Presidential Inauguration Trip: Day 6
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
After waking up and saying our goodbyes to Liz's parents, we drove back to Alexandria to drop off James at day care. While waiting for Margaret to get back to the car, David, my best friend from high school, called me back, asking where we were at the moment. We had thought that maybe we'd be able to get together for lunch today, but David was going to go to the airport in 20 minutes, and we weren't even in D.C. yet, so no go. That was a bummer, since I haven't seen David in over a decade. We're going to try to get together when he's in So Cal in a couple of months, though. We did get to talk a little bit, and he said that his family was able to go to the Children's Concert before the Inauguration. He said that son Sean had a great time at his first concert, and is looking forward to his next one. He also said that Mrs. Obama was really nice and elegant. I just love hearing David talk as a dad. Aw, I'm really sorry that I didn't get to see him.
We went to Marg's job, and Liz told us to go about "halfway around" Dupont Circle and we'd find the Krispy Kreme, which was right by the Metro entrance. So there we were, walking around Dupont Circle in a counter-clockwise direction, thinking that it didn't matter which way we walked since it would be exactly across from our point. 80% of the way around the circle later, we found the Krispy Kreme and Metro station. We really could have been there much sooner if Marg had known that it was really only 2 blocks away going clockwise. Oh well.
We exited the train at Gallery Place, and walked down 7th Street. There was no line at Red Velvet, so we got cupcakes, and I got a free one, which was cool, because I couldn't decide between having another Peanut Butter one, or an actual Red Velvet Cupcake, so I was able to get both. Oink, right?! Anyway, we passed by the Intersection from Hell, and tried not to get flashbacks. We went back to the Obama Superstore, but things we wanted weren't on sale, and the line was way too long to deal with. Further down the street was the Zenith Gallery, which had an "Inaugural Inspiration" exhibit. They had a really cool poster from Academy for Ideal Education "March to the White House," which I really wanted to order. There was a gal at the one desk in the gallery, and she looked perturbed that I had interrupted her personal cell phone call. She kept the other person on the line as she told me that she knew nothing about the poster, nor whether or not they could ship it to me, as they were just allowing the association to sell it from their gallery. Girl, that is NOT good customer service, and you have now lost me as a potential customer for one of your $5K pieces. No, I wasn't going to get one, but what if I was planning on it? People like that just irritate the hell out of me.
We went to the beads store to see if they had anymore of the Obama as Superman shirts, which they didn't, so I was at least glad to have bought the tee with just the "O." I just ordered the one with the drawing online, though. I don't usually wear people's faces on my shirts, but I really like this one.
We went back to Teaism for lunch, and I noticed that the same bento box meals that were available the other day for $10.00 were now priced at $8.75. Um, gouging much? The food was still good, and Liz was happy to have her udon soup again. I opted for Shrimp Spring Rolls and some Edamame. We forgot to go to the Teaism shop, but maybe that's for the best, since we were already buying a lot of stuff.
National Mall: The Day After
We returned to the National Museum of American History and looked at the First Ladies exhibit, where Liz talked to a Congresswoman there that she knew, who will try to talk to Joe Jr when she's in Afghanistan. Michelle Obama's picture is up there now, although there is no personal item of hers on display yet. I visited Stephen again, but refrained from making him meet Bananaman. We briefly looked at the Entertainment exhibit. I was happy to see the Seinfeld Puffy Shirt, Ruby Slippers, and Bob the Dummy from "Soap".
Wouldn't it be funny if Bob or Oscar was *wearing* the puffy shirt?
We thought that maybe we'd be able to see Karla, who was in DC with her school's kids, but they decided to leave DC a little early. The Star-Spangled Banner exhibit made me cry. Wow -- that's the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write our National Anthem. Some of the flag, like one of the stars, had been cut out for people in that era to keep a piece of it. The flag was GINORMOUS. It was amazing.
We walked to Smithsonian Castle, and for some reason, this was on the crosswalk in front. Please appreciate this picture. It could have been the last one that I ever took, because I almost got hit by a truck coming down the road at me when Liz couldn't remember my name in order to yell at me to get out of the way.
No, I have no idea why.
At the gift shop, Liz and I had to make sure to buy pins before some rich dude bought 40 of them. He had started at only 10, then it turned to 20, then 40. Dude! I just want 2! We took the metro from there and returned to Dupont Circle, and took the short way to Marg's office, instead of going back around 80% of the circle. We ordered dinner from Chop't, where they have salad and something called "salad sandwiches." Marg told me that it was a fancy name for "wrap." So I ordered one of those, and they messed up my order, giving me a salad instead. You know, if you would just call it a "wrap," then the person filling the order would see a "W" instead of an "S," and would probably know the difference immediately. I'm just sayin'. So, of course, that made us even later in picking up James.
The traffic in DC was insane. We thought that we saw Sasha and Mallia being taken home from school in their limo, because we were right by the White House entrance. (We later realized that it was probably Hillary Clinton, according to the timing of the news reports that we saw the next morning). Anyway, while we were near the WH entrance, Marg was on the phone, blocking traffic, and asking a friend for advice for a restaurant that would have crab cakes. He asked her, "Do you want '*good* crab cakes?" No, I want horrible ones. What? APPARENTLY, they have places with good crab cakes, and places in the 'hood have crab cakes as well. We ended up not getting any crab cakes anyway, but you know that if I had met that friend, he would not have lived that question down.
We were afraid that James would have major pouty face, but he was actually smiling when we picked him up. After we ate dinner (my Palm Beach Shrimp WRAP was wonderful, BTW), I colored stuff blue with James (he's into the monochromatic thing) before his drama started. I swear I didn't give him any sugar! After he fell asleep, we enjoyed our cupcakes, and I finally wrote postcards. I had meant to write them and send them out on Inauguration Day, but I left them at Marg's house and we were at her mom's. Oops. After watching the new episode of Top Chef, I went to bed. What a nice day of sightseeing. We're in for even more tomorrow!