Monday, May 17, 2010


There are still things to say about Washington D.C., like about all the hobnobbing with Senators and watching democracy in action and almost-but-not-quite seeing POTUS and about the times I cried because something moved me so much.

But then I went to Omaha.

Considering how little I enjoy flying, I've done quite a lot of it lately. Plus, if you fly to Omaha on Frontier Airlines there is a good chance that at some point you're going to get on a plane that is so small they can't hook up one of those accordion tunnel things to it so you have to cross the tarmac and climb the stairs into the plane. Or, my favorite, deplane down steps before crossing the tarmac to the terminal, which allows you to pretend that you are the President or royalty or whatever as you come down the stairs.

Although- travel tip here- I do not recommend flying if you have a head cold. Not that I would have done things any differently even had I known what was about to happen to me but it's still good advice. Because if you are in an airplane (especially a small one) and you are stuffed up from a cold you will probably, at some point, experience gut-wrenching, eye-popping, little-freaky-animals-with-talons-searing pain throughout your head and you will think that you are having an aneurysm and while one part of you fights to keep from screaming like a little girl the other part of you will regret all the Bret Michaels jokes you ever told and then the plane will finally land and the pain will subside but you'll be nearly deaf for the rest of the day.

So instead of looking all pretty and happy and let's-celebrate-your-40th-Poodle giddy when JP picked me up I was red of face, teary eyed and kept saying, "Huh?"

Fortunately, after a very nice Italian dinner (which he allowed me to buy for him because he always pays for everything when I'm in town which is nice but come on now, it was his birthday) and some advice from a diver about how to clear your ears and after we watched "The Office" and after he made me tea and built me a tent and set up the humidifier and I slept the sleep of the righteous, I woke up the next morning with my hearing restored and ready to party.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tuesday in DC

Tuesday was spent in meetings, being tortured on chairs left over from the Spanish Inquisition. But all that was redeemed when evening came and I got to finally meet my long-lost cousin, Doralong!

We had dinner at the Ritz Carlton, which was fantastic (fried goat cheese & beets, among other things....yum).

But even better was sitting across the table from someone who, once again, proved to be exactly as warm, witty and fun as her blog had led me to believe. It was just delightful.

It was also too short as I had to go back to the hotel for a Monuments by Night tour. I was looking forward to that because, let's face it, Washington D.C. is kinda all about the monuments. And it was beautiful.

The Capitol and "the monument" at dusk.The Iwo Jima sculpture is way, way bigger than I had thought. Semper fi!

I just brought the little family point-and-shoot camera so it didn't do super well with the night photography but I like this shot anyway.

The monument to FDR is quite something....a long walk leading up to a plaza composed of walls (with some of his words carved on them), fountains and wonderful statues of both FDR

and Eleanor.

When we first got to the Viet Nam wall I was disappointed. By then it was very late and dark and the black of the wall just slide into the darkness. But then we started to walk along it and the power of that monument was just as strong as if we were seeing it by day.

It is quite something...all those names. That's probably the eternal strength of this particular design. A statue can't convey the cost of war the way thousands of names can.

The Lincoln Memorial is like a church. Not just because it is so large but because it is so quite. People stand there, hushed, looking up at the Great Emancipator (who would be 27 feet tall if he stood up (freaky), and reflecting on, well, I guess on what greatness looks like.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Beginning Snapshots

Washington DC was superfantastic. Just wanted to say that. It was very humid the first couple of days, then it rained, then it was clear and warm. The hotel was nice, the conference was enlightening and the food was yummers. (Really, is there anything better than a hotel buffet breakfast? I'm serious).

Took the (very efficient) Metro out to Maryland where I was met by Ann, who took me to her house and fed me rhubarb pie.

We went to her church, where I met the effervescent and just-like-you-imagine-her
  • Mom. There was a lot of hugging.

    Then it was off to Baltimore with Ann and her kids (plus a boyfriend) to roam the streets and snap pictures of really old stuff. We had tapas for lunch. Fan.tast.ic.

    Evening cocktail party and a session with Dr. Donald Davis, a fantastic storyteller.

    Another session with Dr. Davis and then an afternoon scavanger hunt. Our team was at the Capitol. Must say, the moment the dome came into sight I got all varklempt. There is something very majestic about it...something that says, "Hey, I was here when you were fighting about slavery, I was here when you were aguing about civil rights and I'm still here. Deal with it."

    Then we had a meeting with one of Senator Murray's aides. It was all very professional and then she invited us to the constituent coffee with the Senator and gave us gallery passes for the House and Senate. And I cried.

    Had dinner at the Monocle, where everybody who is anybody dines (except we didn't see anybody) and did some shoppng at Union Square. I bought some wonderful yellow heels.

    More later.

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