Presidential Inauguration Trip: Day 2
Satiurday, January 17, 2009
We started our day taking forever to leave because James was lagging. He's a kid, though, so he's forgiven. He's only 3, you know, plus he was busy talking about stuff and taking this picture:
Yes, Mr. Bananaman has joined me for the trip! I had thought of bringing Gloomy Bear, but since I'll be celebrating my birthday this week, I couldn't leave the Yellow Lewd Guy at home, now could I? There was far too much for me to pack, so I couldn't bring them both. Sorry, GB.
We got into the car and drove to DC. I marveled at the Express Lanes on the highway which were going slower than the regular lanes, mostly due to the fact that there was an accident in the Express Lane up ahead, and there is a barrier, so there is no way for people to get off of the highway. Meanwhile, the people in the regular lanes have exits and such. I don't think the Civil Enigneers thought this through completely. I was unprepared for the "Welcome to Virginia" sign, but Marg assured me that we'd see it plenty of times during the week.
We drove around a couple of blocks before finding a parking space, which was quite a score because the meters were much cheaper than the lots. At this point, I tried to look for quarters to contribute to the meter. That's when I realized that I didn't have any coins. In fact, I didn't have my entire wallet. OOPS. OK, Sherry's going to be borrowing money from Liz for the *shopping day*. DUH.
It was COLD. REALLY COLD. We didn't believe Marg's car, which said that the temperature was 24 degrees. As soon as I could, I walked into the sunlight, and felt better. We went into the store for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, where we bought official inauguration programs, and Liz also got something for hubby Joe, a police officer.
We then went to the Official Inauguration store and got souvies for ourselves and friends. Wow, the people in front of me bought a lot of stuff. Expensive stuff. My souvies were not so elaborate -- just little things for my friends. The cashier was nice enough to give me a pin for free because I was polite to someone else, and another cashier also gave a free pencil to James. What nice people they have here in the official store! We also went to the Superstore to check out the unofficial merchandise, and I bought some postcards. We then went to the Hard Rock so that I could get a collectible for someone, but I'm not sure if they'll like it, since the HR has stopped selling the guitar-shaped magnets that the person has in their collection.
We were hungry and wet to lunch at Teaism, which has been featured on Rachel Ray's "$40.00 A Day." It's pretty much a fusion of East Indian and East Asian food, and is pretty reasonably priced food-wised, although the teas can be pricey. I had the Salmon Bento, which had seared salmon, brown rice seasoned with something colorful, broccoli and sweet potatoes. To get warm, I ordered Dragon Well green tea to go with my meal. The other gals had Chicken Udon Soup, and James had chicken nuggets. Everything was very tasty, and I would definitely return there to try some other stuff.
Afterward, we ventured back out into the cold to take some pictures of Pennsylvania Avenue before it would become a sea of people. Here's a video that I accidentally took from an island at an intersection. I meant to take stills, but this is funny just because I couldn't stop giggling and we were at the intersection for several light cycles while I took the pictures.
We also went to fill up our Metro Passes on our special Metro Passes, which had Barack Obama's picture on them for the Inaugural. After checking out another vendor's wares and seeing a couple of Marg's friends, we quickly walked to the warmth of the car and drove to Alexandria to drop off James at the sitter's house. On our way theree, we saw a bunch of cars parked on a turnout off the highway. People had pulled over to take pictures of a bald eagle guarding a nest in one of the trees! WOW! He or she must be here for the Inaugural. How extremely cool for our national bird to be in attendance! We 3 gals went home to get pretty for the evening's event.
Our event for the evening was to see "Shear Madness" at the Kennedy Center. We had obtained tickets a while ago to celebrate my birthday, since it would be pretty much overshadowed by the other events of the week. The play was showing in the Theater Lab, located upstairs. Liz and I went outside to take a couple of pictures before going in to see the show.
View of Potomac from the Kennedy Center
View of Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial from The Kennedy Center.
The show takes place in a hair salon. A murder takes place in the apartment upstairs, and it is up to the audience to solve the mystery. The play was fun, the actors were funny and entertaining, and the audience participated, which when you have all 3, makes the show successful. The jokes were topical, and they even included bits that mentioned certain locations where some groups (like school groups) had traveled from. One of the characters was a police officer, who took questions at intermission out in the lobby. I refrained from placing Mr. Bananaman on the cocktail table in front of us, for fear that it would catch the attention of the actors and mortify my shy companions to the point of leaving me in DC alone in the cold.
Afterward, we went to the Roof Terrace Restaurant, where we had reservations for dinner. Our table was beside the window, and we could see the Lincoln Memorial from our vantage point. Unfortunately, the lights in the restaurant reflected a lot off of the glass, so I didn't take a picture from our table. We ordered from the Prix Fixe menu and ended up all wanting the same choices:
Entr'Acte: Lobster Bisque
Finale: Potato Crusted Flounder with Green Beans sauteed in Beurre Blanc
Encore: Pumpkin Creme Brulee
I also had a glass of Hall Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, which was nice and smooth, and like most of the good stuff, from Napa, CA.
I noticed that another table had pink roses in a vase, which apparently could be pre-ordered at the time that the reservation is made. That couple left their roses there, and I was tempted to get up and take them, but they were taken away before I could gather up my nerve. Since this was a special birthday celebration, the Yellow Lewd Guy was on the table for the entirety of the meal. I explained the Bananaman tradition to Marg, who agreed that he was lewd, but was amused by my craziness nonetheless.
We drove around DC for a little while to get as close to the Capitol as possible before Tuesday. Here's a video that I actually meant to take:
We started to get really excited about Tuesday's event, because it was all kind of hitting us at the moment that we looked at the Capitol Steps: Barack Obama is going to be sworn in as President up there in 2 days. Awesome. It was very cold, and the pond in front of the Capitol was pretty much frozen, as were the shores of the Potomac. Liz and I took pictures, and our fingers were VERY cold as soon as we took out our cameras and tried to press the buttons for our pictures. Liz had bought hand warmers when she was in town earlier in the month, so she took those out and we learned how to use them. They were really warm, so we were hopeful that they would work for Inaugural Day, too (Liz had bought several packs). We tried to get some coffee in town, but were unsuccessful, and instead found a Target to buy some necessities. On the way there, we had stopped at an intersection with someone's name on the street sign, which prompted me to ask, "Who is Jeff Davis and why does he get his own highway?" Well, Sher, apparently "Jeff" is short for "Jefferson." DUH. Stop laughing at me, you two sisters! We had heard a siren, and saw that the fire engine had some lights on the front of it that rotated, which prompted Liz to comment that it looked like the circus was coming. I deemed it the Clown Fire Truck, and said that when they get to their destination, 500 firefighters were going to jump out of it.
On the way home, we encountered a couple of people driving backward down the ramp of the freeway junction. APPARENTLY, there was an accident that triggered them to do this, although the behavior was clearly not sanctioned by the authorities, and looked like very dangerous actions to take. For a moment I thought that, "Of course they were driving backward! We're in MARYLAND!" but then Marg informed me that we were in Virginia at the time, so I guess the whole backwards thing applies to the entire tri-state area. We were only there for a few minutes before traffic started moving slowly, and got home to talk about what a wonderful day we had. It really was a great day. Great parking wherever we went, great company, great entertainment and great food.
Thanks, gals, for the wonderful day.