Thursday, January 19, 2012

Capital Fun

I have a few thoughts about my week in DC that I'd like to put somewhere and conveniently I have a blog so here we go-

1. I drove down to DC last Tuesday. It takes me a little over four hours if I don't stop to have lunch with old friends in Annapolis, in which case it might take seven. What can I say...I'm a fan of the long leisurely lunch.

2. If the sun is shining when I approach the Bay Bridge connecting Maryland's Eastern Shore with the Annapolis area I feel a tug in my heart that words cannot describe.

Its a combination of the beauty and the memory. We lived in this area for nine years before moving overseas and we still feel its pull.

3. There is one heck of a lot of traffic in and around the little piece of land perched between Maryland and Virginia known as the US capital.

Holy moly.

My daughter gets around mostly via public transportation but even that can sometimes be exhausting. She has it down to a science but you can't control track works, breakdowns, bad weather, or rude people. I do love city life but it requires an extra measure of patience to live and work there every day.

4. My daughter works in the heart of the city so Capitol Hill Staffers are everywhere. Most are young, often still fresh faced from university, some even still in university working as interns...all of them speaking with great authority on any number of topics, but primarily politics and the Presidential campaign. Oi. Does anybody listen to anybody? Does anybody think for themselves or do they just spew out what they've heard other people saying? Does anybody fact check?

Just wondering.

A crowded train is not your personal platform. Between the metro operator who, given her issue with braking, must have been a learner driver, and the opinions being broadcast as the gospel truth to anyone and everyone within earshot by the 20 year old metro rider, and the oatmeal we'd had for breakfast, daughter1 and I were both feeling a little bit queasy on our commute to town.

5. Speaking of people spewing out opinions, here's mine. Hey, it's a blog not a crowded car on the DC Metro so I'm in the clear. I'm a person who is definitely interested in what's going on in the world but I'm just not sure politics is something to aspire to. I think we're best served by people who've had a full life outside of the political arena. People with ideas about how to make America better while staying true to the ideals outlined in our Constitution. People who have ideas, but who also have a handful of practical solutions to put those ideas into practice. They can do this because they've been out living an extraordinary ordinary life. I think we need more people coming to DC on a temporary basis to do a specific job before returning to life outside the Beltway and less people making politics an actual job.

Politicians working, living, and socializing 24/7 with other politicians is not necessarily a good thing.

Stepping down now...

6. On Friday I drove myself out to the 'burbs to meet up with a friend from our England days. We started out in a cafe with the intention of having a cup of coffee. Five hours later we were still sitting in the exact same spot, but we'd had lunch and used up almost all our words. My England friends are in a category all their own.

7. On Sunday daughter1 and I attended church together in the town where she volunteers as a Young Life leader. I also got to meet the couple who more or less run the YL program in that area. Is it wrong for me to say I love that there are adults looking out for my girl? My girl who is an adult herself but who still benefits from the wisdom and guidance of caring older adults in her life? Somehow that feels very right to me.

8. After church we drove a bit further out into the Maryland countryside to spend the rest of the day with hubs sister, brother in law, and their two boy children. She fixed us a delicious lunch and we gabbed and Daughter1 made fun of us with our multiple email/password combinations and we made fools of ourselves trying out Just Dance on the Wii.

Okay, some of us made fools of ourselves.

Some of us must be practicing the game while her small boy children are at school. Ahem.

And then of course some of us are naturally graceful plus spent thirteen solid years in ballet so can make it look easy. I have some pictures but you won't be seeing them here. I promised.

9. Daughter1 had the day off on Monday and even though it was rather Arctic like in temperature she was a good sport and traipsed across the Mall with me. We took some pictures outside the Washington Monument and you can see the flags blowing in the 'breeze'.

Yeah. Arc-tic.

10. The monument has been closed since the earthquake happened last August. It had just reopened prior to the quake but was damaged again on the day so needed further repair. My daughter showed me video of people in the Monument when the quake happened.

Pieces of the ceiling were falling and that thing was shaking and swaying like you would not believe. NOT where I'd want to be in an earthquake if given an option. Which of course you're not, but YIKES!

11. We walked a bit more before popping into the Museum of Natural History to warm up. Since we were there we scooted on up to the second floor to see the Hope Diamond. Any day's a good day to see beautiful jewelry, right?

12. Aaaaannd we walked some more. Lots of walking in DC which is one thing I love about city life. We decided to check out the National Building Museum since Catherine over at Time and Tide mentioned it in the Hodgepodge last week. Neither of us had been before and its an interesting building dating back to 1887.

The four story atrium surrounded by enormous Corinthian columns is absolutely beautiful and has been host to sixteen Inaugural Balls. We walked thru several exhibits that tell the story of how DC was built, how the neighborhoods have grown and changed, and the origin of some of the city's most recognizable symbols. There is some really lovely architecture in this city and we enjoyed browsing around this historic site. The fact that it was warm inside didn't hurt either....just sayin'.

13. I drove back home on Tuesday. It was pouring down rain and so foggy I could barely make out the Bay as I crossed the bridge. Trust's easier that way.

linking to Thursday Thirteen today


  1. Loved reading this about your week in DC. Really gave me an insight of how the people of the city are and how much there is to do. Sounds like a great day. But also sound very cold. Hope you´ve warmed up. :)

  2. Oh looks like a great time with your daughter. So much to see and do there. I love to see the architecture of all the buildings. I hope to get back there real soon! I am checking out this link up- Thursday thirteen? Never heard of it. Have a good day! Snow is coming our way.

  3. Joyce, It sounds like you had a great visit. I have lived in the DC suburbs twice (once as a kid, once as a grownup) so I can relate about the traffic, the sights, etc. I also really agree with you about people spewing out words...and living in the political bubble. They don't know the real world! Glad you made it safely back to Sussex County.

  4. What great pictures of your trip! I don't think I would like to live in the city there, too many people for me. I'm too much a country girl! I totally agree with your view on politicians. They need to go home and live under the laws they created!

  5. I enjoyed your tour around DC. It has been a few years since I have been there and there is always so much to see.
    Mostly I liked the pride and joy you have in your daughter that showed throughout the post.

  6. Glad you came for a visit! BTW, there is no rule against home field advantage even in Just Dance!

  7. Sounds like a wonderful time with daughter #1!

  8. I had so much fun and loved reading about it all over again. Wish it hadn't gone by so fast. Miss you already!

  9. such fun you've had...
    was uber late joing the podge, but i did get it in
    'i have some adults to thank' for watching over my girl @ Wesley on U/A campus, too ;)

  10. You had a fun trip. Thanks for the armchair narrative. I do so agree that politician seems to be out of touch with reality, plus I hate the way they spend my money.

  11. I would find comfort in having "adults" who would look after my daughter if she lived in that city.

  12. Walking the mall in the cold? Ugh. You are a dedicated tourist Joyce!

  13. Thanks for sharing your adventures in our capitol city! The pictures are fabulous! It's truly refreshing to hear about a "vacation gone good" for once! Many times, when folks post about their vacations, it's not a very good story. Yours was very entertaining and educational! Thanks so much! I loved following your adventure!

  14. We're thinking of taking the girls to Washington for the first time this summer...if Chris gets a job, that is. They're finally at an age where I think they'll really enjoy it. Glad y'all had fun!

  15. Thank you so much for your sweet comment yesterday! I actually have read Sincerely Shannon for a while. One week she linked up with the Hodgepodge, and I began reading your blog. It is so much fun to hear about ya'lls adventures traveling and stories from England. Have a great afternoon!

  16. I was just wondering how long that drive was. Thanks!
    We have not been to the Building Museum. We are going in May so I'll put it on the list for sure
    I wonder how these kids of mine would take to the the idea of a 'family friend in city of job choice' requirement. Hmm.

  17. Someday we'll be able to head that direction. That's a goal we have anyhow. The picture of the bridge is really neat!

  18. I love the blog today DC is one place I am going to visit one day.

    Thanks for the support...I am on the road to recovery. :)


  19. Sounds like a great trip, thanks for sharing. Makes me want to go back again, it's been so many years since I was there.

  20. You crammed every bit of fun you possibly could into those 4 days. Sounded like such a fun, fun time shared with daughter. Enjoyed sharing in your fun!

  21. BRRRRRRR!! Those flags blowing in the wind give me the shivers!! I love DC and you're fortunate to be within driving distance. Loved all the photos, as well as the commentary and I am giving you an "AMEN" on all of it. :-)

  22. I always liked it when there were other adults to keep a little bit of an eye on my young adult daughter -- it's a true blessing.

    I agree with you about the professional politicos -- it really should be a temporary job done by people who have other interests in life (read: who have a real life outside government).

    National Building Museum: glad you took the time to see it. It remains one of my fave buildings in DC!

  23. You articulated everything so well. I was right there with you every step of the way. Haven't been to the National Building Museum, but you've peaked my interest. I recall seeing the building in the news covering the inaugural balls.

    Can't believe you were out in that breezy weather. It was Arc-tic that day!

    At first I thought you were crazy when talking about the bridge, but you redeemed yourself at the end. :) I HATE that bridge (and I hate the word "hate.") Terrifying that one and the Oakland Bay bridge. Shiver.

    I've been in the top of the Wash monument and I also saw the footage of the ceiling falling. I completely agree with you; that is not the place I would have wanted to be last summer during the earthquake. I barely wanted to be in my own home. Don't like earthquakes either. I grew up in tornado country and don't mind those as much.

    Thanks for sharing your trip with us!

  24. Hey Joyce this was nice reading about your trip. Very interesting and I thoroughly agree with you RE: Number 5. That's what the founders wanted. You leave home, serve and go home again.
    It is good someone has your daughters back.

  25. Joyce, what a great post. I loved reading about your trip and all the things you got to see. I would love to see DC. Sounds like you had a great time with your daughter, family and your friend from England.

  26. What a fantastic trip! That bridge? It looks SCARY to me and I live in an area with bridges all over the place! Maybe one day you and I will walk DC with our lovelies at the same time! And we can have lunch and coffee and use all our words! LOL

  27. I enjoyed "tagging along" on your adventure. Thanks for sharing :) I, also, happen to agree with the points that you make in #5 about politicians. Enough with career politicians (who happen to get rich in the process)!