Ok, happy Wednesday. Kinda. Today is my first day back at work since March 26th, and I’m feeling it. My girlfriend and I took off on a Saturday morning to Annapolis for a couple days, then on down to DC. I am going to attempt now to walk the line between talking about the stuff I liked on the trip, and just babbling on about my vacation so much that you just get bored and quit reading.
We’ll start with what I affectionately call the Family Tour portion of vacation.
Without actually detailing all the family stuff we did, the first 2 days were spent being tourists in Annapolis. The inner harbor area of Annapolis is really cool if you’re into that kind of thing, and wandering around the Naval Academy there is a must. I’m not a giant Navy guy, but walking through the Naval Academy Cathedral is a breathtaking experience and visiting the crypt of John Paul Jones is an impressive learning experience.
After two nights, some family fun that included an awesome BBQ place called Red Hot & Blue, old fashioned living room fort building and a big lasagna dinner, we struck on down the road to Alexandria, VA.
The last night of the Family Tour was spent in Alexandria, VA, at my girlfriend’s uncles’ kick ass townhouse. (Yes, two uncles share a home. They’re not brothers, you do the math. (Also, they’re pretty awesome)). Much visiting and hanging out, then a dinner trip to one of my favorite Alexandria restaraunts (I have 3), Shooter McGee’s.
On the way out to dinner, we see the neighbors all outside, cute little girls waving goodbye to their daddy who’s leaving for work, mom watching from the stoop. We all say “Hi”, then we go off to dinner. We had a great dinner, went back to their townhouse, and then one of the uncles set to calling their outdoor cat home for dinner. He did this by yelling the cat’s name at the top of his lungs. It is a black cat. Its name is Blackie. Guess what race the neighbors are. I laughed for 20 minutes.
Nicest guy in the world, everyone in his community loves him, but holy crap, that was FUNNY!
After spending the rest of the evening in and enjoying a home cooked breakfast, the Family Tour had come to an end. Time to get on the Metro and get into the city to be tourists!
Everything about the trip was fantastic, but there are a couple things that will stand out in my memory. The brightest light is the Newseum. If you haven’t been there, go there. The late Tim Russert’s office, the complete set of Pulitzer Prize photos (Some of these are as evocative as anything I’ve ever seen), the real sections of the Berlin Wall and the history gallery are all amazing, but the thing I’ll never forget is their take on a 9/11 Memorial. It’s a peice of one of the Tower’s antennae, and huge wall of the next day’s front pages… from all over the country and all over the world. Hundreds of reminders, from every corner of the globe, of the despair of that day. The pictures, the headlines, the sudden humanity from news organizations in countries that you would expect it from, and some that you wouldn’t.
It’s been nine years of mostly not thinking about what happened. Hell, nine years of not thinking about Oklahoma City, the USS Cole, the first World Trade Center bombing. But it didn’t take me long to remember all of that staring at that wall of front pages. I couldn’t stop looking, I read every headline and looked at every picture. I was sad. I was mad. Is it weird that my favorite part of vacation was something that made everyone cry?
This isn’t all depressing, though, the other awesome thing we did was see Shear Madness at the Kennedy Center. The show was great fun, but the real star was the Kennedy Center itself. The place is magnificent, and if anyone has a chance to see a show there, don’t hesitate. Get there early to look around, play on the terrace and eat at their awesome restaraunt (it’s pricey, though. I could only afford to look at the menu. No lie, we ate somewhere else.).
After the Newseum and before the show, we spent a couple days walking the city, eating lunches at Potbelly’s and taking tons of pics of cherry blossoms. The Tidal Basin is surrounded by cherry trees, and they are spectacular in full bloom.
The final act of the DC trip was dinner Thursday night at Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub in Old Town Alexandria. Great food, great beer, great atmosphere, but what killed it that night was a little “almost Irish” band who started late and ended even later. The band is Ceann, the best song is Pretty on the Inside, and if you don’t follow that link and listen to those songs I’m going to be really mad at you! Hell, I might even be mad at you if unless you buy a CD or two from them. I’ll think about it.
Well, that was the trip to Washington, DC in March-April 2010. I promise it was more exciting while it was happening that it was to read about.
You just had to be there.