So - just a brief summary of the trip to DC... [As a side note - mostly if I don't blog something right after it happens - I don't blog it. But this was pretty cool so I figured I'd post something - more for myself than anyone else - so years from now I'll read it and be like, "Oh yeah - that was so fun!"]
Flew out Sunday - got to the hotel pretty late, but in time to watch the very end of Survivor. Terry and I are both fans so we decided to meet in the lobby after and go find food. We ended up with McDonalds, because apparently 10:15 PM in Sterling VA on a Sunday night is NOT a good time to find food - other than maybe a pub somewhere, and we weren't too up for that.
Monday was a blast - and exhausting. We basically spent the day driving/walking in circles and getting lost now and then - but having fun the whole time. Took the Metro from Falls Church. EVERYONE says "Don't drive in DC - take the Metro." I'm always like, "Yeah right" - but for once I decided to listen to people - including Terry who said, "I think we have to because I don't think we'll find anywhere to park". So now I'm one of those people who says - if you are going to DC from the outlying areas... "Don't drive in DC - take the Metro!". It is cheap - you can get an all day pass for $6.25 - as long as you start after 9:30 AM, and it goes most everywhere and once you get the hang of it, its really easy. Took a few exchanges to get the hang of it - but apparently most the staff is used to tourist. All I had to do was stare blankly around like I was lost and most anyone in a uniform (staff, security, some guy sweeping) would be like, "You want to go that way" and point... at which point I figured how could they possibly know that, since there are many possible destinations and I'd start to say "But I want to go to XXX" at which point they'd just nod and say "Yeah - that way". All in a not overly friendly manner, but also not rude. More like, "Yeah, yeah - another lost tourist - move along." It was fun.
Anyway - went downtown and spent the first 1/2 of the day around the mall. Saw the Vietname War Memorial - different that I had expected; the Lincoln Memorial - awesome - in the true sense of the word... inspiring awe. Very cool. The WWII memorial and Washington Memorial were cool as well. Went over to the WhiteHouse where the park service was doing a tour for some elementy school kids - 3rd grade maybe:
PS: "See this fence. Its kind of low. One time one kid bet another kid that he couldn't jump the fence and make it to that fountain... Do you think that was a good idea?"
Many little kids: "NNNnnnnoooooo"
PS: "Thats right. You can't see them right now, but there are men on the top of the Whitehouse that keep an eye on things. Do you know what they did when they saw him?"
One little boy: "They killed him?"
PS: trying to stifle a laugh "No... but they did come down and talk to him to find out what he was doing."
And so forth. Cool stuff. I saw the Whitehouse Christmas tree... which you can see from the Washington Memorial and I thought "Hey - that looks like it would make a cool Christmas Tree." And it is!
Anyway - much walking around, going to musemes, getting lost down by the riverfront and eating good food. Was a fun day - and yeah, you can't see it all in one day, even if you are booking along.
The rest of the time was spent working (met to discuss 4 different projects, with many teams and all of it was extremely productive - which was very cool) eating and sleeping. Ate Thai (of course), Sweetwater Tavern (good halibut special), Irish Pub (cornbeef and cabbage - with a carrot/parsnip mixture which was awesome). We discussed being "adventurous" and heading into DC for dinner on our last night but: a) we would have gotten there about 8:00 - which was cool with me but too late for many people, and b) what we could find looked pretty expensive - over the per diem for the day just for dinner. So we decided to do Thai fairly close - but far enough away that it was somewhere different (Reston) and we took two cars, and we both got lost on the way - so that was fun.
Yeah... since my internet connect was pretty hosed at the hotel (finally got it working the last morning) and so there wasn't much to do but watch TV - eating late and getting lost on the way there is just fun. I mean - what else is there to do? One way to see the area. :)
So all in all a good trip. I'll definately have to think about going out early or staying late next time as well - because it would be cool to go downtown again.