Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Adventures in DC - Day 4

Originally published as an email to friends upon my return from Washington, D. C., just a few weeks before 9/11, we continue with...

Day 4 - Wednesday

It was oppressively hot and humid. My face was purple as I walked hither and yon, to and from, back and forth…I started at Ford’s Theater, which was so interesting. It was also cool in there, which added greatly to its charm. Then, I went to the Library of Congress. Wow. The Bible of Mains. A Guttenberg Bible. The rough draft of the Declaration of Independence! The ACTUAL ROUGH DRAFT!!! The smell of leather and old books and marble. I was definitely, positively, absolutely in heaven! In fact, I was grateful that I hadn’t gone there first, as it was the piece de resistance for me. Okay, I love books, so what? 

Downstairs, there was the Gershwins’ piano! And a Bob Hope exhibit that included all 68,000 pages of his jokes, all categorized, computerized, and accessible at the touch of a button. There were video screens in every corner where bits of his movies from various stages of his career could be viewed. His Oscar was there. It was completely captivating. Americana at its best, all right there in one building. 

And what a building! The most gorgeous floors, walls, ceilings, art. One of the most beautiful public buildings I’ve ever seen. With original books and documents too priceless to imagine. If you go to our nation’s capital, please don’t leave without going to the Library of Congress. It’s amazing. And guess what? 

I heard some people talking about a crazy woman at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier who had almost been arrested when it was thought she planned mayhem. Can you imagine such a thing? What an airhead! I introduced myself and filled in all the details.

From there, I rushed over to our representative’s (George Miller) office to see if they maybe, by some miracle, happened to have White House tour tickets available. They laughed at me, which I found rather uncharitable; however, it seems they are only allowed 10 tickets per week, and you have to get them months and months ahead of time if you plan to be in Washington during the summer season. Well, I would have, if this trip had been “planned” months and months ahead of time! Anyway, they suggested that I come back during the winter, when getting tickets won’t be such a problem. Nice young people, but obviously they don’t understand that, for some of us, a trip to Washington (even unplanned) only happens once every 51 years.

I took the Metro to Georgetown to check it out. Another completely charming place. Very old world construction, lots of boutiques and small restaurants, and a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream parlor. What could I do? What could be more enjoyable than a nice, cold, ice cream on a hot, humid day? Ahhhhh. Hot fudge. Totally decadent. So what? I was on vacation!

That night, Harry actually got off work in time for us to eat at a real restaurant, Sam & Harry’s. The food was so good, the wine was so wonderful, the company of my husband was so charming, the service was so attentive. It was perfect. And made even more so because it was free! We had a gift certificate…yay!

Next:  The weather's the weather.

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