We are back from our trip to Washington, D.C. to tour the sights with Alaskan buddy, Wayne Crayton and his 11 year old daughter Hannah. We felt our 9 year old son Alex would get along well with Hannah and wanted him to see the capital. They did not disappoint us. Alex and Hannah kept each other and us grown ups in stitches.
Salome, Alex & I arrived on Tuesday morning around 9 PM. We were met at the airport by one of my closest friends from high school, Kate McCauley. Kate and her husband Jim graciously put us up in their home in spite of the fact that they had pretty busy agendas themselves between baseball playoffs for son David and a weekend camping trip. After a quick bite for lunch at Kate & Jim's we took the subway to meet up with Wayne, Hannah and Tammy. Tammy is a colleague of Wayne's from the U.S. Corps of Engineers and a member of the running fraternity/sorority. Hannah gives me a big hug and I give her a twirl. Wayne looks great, which I was trilled to see given his triple bypass surgery in January. Now, I know my buddy is going to be alright. He looks better than pre-surgery and I've no doubt he will return to the marathon.
We spent the afternoon touring the American History Museum. Part of the museum had a tribute to the North American fishing trade. Since my family on my mother's side is from Gloucester, Massachusetts, I started telling Wayne and Tammy how important the Cod trade was to the discovery and development of our country. They were in a giddy mood and started laughing at my story. Knowing a losing battle when I see one, I started to expand on the theory of cod's importance theorizing that perhaps cod was so important that cod is the actual deity; that the idea of "God" was simply a miss-transcribing by monks in the middle ages; and that we actually are supposed to be worshiping the fish. Yes, I'm probably going to hell for this bit of sacrilegious humor. Later, as we wandered by the history of coinage, Tammy is scanning an enlarged microscopic image of a $20 Double Eagle Gold coin. As she scans the bottom of the coin, we note that the "G" is worn away to look like a "C." Thus, the inscription on the coin read: "In Cod We Trust." We were doubled over laughing. After leaving the museum and having ice creams and frozen lemonades, we walked over to the Washington Memorial.
Kate & Jim put together a fabulous dinner for all of us plus Tammy's boyfriend, Wess. Jim accidentally defrosted catfish instead of chicken for the fajitas he planned for dinner. Salome & I assured him that we would back his play and eat catfish fajitas if everyone else focused on the steak to the exclusion of the fish. My only request was that we tell our friends that its cod. Not a problem, the fish fajitas were delicious and everyone ate them. The rest of the meal was equally good.
Wednesday, we met up with Wayne and Hannah after their White House tour at the Smithsonian Castle. They and most of the Smithsonian museums had some reference to the "Night at the Museum 2" movie. The castle had the treasures and Archie Bunker thrown set up from the movie. We we glad we had taken Alex to the movie the Saturday before the trip. After that, it was off to the Air & Space Museum. Wayne & Hannah left us at lunch to go on their tour of the Capital. We toured the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden and the Hirshhorn Museum. For dinner, we went with Kate, Jim & Sean to a nice restaurant in the hip new section of Arlington. gelatos for desert and a nice walk home. At dark, Kate & Jim drove us on a night tour of the capital. A great way to see the monuments and buildings.
Thursday, we were supposed to tour the Capital in the morning, but the Capital was shut down with a human chain war protest in the Rotunda. We crossed the street to hook up once again with Wayne & Hannah in the Library of Congress. After lunch, we toured the White House. By the time we left, about 3 PM, our legs were shot. Once we got to the Natural History Museum, however, we couldn't stop going from collection to collection. Too cool stuff. From dinosaurs to sea creatures and gems.
Friday morning, we met up with Wayne & Hannah for the last time. We visited the International Spy Museum. While not a free national museum, this is a very interesting museum. At lunch, I give Wayne a book I had picked up a couple of nights before. A history of "Cod." We all manage a short visit to the National Portrait Gallery before bidding Wayne & Hannah farewell. After leaving our friends, we head over to the Capital for our make up tour.
Saturday morning, Salome, Alex & I take a tour of the National Zoo before heading back on an afternoon flight. All in all, a fun family trip in which we got to see friends we don't get to see as often as we like. Thank Cod for good friends and good times.