zipcar spots in our immediate neighborhood, so I don’t have to traipse miles to get to them.