Spotting the Not-So-Secret Agents of Washington, D.C.

March 3, 2015
Spotting the Not-So-Secret Agents of Washington, D.C.

In January 2015, my fiancé and I traveled to Washington, D.C. for the first time. After visiting a memorial for disabled veterans, our first stop was Capitol Hill, where tourists tried— and failed— to blend into society. While I was taking pictures, an elderly man wearing jogging attire walked toward me, put his right hand to his ear, and said, “Roger that. I see him.” A possible secret agent, he then proceeded to run past me and down the hill, toward, what I can only assume to be, something that had the potential to become the next major event in United States’ history.

Spotting the Not-So-Secret Agents of Washington, D.C.

My fiancé and I laughed at the man’s fruitless attempts to frighten us and guessed he found enlightenment in tricking tourists, but on our walk to the Library of Congress, paranoia set in. We found ourselves wondering how many of the people around us really were in the Secret Service.

We thought, like tourists, undercover U.S. Secret Service agents strived to blend in, and everyone around did have similar attire—even the “tourists” were in comfy clothes, as if they would need to sprint into a marathon with only a moment’s notice.

By trial and error, we learned that stepping on the steps of the Supreme Court (even to simply take a photo) was unacceptable.

For those unaware, the Capitol Building sits atop an enormous hill—brilliantly referred to as Capitol Hill— and is a great spot to exercise. In our paranoid minds, we decided the elderly man was pretending to be an exercising local, but in reality, he was on his way to stop an assassination attempt, and that we were only a mere camera angle away from filming the latest Jason Bourne movie.

We continued our trek toward the Supreme Court, which happens to be right next door to the Library of Congress. By trial and error, we learned that stepping on the steps of the Supreme Court (even to simply take a photo) was unacceptable. As we tried to get the best angle for a selfie, several armed guards appeared from the shadows, running toward us, refusing our access to the grounds. It was becoming clearer and clearer that we were surrounded by rules nonexistent back home.

Spotting the Not-So-Secret Agents of Washington, D.C.

Our final proof that Secret Service agents are everywhere in Washington, D.C. came with our trip to the White House. Guards were everywhere: across the street from the White House, in front of the fence that surrounds it, at the gate entrance, on the White House grounds.

But let’s ignore the overabundance of obvious agents in the parked Secret Service cars and the unusual number of white vans with pitch black windows driving around the block. Instead, let’s focus on the rather suspicious group of men playing street hockey in front of the White House.

If that isn’t a display of badly disguised Secret Service agents, then I don’t know what is.

Spotting the Not-So-Secret Agents of Washington, D.C.

For those of you who would like to seek out the Secret Service for yourselves, the Holiday Inn across the street from the Department of Education was clean, employed friendly staff, and had an amazing breakfast buffet. I definitely recommend staying there if you’re in town, because it’s also within walking distance of all the major tourist attractions in D.C., and it isn’t too expensive.

The Very Secret Agents of Washington, D.C.
Selfie with Secret Service

Have you traveled to Washington DC? How was you trip? Email us at for information about sharing your experience and advice with the Pink Pangea community. We can’t wait to hear from you.


Spotting the Not-So-Secret Agents of Washington DC photo credits: Danielle Rose and Unsplash.

About Danielle Rose

Danielle Rose is a writer, editor, and adventuress. Danielle resides in the Midwest, where she spends her time at a local coffee shop planning her next vacation or plotting her next novel. In addition to her writing endeavors, she is also the owner and editor of Narrative Ink Editing LLC. When not writing, traveling, or writing about traveling, Danielle enjoys coffee, being outdoors, reading, binge watching movies and/or television series, and cheering for her favorite football team (Go Packers!). Visit Danielle on the Web:

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