We spent a hectic month or so in Washington, D.C., but I was a bit lazy about blog writing. OK, I was a lot lazy. Some of you know that we are partially hunting for a place to alight should we ever decide to do so. We are happy to announce that we think it is possible that we might be able to stay in DC for more than a few weeks (especially because our perfect granddaughter is there).
The AirBnB we stayed in was beautiful. It was a classic row house in Petworth. We chose the neighborhood partly because it is north and so a bit closer to our baby, but it is also a Latino area and had a few opportunities to practice Spanish and many chances to eat Mexican food (and drink tequila).
Our long-term plans are sketchy (after South America which is mostly settled), but we love nothing more than rehashing the house vs. condo discussion. The house in Petworth was large for us, but had great outdoor space including a garden and deck, a large and easy-to-use kitchen, parking (!), and friendly neighbors. BUT, it also had a lot of steps and our knees and hips are not getting any younger.
We liked the neighborhood. It’s an easy walk to the Metro and there was a yoga studio, Yoga District, a few blocks away. We didn’t take as much advantage of it as we would have liked (that fifth Covid shot knocked us out for a bit) but again, friendly people and good instructors. Plus, it’s close enough that we can see our smart and beautiful granddaughter and even help out when she gets hand, foot, and mouth disease.
There were plenty of restaurants within walking distance. We had Mexican, Lao, Vietnamese, and pizza. We love no-frills delicious food.
I hadn’t spent much time in DC, aside from a childhood trip (that’s another story) and the day I secured my EU passport. Did you know there are a lot of hills? We love marching hills (hmm…love marching nor love hills are part of my usual vocabulary).
Traditional Death March
What’s a weekend without a death march? The best way to explore a city is on foot. At least it’s best if you want to stay out of the car, which we do. Sometimes we just look at the map, pick a location in death march distance and go (death march distance varies by user. for me – 600 feet, for Sue – 20 miles) .
One day, that place was Hillwood Gardens, which is the former home of Marjorie Post (daughter of the cereal guy). Her house is a museum, when people come to see’um, well it’s really not a screa-um, but its not the Addams Family house. In fact, the gardens are lovely and the “mansion” is fairly modest as mansions go. If you like looking at stuff, definitely visit the house. Marjorie loved her place settings (especially imperial Russian china). Also, there is a pet cemetery on the grounds. Really a dog cemetery, but a little creepy nonetheless.
A special exhibit called Grace of Monaco: Princess in Dior was housed in an outbuilding. I played my favorite fashion museum game: Would I wear that? I found several I would deign to wear when I get a posh life and am invited to soirees, galas and charity balls. I’ve included them among the pics above in case you are a designer and want to fashion me a ball gown (or are holding a gala and are foolish enough to invite us).
Dead Person Bingo
We know you’ve been missing this exciting game show, so we made sure we took a trip to Arlington National Cemetery. Driving around DC is a little wacky, but not any worse than driving in other cities. We are used to not knowing where we are going.
Arlington is a far cry from the ancient, overgrowth cemeteries of Europe, but it has an air of honor and respect (as it should). I was eager to visit RBG (we wished her shana tova as it was right before Rosh Hashanah and searched high and low for rocks to place on her grave). Here are the other people we visited, in no particular order:
- JFK (of course)
- Thurgood Marshall
- John Glenn
- Oliver Wendell Holmes
- Abner Doubleday (did you know he fired the first shot in defending Fort Sumter? That’s true, whereas the notion that he “invented” baseball is likely not.)
- The crew of the space shuttles Challenger and Columbia
- Joe Louis
- Medgar Evers
- Jacky Kennedy Onassis
We have met so many wonderful people in our travels, but we took our time in the States to get reacquainted with some old ones. I visited with a woman who was my mentor at The Summit School (Hi Chris). Chris is one of the people who makes me want to stay in a place long enough to cement friendships. I also caught up with Susanna, who I worked with in San Diego when we were mere children. She’s a hot shot now at the NYT and I, well, am not.
Steven got a bug and decided to contact a college buddy of his. They went out and then set up a dinner with the wives included. Steve and Patricia are great and they just bought a house in Portugal, so they are adventurous too!
A short museum jaunt
Steven had a another business trip to Dallas and I skipped that one, so one day I hopped the Metro and hit the National Gallery of Art, including the sculpture garden. A very nice woman explained the whole place to me and drew circles on the map so I would know what was what, but I never made it past the special photography exhibit. I love photography. I think it is because it is the only art I am semi-successful at creating.
Robert Adams (no relation of Ansel as far as I know except for the black and white America photos) documents America (good choice for the National Gallery, huh?) in starkly beautiful or horrifying images of nature and the destruction of it in the pursuit of suburban life. I spent more than an hour in the exhibit and I can still see the images in my mind’s eye. I wish I could make pictures like that! The museum also reminded me how nationalistic and provincial Americans can be. Yes, it is the National gallery, but would it be so difficult to translate the descriptions into Spanish, at least. I overheard two French women commenting about the lack of other languages. I’m going to assume there were audio guides in other languages, but I don’t know.
Yom Kippur drive (and where are we now)
We made the radical decision to spend Yom Kippur on the road. Originally we had planned to leave for Florida on Friday, stop for a couple of hours in Coconut Creek to see mom (Hi mom), and then head to Miami for our flight to Buenos Aires BUT …
We figured G-d would forgive us if we skipped shul in order to see a Jewish mom. The plan was to leave before dawn on Wednesday, drive 12 or so hours stop overnight and then arrive early Thursday afternoon. At some point, we looked at each other and asked, “What if we just kept going?” So we did. We drove 15 1/2 hours and 1,023.7 miles on Yom Kippur and with stops for lunch and dinner, we were receiving Jewish mom hugs by 9:20 pm. (With the exception of when we stopped for food and fuel the trip was on one road. We turned left out of our street onto 14th street in DC, which turned into Route 1, which turned into I-395, which turned into I-95, and we stayed on that until we were in Coconut Creek – 1,020 miles later)
BTW, Yom Kippur fell on our anniversary (four years of glorious craziness in case you are counting). A true test of our undying love is 15 1/2 hours in a car together badly singing road trip songs. We made it!
Saturday night, we’re off to BA. Let the next adventure begin!