Tag Archives: White House

Leaving A Mark

Everywhere we travel, it seems that we are noticing more of something terribly out of place in nature and on man-made structures: people are “tagging” with graffiti. The graffiti shows up in many forms such as names, dates, political or religious statements, drawings, profanity or expressions of love, just to name a few.


I suppose that leaving a mark is in our nature as human beings. From the earliest cultures, we have found evidence of their stories and people left signs of their presence. These marks are part of our history and date back hundreds and thousands of years. The world is a different place now and it would be a much more beautiful world if members of society would chose to protect places of beauty and find an alternative way to leave their mark.

One of the most beautiful and amazing places we see on our trip up and down the Baja is the Cataviña Boulder Field. The Field runs for miles and miles and the hills and valleys are filled with tens of thousands of magnificent, building-sized boulders, gigantic rock formations and amazing cacti. This area, known as Baja’s rock garden, has unfortunately been “tagged” by people who feel they need to leave their mark.

Cataviña Boulder Field

Cataviña Boulder Field

On our way to California last year, we were delighted to see that someone attempted to cover the graffiti with beige paint to match the color of the boulders. By this year, however, many of the rocks were again “tagged”, but fewer than in years past. This entire region is under the protection of the Parque Natural del Desierto Central de Baja California, so perhaps they have been the party responsible for covering the defacement, or perhaps there are some dedicated good Samaritans who have taken that responsibility onto themselves. Whoever it is, we’re grateful.


There is a little white house across and down the street from us that we pass every time we drive to our home. Because the property is deserted, it is constantly defaced with graffiti. Every year, we purchase white paint and try to send a message that the “tagging” won’t be tolerated by painting over the graffiti with fresh white paint. My fear is that the “artists” just see us providing a new, blank canvas every time we do that. Oh well, perhaps more people will get the message.


I find it very sad that “tagging” has become such an accepted way for people to leave a mark. Make memories with photos when you’re travelling through places like Cataviña instead of defacing the boulders, write an editorial if you need to make a political statement, write a book, mentor someone, leave a legacy and just live your life as you’d like to be remembered and eulogized – that’s a much better way for each of us to leave evidence that we existed.

Washington, DC

We headed to Washington, DC when we left Baltimore. We weren’t in a great hurry to visit Washington until we were sure that the government workers were back to work and everything was open again after the sequester and closures. The time we waited was worthwhile as two days before we wouldn’t have been able to access many of the buildings, memorials or even public bathrooms.

It’s quite thrilling to see the capital buildings, even from a distance. We caught sight of the Capital Dome far away on Washington Avenue and it really is an impressive sight. Ron had been once before but it was my first visit.


We parked next to a public park quite far from the capital buildings and were greeted and serenaded with a song from Steve, one of the homeless men that spent their days there. Ron gave him some money to watch our car and he played his jazz rendition of Stormy Weather on his old trumpet to thank us. He and his friends couldn’t have been nicer and we were trusting that they really would watch our vehicle while we were touring the sights.

Steve Playing "Stormy Weather"

The White House, House of Representatives and the House of the Senate were very impressive. Despite all of the divisiveness and conflict that the government has endured as of late, you can’t help but be awed and inspired by the US capital – considered historically the most powerful nation in the world.

We walked for miles that day and were moved tremendously by the World War II Memorial and, more impactfully, by the Vietnam War Memorial. There was a contingency of elderly servicemen and their families/caregivers that were taking them through the memorials and it was a very emotional experience to watch. For us, reading the names of the tens of thousands of men who gave their lives senselessly in the Vietnam War and knowing that Ron could have been one of them was very moving, to say the least.


The Washington Monument was encased with scaffolding and undergoing repair, but the National Botanical Garden, National Mall and all of the other monuments, parks and memorials were open and very impressive. The weather that day was perfect which only added to our experience.


We were delighted to find our car exactly as we had left it even though Steve and his friends had left the park. We can only hope that the money we gave him went towards food and/or shelter and helped him in some way. Ron jokingly said that he hoped that Steve and his friends bought and enjoyed a nice bottle of California red wine on us – whatever! One more opportunity to be very grateful for what we have and the life we lead.