Visiting DC

The next part of my trip started on Monday, Labor Day where I met up with my aunt and uncle Bob and Cindy (and cousins Marshall and Ellen).  They were nice enough to let me stay at their home the rest of the week and I enjoyed getting to see them again.  Get ready for a lot of photos.  See photo descriptions for details on trip.  This is a lot of photos so bear with me but I think it is the best way to share my trip with all of you!

the first thing we did was go to the capitol building for a tour . Our tour guide was a bit over-eager but it was still fun.
Each state has a statue at the capitol. Here I am by good old brother Brigham
Lady Liberty at the capitol
By the famous painting of the signing of the Constitution by John Trumbull.
the library of Congress had amazing mosaics
One thing that reminds me of Maryland is blue crabs. Bob and Cindy surprised me and got a bag of live crabs. It was a ton of fun both to cook and eat! The crabs were covered with old bay (of course, nothing else would be permitted in Maryland) and took forever to eat but that's part of the fun of it!
Me with the crabs
I love Ellen's face looking at the crabs!
Cindy with the crab

Tuesday I spent the day with my friend Adrienne and her children (especially my new friend Norah.  We bonded.).  For most of the day we went to Mt Vernon in Virginia.  This is the home of George Washington and it was beautifully preserved.  It appeared to have been recently restored.  Everything looked new and fresh with good signs and lots of volunteers.  They even had an explorer area for the kids.  The only downer was the rain, which would be a trend for my whole trip.  While I missed hurricane Irene, I made it just in time for tropical storm Lee.   Still,  I was not on the trip for sights.  I was there to see my friends.  Rain or shine!

Norah aka Martha Washington
Adrienne, Norah and Ezra at Mt Vernon
Me at Mt Vernon

On Wednesday  I had the busiest day in the city.   It all started with a ride into the city on the metro.  I went the first part of the way with Adrienne and unfortunately there was a jerk on the train.  He said that she should handle her son and that the entire train would appreciate it.  What a jerk!  Made me miss my Utah.

Anyway, I got about half way and they made an announcement saying the train was out of service and we had to get off.   With Joni meeting me I was nervous about waiting for a repair, so I decided to get a cab.  It was my first experience hailing a cab.  Its harder then they make it look in the movies!

Eventually I got a cab and made it to the Lincoln Memorial.  Just as I arrived it started to rain and pour.  I mean this was sheets and sheets of rain.  Thankfully Bob and Cindy let me borrow their large umbrella (thanks!).  Needless to say, our plans to visit all of the memorials went out the door.  At least I got to see the Lincoln and the Jefferson which are my favorite.

Lincoln Memorial
Me and good old Abe. I love Abraham Lincoln. One of my heroes
Me and Jefferson
Jefferson Memorial

So I met up with my friend Joni Miller.  We knew each other years ago in college.  She was originally the friend of my cousin but we connected quickly.  I was also close with her sister Casi.  They are great people and I’m so grateful for facebook and how it allows me to keep in touch with such old friends.  We had a wonderful time visiting with each other.

This entire trip what amazed me is how quickly I gelled with my old friends.  It was like no time had elapsed at all. There is something comforting about that.

We went to a delicous pizza place called We the Pizza. IT is run by Spike Mendelson of Top Chef fame (and he was there. I saw him!). I guess Sasha and Malia eat there and the President next door...and it was very reasonably priced. The sausage and sweet pepper pizza was my favorite.
You can't really see but it is Julia Child's kitchen taken from her home in Cambridge. I love her
The museum was full of interactive exhibits like this train that felt like it was moving. It was funny because Joni's son Owen didn't understand what was interactive and what was traditional museum. He actually made the alarm go off on the 2nd floor! They didn't do anything but we walked away quick!
They had a neat exhibit on 9/11 with artifacts from each of the sites. It was a sobering powerful reminder
They had a spot where you could write your thoughts on how 9/11 has impacted your life. It was amazing to read the thoughts of other posters, some of whom had eye-witness experience. Also, our accounts will be archived in the Smithsonian. Now I will have something archived in the Smithsonian. So cool!

My comment on the Smithsonian card- How did September 11th, 2001 alter my life?

The other day I was watching a movie from the 80’s and it showed the old skyline with the towers and my heart broke. My heart broke for the loss of that day. And then I remember that on 9/11 the greatest thing that man could erect was taken down in one instant. Likewise, the great things and more importantly people in my life can be gone in one instance. 9/11 reminds me to express my love for them more often and to savor the ordinary times we have together. It also reminds me that there is the potential for heroics in the face of every stranger I meet.

It rained so much but Owen had a ball with the puddles. Smart Joni brought extra clothes for him to change into.
We went to Pitango Gelato. Expensive ($7 for regular size!) but it was tasty. Especially the fruit flavors.

Finally the end of the day was a visit with my friend Miriam Harmer.  We have been friends since college.  Actually I was her TA in Poli Sci 201.  Then we took an LSAT prep class and just hit it off.  Its crazy but I have known Miriam for 10 years.  One of my longest friends.  We went to a very nice restaurant in Arlington called the Carlyle. It was probably the nicest restaurant I have ever been to.  I decided to splurge and got chicken pailard with angel hair pasta (basically chicken and pasta with a butter sauce), cesar salad and warm chocolate bread pudding! It was a long lovely leisurely meal which for my money is the best way to spend an evening.  Miriam and I have a ton in common and I always learn a lot whenever we talk.  It was great hearing about her new job working for Senator Lee and her life in DC.  She’s great! (Plus, I have to admit after spending a week with a variety of wonderful children it was nice to hang out with a single friend for a night!)

Miriam and I at the Carlyle. We talked for around 3 hours. I used to wonder how my parents could just talk for hours. Now there is nothing I like more.

So that’s the trip!  What a wonderful time full of reminiscing and fantastic friends.  I have said it before but I am soooooo blessed with wonderful friends.    The trip also reminded me of how grateful I am to be an American.  I am overwhelmed by the  sacrifice that has been paid by many so that I can live the life I enjoy.  It was an honor to walk in their memorials, view their museums and see the buildings they sacrificed for.  I am proud to be an American!

Thank you to everyone who made time for me on the trip and made my stay so wonderful.  We weren’t going to let a little rain stop our fun.  Great memories, great vacation.

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