Monday, January 28, 2013

Visiting Washinton, D.C. January 2013

Sometimes, when your nest is not-so-empty, the best thing you can do is take a short "flight".  My husband and I try to take day or weekend trips here and there just to give everyone a bit of breathing room.  We've found it to be helpful, almost vital, for maintaining an appropriate level of separateness.  So when my husband had an unexpected 3-day weekend on the same weekend as our son, we decided that a trip to Washington D.C. was in order.  Unfortunately I didn't take many pictures.  I seriously forgot for much of the day that I even had my camera!

One of Stewart's former co-workers now lives in the D.C. area and has been asking us to visit for well over a year, offering to take us on a tour of the Pentagon where he works.  It has been a few years since we've visited Washington, D.C., which I don't understand because it isn't very far from home and can be done on a reasonable budget, unless you buy a can of soda at the Smithsonian cafe.  Barq's root beer is good, but not $3.50 good!

We started the day with our tour guide, Pat, picking us up at our hotel.  Curbside service can't be beat!  After briefly discussing the plan for the day, we headed out to face the D.C. traffic.  He is used to it, of course, but it is rather daunting for those of us not used to it.  He assured us that today's traffic was light.  Really?!  We live such a sheltered life in Small Town Delaware!

Our first stop was the Marine Corp War Memorial, also known as the Iwo Jima Memorial.  I was completely taken aback by its size!  I'd seen pictures of the statue but in my mind it wasn't much bigger than life size.  It was HUGE!  I really was quite remarkable.  The weather was bitterly cold so we didn't stay for very long. 

Marine Corp War Memorial

Next, we caught the Metro train at Pentagon station and headed to the Smithsonian Museum.  We decided to only visit the American History Museum since that was the only one that we all wanted to see and it, alone, would take hours to tour.  I think you would have to go every day for a week to see everything in just that one building.  We spent about 3 hours.  I'm not a great history-of-war buff but my husband and Pat both are so I kinda breezed through those parts while they lingered.  My favorite exhibits were about every-day living and how day-to-day life has changed so much.  I've been known to complain about housework but when I stop to consider that it took women all day just to wash the family's underwear and socks I remember that my washing machine and clothes dryer were something those women would've loved, especially when you consider that their underwear went from neck to knees! 

After leaving the building, we walked back across the Mall to the Metro station.  Workers were still in the process of taking down some temporary structures used during the Inauguration that had taken place earlier in the week.  It is interesting to me how freely we can walk through a spot that was so heavily guarded just a few days previous.

We arrived back at the Pentagon station where I gave up my camera to Pat since photography is absolutely forbidden there.  (Not that I'd been taking any!) I'm not exactly sure what I was expecting, but I wasn't expecting what was there.  The Pentagon is practically its own city.  They have restaurants, all kinds of stores, a laundry service, a dentist's office and even their own Post Office!  I guess that all makes sense since it employs about 23,000 people.  It is also a quite extensive museum of all things pertaining to the Department of Defense. 

Being in a place like the Pentagon, it is easy to see how so many people in positions of authority and influence can become carried away with their own sense of power, control and significance.  It would take a heart dedicated to humility to not get swept up in the illusion it provides.  And control really is just an illusion.  The photo display of the capture of Saddam Hussein and the several areas of rememberance for those who died in the 9/11 attacks prove just that.  Or at least they did to me.  A man who had vast wealth and power ended up in a dirty little hidey-hole pleading for his life and hundreds of people just going about their average day being taken away from their loved ones in one horrifying instant.  I don't know if all this would have been so thought-provoking had I not recently read The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn.  It is all about 9/11 and its possible relation to certain biblical events and prophecy for America's future.

I didn't intend to make this a heavy post so I'll move along to something lighter!  Wegman's.  Where has Wegman's been all my life?  Living in a small town where grocery shopping options are limited (I know!  I know!  Food Lion would be a huge deal to many people throughout the world but this is all relative to MY experience so indulge me!)  Wegman's is now my ideal grocery store.  Pretty much every aisle is International! So many choices!  The next time we stay in Fairfax, my husband can just drop me off there in the morning, go do his war memorial tour, then pick me up at night.  The only thing that would make Wegman's more perfect is if they had a spot for me to take a quick nap in the middle of the afternoon.  Seriously, I think I could make a day of it!

Stewart and Pat find "contraband" at Wegman's.   They were quite the dynamic duo on the search team where they used to work together.

The next morning we slowly woke up, got ready for the day and went to breakfast (Just Stewart and me, of course.  Pat dropped us off at the hotel the night before.) and headed the opposite direction of home.  We were off to spend a couple hours with one of my cousins and his family.  What an entertaining morning!  Harvey the dog was an enthusiastic greeter, Cousin and Wife-of-Cousin were inviting hosts, Children-of-Cousin warmed up to us at their own pace and all was pleasant!  I am proud to say that I was invited to star in their impromptu production of "Little Pig, Little Pig" and received applause for each of my attempts at getting it just right even though I had to be fed my lines and things got a little muddled for me at the twirling and falling down bits at the end. 

After that, we headed home and back to reality, content to take on the duties of the week to come. 

The view from our room.  We plan to be back!



  1. Interesting and it sounds like a great time.

    aunt Betty

    1. We had a very good time! The next time we go I will take more pictures!!