Two weekends ago, Nathan and I went to Washington DC to visit LJ and Kris Decker for the weekend. We arrived late Friday night in Baltimore to find the train station closed. So, Amir, the world’s nicest cab driver, shuttled us over to Union Station. But before we reached the Deckers’, the three of us talked world politics and learned how Amir is living out the American dream that wasn’t available to him in Pakistan. Upon saying our goodbyes to Amir, we were greeted – not by LJ and Kris – but by a most unusual homeless man. He approached us with a thank you letter!! He was an above average salesman (although we didn’t ‘buy’), but a better magnificent comedian (although unintentionally).
As our homeless man took his thank you letters back, we saw LJ and Kris. What a refreshment it was to see friends you haven’t seen in months! Even more so, when you can breakup the rigors of transitioning to a 1st-tier law school at Georgetown. We all had so much fun, and the food was amazing! Saturday morning we ventured over to the Eastern Market for pancakes. What a great start to the morning!
With syrup still swimming in our stomachs, we walked over to the Mall, starting with the Library of Congress. I wonder what its like to be the Librarian of Congress and be able to truthfully say, “Well, my library has two copies of every book with a copyright in America!” I guess nerdiness is relative because we soon walked over to the Museum of Natural History and spent hours looking at rocks. C’mon, they had miniature recreations of caves and mines! And a flawless sphere of quartz so beautiful that is begging to be crafted into a bowling ball. But what trip to the Smithsonian could be complete without at least stepping inside the Air and Space Museum?! We spent so much time looking at WWI and WWII planes that we never made it to the Origins of Flight and the Space Program. I hope they hang a Stealth Bomber from the ceiling one day… and let me sit in the cockpit.
With our minds full, but our bellies empty we moved over to Armand’s pizzeria. As you can see, it was delicious. We left just in time to catch the remainder of the A&M – Oklahoma State game. What a game! LJ and I discussed the game, its ramifications, and the faults of the ranking system for hours. I miss having such football smarts next to me at football games.
On Sunday, we woke up late and caught lunch at Five Guys, a burger joint where the ‘regular’ is a two-patty Beast-Burger. And they have peanuts on the table (and so we put them in our noses). After acting like animals, the mood changed upon stepping into the Holocaust Museum. I don’t think words can describe the images of inhumanity on display or the stupidity of those who deny the reality of such wickedness. If you go to DC, please go spend the two hours – it’s well worth it.
Nathan and I then wandered aimlessly around town passing by the World War II and Vietnam Memorials and finished the afternoon at the National Archives. We ended our stay with dinner in Chinatown and a walk around Foggy Bottom over ice cream before waking up early to catch a train to the airport. What a wonderful trip with wonderful people!
Thanks to the beauties of GPS technology and Google, I have created a Google Earth file of our trip. Please step over to a new section of the site called TRIPS for the download.
FYI: While writing this on the flight home, our plane drifted into the wake of vortex of another aircraft. I’m so glad our pilot explained the reason for the sudden turbulence because I can now use the phrase ‘wake vortex’ with first hand experience.