Saturday, February 26, 2011

Our Trip to DC - so far


I’m sitting in the darkened hotel room at the Greenbelt Marriott. The staff is very courteous and I’d recommend this place to anyone who is considering a trip to DC. It’s not in city, in fact it’s in Maryland, but we’re a quarter mile away from the Metro station. To get into the city, takes approx 45 minutes.
We left Port Jeff later than expected, since I had some work to do. On the way down we stopped at the Cracker Barrel off exit 5 on the New Jersey Turnpike. It was early enough so I ordered a stack of peach pancakes, side of turkey sausage and coffee and orange juice. The food hit the spot and after spending some money on the little bums we headed back on the road. From Cracker Barrel it took about 2.5 hours. From Ronkonkoma, it took roughly two hours. Traffic was easy all the way since we left after the morning commute.
So we checked in and relaxed, the kids hit the pool and Ali and I prepared for our night at the Kennedy Center to see Bill T Jones Dance performance of Fondly we Hope, Fervently we pray. Seeing it in DC was appropriate since the dance is based on the life of Lincoln and his family, with much focus on Mary. I bought the tickets the day they went on sale back in December. We took the Metro and a shuttle from the Foggy Bottom station to us to the Kennedy Center. I expected the performance to blow me away, and I was not let down. The visuals, the music and the incredible artistry of the dancers were beautiful. I’m happy we made it, but when we got back to the hotel, my mother-in-law told us how sick Amanda became. Throwing up…must’ve been something she ate. She suffered a similar bout when they came back from Cape Cod for her sweet 16 trip.
Yesterday, Mo cheeks and Grammy stayed back as well as Papa, and the rest made our way to DC to see get a tour of the White House. It’s been years since I was in the building, the last time must have been when Carter was in office. I expected small groups were allowed access, but there was a line. School groups, church groups, families, it was a fast line, but I missed the idea this was a rare event for a few special folks. After getting through security, twice when they checked our ID – we were in. The secret service guard inside explained it’s a self guided tour, the faster you go, the more you miss, so take your time. Also, ask questions, they are secret service, but they must learn the facts of the White House. Last night there was a Mo Town show, Stevie Wonder performed, as well as others, the show will be on PBS next month. Passing through the halls of the White House, the antique, pristine furniture and paintings depicting the presidents and natural landscapes was humbling. And I’d remind myself, this is where he holds press conferences, this is where they lay in state if they pass while in office, where Lincoln and Kennedy were. What about McKinley? The heavy window curtains, the wall paper in the Yellow room and Green rooms, and all the time, I’d look outside since all of these years we have been looking from the outside in. I saw a few tourists looking at the house, and studied the magnolia tree, heavy limbs supported by wires. There were no photographs allowed inside, so we snapped away like everyone else once we got outside.
Eventually Joe met us. We ate lunch at the spy museum café. Avoid the café, the food was horrible! I went across to the National Portrait Gallery, and art museum, they took in the spy museum. I love this museum and could spend hours in there. There’s a section on folk art, which contains works from Rev Finster and so many others.
Today we’re off to DC again. I don’t know where, but I hope Amanda and Grammy join us. If anyone is feeling ill, I suggested to Ali that we head back home. I can’t see the point

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