Wednesday, June 18, 2008

DC Midweek Reflections

It's funny how the first two-thirds of my day hardly count anymore. This class has been interesting and I've met some great people, but all I think about is what I'm going to do when I get out. I saved the second half of the Mall for today but I wasn't able to get to it all.

For those of you who may have been concerned about my venture into the world of switching lines at the Metro - I was successful! It really wasn't that bad at all. I took the Red line to Metro Center and then took an Orange line to the Smithsonian stop. When I got off the Metro I thought I heard thunder. And I was right - it was spitting rain and rumbling.

Undeterred, I followed a gang of kickball players (apparently there's some kind of kickball tournament - who knew!) down to the Washington Monument. Right about the time I was making my way to the Monument gift shop the sky opened up. I was looking around and up at the sky thinking "Really? I'm caught out without a damn umbrella again?" When I noticed a freaking rainbow arching over the Capitol Building!

I climbed up a little hill and took a few shots before scrambling like the rest of the tourists towards the gift shop. Naturally by the time I made it there the rain let up. Fickle, fickle rain. I bought a few souvenirs (a book for Grandpa and paper doll book for Muffin) and set out for the WWII Memorial.

I'm really interested in this Memorial because my Grandpa was in the second wave at Omaha beach. Out of his platoon, only eight survived. We consider ourselves pretty lucky. If you haven't seen the Memorial it's hard to describe how it frames both the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument so perfectly. I loved the symmetry as well as the various quotes engraved around the perimeter. I thought about my Grandpa and everything he'd seen over there. I hope he gets to come up to DC and see the Memorial for himself.

Feeling a little nostalgic (and sore from all the walking) I decided to turn and go up to the White House instead of heading straight to the Lincoln Memorial. Getting a picture of the White House is tricky. There's tons of tourists and everybody wants to be EXACTLY in front of the damn place! All I wanted to do was stick my little camera between the bars and snap a shot. I muscled my way in between two sets of tourists, took the shot and moved off. Being a tourist is hungry work!

Not to mention it was starting to rain again... I ducked into a M&S Gill. Looking at the menu I realized that I was getting bored with eating out. I'm sure it sounds strange - but nothing looked new or interesting. So I went with the Cobb Salad and halfway through my phone rang. It was Muffin! I told her that I missed her and couldn't wait to see her. She said "Don't worry Mama, you'll see me soon!" Which is about the closest I'll probably ever get to "I miss you too, Mama." But I'll take it.

After the phone call I looked at my boring salad and felt like crying. As much fun as it is to be in a new city and see wonderful sights, it just isn't the same as being at home and watching Cars for the hundred-millionth time. I was going to order desert but the waiter took my half-eaten salad and plopped the check down in front of me at the same time. Well, Fine!

I sulked up to Metro Center and found the Red Line to Union Station. Waiting for the train, I watched people both interact and ignore each other. Humans are crazy animals, have you ever noticed that? When I got off at Union Station, I noticed that my fare card was running low. After about three tries I managed to get a new fare card with enough money on it get me through the week. And the simple act of doing that all by myself perked me up. Wherever I am, I'm adaptable. I can get along alright by myself.


Madame Queen said...

I haven't seen the WWII memorial yet, but I would love to. My Dad recently took my great-uncle (who also fought in WWII)up there to see it.

I love DC and when the kids get a little older we'll definitely be taking them.

Matter Of Fact Mommy said...

i can so totally relate to your thoughts here. i have to admit that it makes it all the more interesting that you are in "my city", but i digress.

the few times i have traveled for 4-5 days without my children, i totally understand the sentence re: watching CARS for the 800th time. while it's nice and exciting and you often crave "time away" from your kids, it's not the norm and you are MOM. you miss your babies!

congrats on figuring out the metro. it ain't all that hard, is it?! ;)