Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy Birthday

I had another birthday. May 8th. I'm now sixty-six, or as I prefer to call it "fifty-sixteen." And as usual, my Sweetie made it one to remember.

We met up with Judy's sister, Joyce and hubby Allen, in Washington DC. Joyce and I have the same birthday.

The timing was perfect because we were able to go to the famous Waldorf After Party in Waldorf, Maryland. It's the party after the equally famous Waldorf Eggfest. Big Green Eggs were in abundance and all cooking something special. We met Eggheads that have been on-line friends for years and saw some we've met at other Eggfests. It was just like coming home.

Anyway, after the After Party we became tourists and hell-bent on seeing all we could before leaving for home on Thursday.

Except for Saturday night (5th) we stayed over in Arlington near the Arlington National Cemetery. And close to a Metro train entrance.

We started out good, arriving Washington National about 3:00 PM Saturday. Picked up our rental car and drove to Waldorf, MD where the Waldorf Eggfest was just winding down. It was very cold and raining, and I was in shorts so we didn't stay there very long. Checked into the hotel where the Waldorf After Party was being held in the parking lot.

The next day we drove up to DC and on over to our hotel. Nothing special, just took in the sights and sort of got a lay of the land. We did go through the Air and Space Museum and Indian Museum.

Monday things picked up. We took the Metro into town and started hitting all the places we could. Eventually, we saw most everything worth seeing in the time we had, but on Tuesday, mine and Joyce's (Judy's sister) birthday, we went to the Hart Senate Office Building where we were given an exclusive tour of the Capital. We rode over and back on the Senator's little underground shuttle train, toured the Capital's deep underground rooms, eventually ending up in the Rotunda (Beautiful). Then we went up to the spectator's gallery to watch the Senators in action. The one bill we witnessed being proposed was to allow Canadian Drugs to be purchased by Americans. It was eventually defeated after we left.

The Capital was great but best tour in my opinion was the Library of Congress. Beautiful.

But get this, Judy had made arrangements for flags to be flown over the Capital's Senate and House wings for our birthday on Tuesday. The flags will be sent to us in a few days. Here's Judy showing me my flag. Isn't that about the coolest gift in the world?

And here's Joyce showing her flag.

Monday evening an Egghead friend took us for a night time tour of the monuments. Unbelievable!!! He said it's the best way to see DC. He knew exactly where to go to get the best views amd the easiest ways to bypass the crowds. He was literally a walking, talking history book of details the average public doesn't ever hear. We even went to the Iwo Jima Memorial and saw it just as the city lights were coming on. Beautiful view of the city. Allen said the night tour was the highlight of the entire trip. I think I would agree.

We went to the White House but Queen Elizabeth was due there and we couldn't tour it. However, we got this close:

And, of course, we went to Arlington National Cemetery and saw the changing of the guard and other memorials, not to mention seeing the thousands and thousands of headstones that are visual reminders of the true cost of war. We even got to see a Wreath Exchange Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns, complete with the playing of Taps. Very moving. I was very sad but at the same time so very proud to be an American.

We also drove down to Old Town Alexandria and had dinner at the Chart House overlooking the Potomac. We met Judy's cousin there and he went through a two-hour history of some very interesting details from when he served in the White House under President Ford. His wife is Assistant Director of Development at Mt. Vernon. She got us staff passes and we toured it from end to end, having lunch and cherry pie at Mt. Vernon Inn. Very nice tour.

All in all, we toured, walked by, drove by or saw:

The White House
The Washington Monument
The Lincoln Memorial
The Jefferson Memorial
The US Capital
The US Supreme Court
The Library of Congress
The Bureau of Printing and Engraving
Smithsonian's Natural History Museum
Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum
Smithsonian's American Indian Museum
Smithsonian's National Gallery of Art
Smithsonian's Sculpture Garden
Hart Senate Office Building
Ford's Theater
Holocaust Museum
Iwo Jima Memorial
Viet Nam Memorial
World War II Memorial
Carlyle House
Arlington House
Tomb of the Unknowns
Kennedy's Grave
DuPont Circle
The Pentagon
The Air Force Memorial
The Maine Memorial
Watergate Complex
Historic Old Town Alexandria
Mt. Vernon
and others.

It was a fun-filled, fantastic trip. Glad to be home.


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