Saturday, January 17, 2009

We have arrived in DC and we have run ourselves ragged

We arrived in McLean, VA from BWI airport on the 15th, after a delayed flight from Memphis. The plane that was to arrive in Memphis was over an hour late due to the plane landing in the river in NY. Then the bus at BWI that was to take us to Greenbelt station in MD, was 45 mins late. So, we spent lots of time in the bus shelter in 6 degree weather. I wished for my long johns, but was glad for my hat, gloves and scarf.

It is jut freaking cold here. Yesterday (Friday), our first day here, it was 6 degrees in the morning with wind and the afternoon high temp was 15 BRRRRR!!! We walked ALL day, including long distances outside, from the Metro station to the the Museum of the American Indian where we spent several hours (and the museum is excellent), then Congressman Lamar Smith's office in the Rayburn office building (for info), then the Capitol where we took pictures of the stand being built for the inauguration and then down Pennsylvania avenue in front of Fox News and C-Span offices, to The Irish Times pub for some beer and snacks, and a rest. Then we got back on the Metro, and on into Maryland where we had a long, walk, which included getting lost, for a party with some international students, from Turkey, Brazil, Venezuela, Japan, China, and our hosts from Mozambique and Senegal. Lots of fun, and our first taste of
Cacha├ža and a Caipirinha, see photo:

Today (Sat), we went to the Eastern Market for breakfast, and admired the wonderful foods for sale in the meat, cheese and other various stalls.

Then we took off on the Metro (again) for the Smithsonian castle and the Museum of Natural History, which just re-opened after a 2 year remodel. The remodel is fabulous! This is probably the most kid friendly museum ever. We had so much fun watching the little ones come into the area with the dinosaurs and fossils...they would squeal with delight and press their noses and hands on the glass cases (that were at a child's level) and point out various items to their parents. It was a joy to see how wonderful the exhbits were, and how interactive. If you have not been to DC, this trip is a must!

We also went to the National Archives and saw the Magna Carta (short line, guess people don't realize how important that document is, or how Bush robbed us of our habeus corpus rights), but we did not stand in the long line for the Constitution as we had seen it before. Then we took a 6 block walk to the pub, Elephant and Castle, we we knocked down a beer or two with our food. Ray and I traveled with an old political friend, Greg and a "couch surfer" who arrived at the party the night before, Adam. A great time was had by all, and at least even though it was only in the low 20's today, there was little wind so it was bearable.

Following this, we got on the Metro (having a one block detour due to Obamas' incipient arrival at Union Station) and went to Eastern Market where we bought food for dinner, came home and cooked Andre some food that he thoroughly enjoyed...a thank you for all his efforts to keep us comfy and for taking us to the Metro every day.

I would like to make one big observation: the mood in this town is so different from what we have experienced in our last 2 visits (over the past 8 yrs)....everyone here is happy. Not just those of us coming for the inauguration, but those we live and work here! They actually thank us for coming to see the inauguration, there are lots of smiles, and just good general conversation.

As for photos, I took photos of portapotties in giant double lines on the mall, the swearing in stand in front of the Capitol, and many more.

I have no card reader and no USB connection for my camera, but our cousin is going to get me fixed up tomorrow so that I can upload some pictures.

Suffice it to say, that we are ready and waiting for the heatwave of 39 degrees tomorrow! We won't know what to do, LOL. On the agenda tomorrow...Costco (food and pillows, as we are currently using folded wool Army blankets). Cousin Andre has been the most gracious host, and we love his greyhounds too, so it's a happy group here in VA.

More later....


OpenID carolsartblog said...

Yes Cachaca and caipirinha will take care of those frigid temperatures! (I was introduced to them in Rio) Sounds like you'll need a week at home to recover - a sign of an excellent trip.

6:27 AM  

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