My reason for going to the USA was to try to get Suzanne back on the road to health. But of course I wanted to spend time with Daniel as well. I saw him overnight on Thanksgiving weekend and we got to have lunch together, but it was a really brief visit.
So Suzanne, Theo, Kelly, and I decided to drive down to DC for a weekend. We finally found one that worked for all of us. It was an 8+ hour drive. We stopped once for supper at Wendys and once for gas. We made good time until we got near Daniel's exit and the traffic was all tied up because of construction. I guess we finally got to his house around midnight and we had left at about 2:45.
We saw his apartment and Theo stayed there. Suz, Kelly, and I had reservations at a hotel. First we went to the wrong one, then we had to figure out where we were really staying. We were so tired when we finally dropped into bed.
The next morning we went to McDonald's for breakfast, but there were so many people there that we decided to take the metro on in to DC and find a McD's there. But by the time we got there, it was too late for breakfast so we just had an early lunch. We got to see Daniel's office building, and we stopped at a trade fair outside the Art Museum.
Our next stop was Bolling Air Force Base where my nephew is stationed. He had just graduated from the Honor Guard program and is now starting technical school. In addition to learning a trade (something electrical???) he will also appear in parades, at military funerals, and at others affairs of State. The bottoms and sides of his dress shoes have metal taps on the toes, horse-shoe-like pieces on the heel, and metal on the sides so he can click his heels together. I'm guessing his shoes weigh about three pounds a piece. Fortunately he doesn't wear those all the time! We didn't get to see him in uniform, but I'm sure he looks pretty handsome! He should after all the hours he spends ironing (yes, even his boxers), polishing, and duct-taping stuff (you'd be surprised what all is duct-taped on the reverse side of that uniform!). He and his wife have a real nice apartment and she'll be able to transfer into a university near there to continue her social work program.
Back on the metro we went, this time to Georgetown. Suzanne wanted to visit Georgetown Cupcakes which is featured in the show "DC Cupcakes" on TLC. Daniel had figured out where it was and what metros to take to get there and where we had to walk to find the shop. Once we got there, we had to wait in quite a line, but it moved along quickly and the cupcakes really were delicious. I got a cup of steaming hot tea to go with mine as well.
Our next stop was the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, but unfortunately the park was closing at 5. After seeing J in uniform, we wanted to see the Changing of the Guard (which he said is always Army, never Air Force), but it wasn't to be. Somewhere in all this Metro riding and changing lines we rode on the 2nd longest elevator in DC. It was a bit scary.
And then we went to Old Towne, which is in Alexandria. We got there in the dark and walked down the main street, peering into shops and actually going into a few. We three teachers in the group enjoyed the Children's Book Store we found and we all enjoyed the 10,000 Villages store we went in. We ate supper at Chipotle and then walked down the other side of the street back to the metro. All my pictures are blurry, but it was really pretty with the Christmas lights.
Back at our hotel a huge party was going on. We had to park in the parking garage and fell into a huge pothole on the way there. Around 1 a.m. a drunk woman woke us up with her loud talking. It kind of scared us (Kelly and I....Suzanne slept through it and I didn't know Kelly was awake) because she was yelling about "I don't even know you" and "get out of my room". Sounds like she got a little too friendly with somebody at a party and then decided they were a creep. It was kind of hard to know what to do and if we should do anything. After awhile we heard her saying "thank you" so I think security came and helped her out. It was quiet after that, but I found it hard to get back to sleep. Please remind what's fun about getting drunk?
I'm so glad we were able to go visit Daniel and spend good quality time together. I just wish John had been there. All in all, it was definitely worth the 16-hour round trip!!!!