If you're going to drink beer at 11 am--on a Sunday--then I think you should have to earn it.
And I say that waking up at 7 after a night of light partying, then trekking across town to the Waterfront and baking in the DC sun for a few hours counts as earning it. That's how I spent last Sunday along with Nicole, Becky, and Whitney, in kayaks on the Potomac.
The Potomac looks different when you're sitting a couple inches above its surface. I usually see it from the Yellow Line, looking out over the bridge that connects the Pentagon and L'Enfant Plaza Metro stops. The water appears dirty. There's no impressive boat traffic, except for the fleet of paddle boats by the Jefferson Memorial. Most of the bridges are rather ugly. The river is a mere 15 seconds of my morning commute.
But when you're in a kayak, the river is a.) huge and b.) beautiful. Remember the scene in Dead Poets' Society where Robin Williams/John Keating makes the boys stand on top of the desk for a different perspective? If you paddle past Georgetown for a few minutes, it's possible to forget you're around the bend from a big city. As long as you can ignore the stream of commercial jets 100 feet overhead.
Being in that kayak was the most relaxing thing I've done since I moved to DC. This city doesn't seem to relax very often. I'm from the Midwest, and I go to college in the South. I appreciate the art of relaxation.
Ah, but back to the beer. After a couple of hours, we docked the kayaks, compared sunburns, and took a walk along the Waterfront. On hot, sunny mornings like last Sunday, those outdoor bars and their $6 beers hold an unfair advantage over anyone whose ID says they are 21. The fight was over before it started. We soon found ourselves sipping on $6 bottles. For goodness sake, there's a bar in Chapel Hill where $6 can conceivably buy 30 beers on a Tuesday or Thursday night.
But the beer tasted good, and when the guy on the stool next to mine started strumming a ukulele, I decided that it was worth the price.