Bad luck in DC

Sergio has been bugging me about going to Maryland/DC for months now, so even with my flight to California approaching the next week, we decided to take a “quick” 10 hour drive (in rain the whole way) for the weekend. After leaving pretty late on Thursday afternoon, we arrived at the first location around 9am on Friday. We met with Chris in the rain at an abandoned school to start it off. It was a pretty big elementary school with a huge pool, gym/auditorium, as well as indoor and outdoor playgrounds. I walked around mostly alone, so after exploring those areas and the rest of the two floors, I packed up and left my stuff by the exit. Following a short search for the rest of the crew, I realized there were two more floors at the school that I missed, but I was too lazy to go back and get my tripod and bag with my wide angle. Luckily, we would return later. Here are a few shots from the first stop.

stairs desk slide tv best ramp Thurgood court full court pool

Next, we stopped by a hospital, walked around it in the rain, but found no way in. Hungry, we decided to grab some tasty breakfast nearby at Cafe Kimchi, then head to another hospital. This one was semi-active, and there was a lot of activity in the area and on the property. Regardless, we managed to make our way in. The first building housed probably the best room we saw on the trip. It has a small autopsy auditorium with crazy lights, a morgue, and a ton of microscope slides containing who-knows-what. We spent a good amount of time there, before we explored the rest of that building and another. Nothing really noteworthy in the rest of the buildings we explored.

full room table observation Cytology drawers samples slides bloody slide morgue open morgue  cabinet machine lecture hospital testing hospital

We went to check out an unfinished mega church, but a marked car was patrolling and drove onto the property. We decide to go eat again and to wait a bit before giving mega church another try. Better luck on the return, as we were able to get onto and off the property with no issues. Interesting location, but no one is going to spend hours there. It’s basically one huge room. Not the best to photograph, but it would be fun if you like heights/climbing. Decent way to wrap the first day.

mega mega mega mega

The most annoying thing about the trip was redoubtably the hotel. I guess others have had an enjoyable stay there, because it was recommended to us, but it started terribly when the front desk said my reservation was automatically cancelled because I was on the do-not-rent-list. Here we are 10 hours from home, been up since the previous morning, and now they’re saying I can take it up with the hotel manager the next day! After reminding the front desk of my situation and his further investigation, they realized that a guy from North Carolina with the exact first, middle, and last name as me was the one on the do-not-rent list. Weirdest coincidence ever. Oh well, shit happens. They reinstated my reservation and gave me my room keys. Now we can worry about plans for the next day. Friends from a couple hours away, Becca and Fran, were staying at the same place, so we met outside early in the morning and went back to the first hospital to give it another try. Denied again! Since Becca and Fran hadn’t been there yet, and I missed shooting the 2nd and 3rd floors, we made a return to the school from the previous day. I was surprisingly able to get several more shots there.

pool broken glass pool ball space room hallway tv tv vacuum ashes

The others had ideas for a shoot at an abandoned mansion a couple hours away, so we head up that way. We walk up the driveway and find a big house, hidden amongst several extremely expensive homes in the area. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get many shots here before I was approached, questioned, and asked to leave by a middle-aged, well-dressed guy. We start packing up and walking back to the cars. Becca made a joke about calling the realtor, so I look at the sign and realize that’s the guy that kicked us out. He must live next door or was called by the next door neighbor when we walked up the driveway. Either way, he was relatively nice and disappeared once we started leaving. On to the next one. After a quick hike through the woods, we arrive at the next abandoned home. Abandoned houses aren’t really my thing, but I took a few shots before we go to a train tunnel/weird altar in the middle of the woods. With the sun going down, it was time to head back to the hotel. It was quickly evident when we walked in that housekeeping had not straightened up the room or made the beds (not a big deal). Then I realized they took all the towels from the room, clean and dirty, and left us no towels at all. Remembering Belina said we ran out of toilet paper, I check, and not only did they they take the empty cardboard roll, but they also left us no toilet paper. I had to run to the office to retrieve all of this before we can take showers or use the restroom. I was promised we’d be treated to full-servicing of the room the next morning. With Sergio and Belina staying at the hotel to sleep, I met up with Becca and Fran for dinner at City Tap House (which was really fantastic) and to do a little night shooting around the streets of DC. Got back to the hotel around 2am, so (as always) I thought it would be a good time to edit a few pictures before hitting the sack a while later.

pool pool crime scene hot tub hand chair tub bunny pink room

We took it somewhat easy on the third day and ended up meeting near an asylum around 10am. We stayed there most of the day, exploring several buildings, and all ended up towards the back of the property and just kinda hung out for a minute. Bored, I decide to head back to the chapel to get a few shots there real quick before we leave. I ended up stopping at two other buildings and shot those before I got back to the chapel, where Becca and Fran were already waiting. With a long drive ahead of them, Becca and Fran take off, so I’m alone again. I shot the chapel for a sec then texted Sergio to just meet me at the front main building, so we can leave from there. Just before I reached the building, I peek down the street and here comes a white security truck. I’m pretty certain he saw me and accelerated quickly, so my first instinct was to take off. I ran faster than Usian Bolt down the street, through some brush, and into a building, while I can hear the guy yelling something at me from a distance. I flew through the building to the opposite side, trying to get to the next building, but the door was locked. I go downstairs to the basement, feeling pretty trapped at this point. Barely able to catch my breath, I call Sergio to let them know what happened and they’re in the building next to me. After a quick search, I found another door on that side of the building and coordinated with Sergio to go to a door across the street. As he peeked out to make sure the coast was clear, I ran over to the building they were in. Finally all together, with the help of google maps, we made our way back to the car without issue. After being kicked out here last year, I think I’m done with this place forever. Here are some shots from this visit.

green hall luggage church classroom Pepsi machine desk dentis chair cups wheelchair typewriter piano chair pink trike full tub

I can’t complete this post without mentioning the dinner we had Sunday night at Rustico. Not sure if the risotto “tots” or the burger was better, but I’m never going to Alexandria again without going back to eat there. I also can’t fail to mention we didn’t get the room “fully serviced” either. Didn’t look like they even stopped by this time. They may as well add me to the do-not-rent list now because I’ll never go to that place again anyway. Instead of driving through the night, we planned to stay one last night, and drive back on Monday. To get a few more shots, we got up early to beat the majority of traffic into DC to shoot in the streets there, before leaving around 10-11am to start the trek back home. Thanks to Sergio and (mostly) Belina, I actually didn’t drive at all on the way back. Was nice to chill, sleep, and edit photos for a change. Definitely have to get back to DC soon. Huge thanks to Chris, Becca, Fran, Carly, and Franklin for hanging and exploring with us.

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