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Washington, D.C.

I arrived Wednesday evening about a half an hour late but couldn't get a signal on the tarmac to see if ann1962 and midnightsjane were already there waiting. ann1962 was, and finally got through to me. I needed food badly after a four-hour flight, so met her down at baggage claim stuffing veggie tacos in my face. We heard from midnightsjane, who came in at a different terminal. We met in the middle near the ground transportation area and took the Metro to Bethesda, where dlgood met us on the sidewalk and walked us to the Marriott.

We hung out there chit-chatting and pretty much did the same thing all day Thursday while we waited for the gang to trickle in--light conversation, deep conversation, geeky conversation--we did it all. Thursday started out with me and my roomies ann1962 and midnightsjane missing the breakfast buffet after getting up too late and finding a little French bakery with the requisite patio and tables under umbrellas. Afterwards, we located the Safeway right around the corner from it. On our way back from breakfast/grocery shopping, we passed the Metro stop and fetched a wayward scrollgirl who had wandered out of the subway without being sure where to go from there.

The four of us went back to the Party Suite (413) and after that got anomster, atpolittlebit, arethusa2, fidhle, mamculuna and Friday morning got fresne and capricious_k. Then we decided that we needed to have a2zmom join us and talked her into driving down to spend the weekend with us.

She was due to come in Friday evening, so Friday morning we headed out on the Metro to see the town. We started out at the Library of Congress with its murals, mosaics, steps, and arches. There were some interesting exhibits, including what remains of Thomas Jefferson's library. We had lunch at cafeteria used by LoC and other government employees. It was quite useful having dlgood as a tour guide because he lives in Maryland and works in D.C. Thanks Bundles, Dave!

After lunch, we wandered up by the capital building, then over to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Which is of course is Ultra Cool. I was on a search for the original model of the starship Enterprise, which was nowhere to be found in any of the exhibits (I swear it was there in 1990), which meant I saw Every.Exhibit.In.The.Place. The ones with planets and Hubble telescope pictures and videos of rovers on Mars are my favorites. I'm not as much into rockets and planes, but anything that's landed on the Moon or was part of a rocket payload that landed on the Moon is Also Very Cool.

Eventually I went into the gift store because you always go to the gift store. I got a Thomas Jefferson library canvas bag at the Library of Congress and an Apollo 11 40th anniversary mug at the Air and Space Museum. And then, because I was curious, I headed down to the basement. I almost didn't because it said "toys", then I realized I should get gifts for my niece and nephew.

Lo and behold, there was the Enterprise.

I met up with the gang, who had wandered about the museum as well, and we were all tuckered out and ready to head back. In the Metro, we ran into Fresne and capricious_k, who had gone to the American Indian Museum. We got back to the hotel and did dinner in shifts waiting for a2zmom to arrive. That evening, we also had a flash rain storm, and it broke the heat of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, so it was cooler and nicer Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday we decided to take the trolley that tours around the capital area. We started off at Union Station and tooled around until we got to the monument stop. It was all very moving, I have to say. The Lincoln Memorial, Viet Nam Veterans' Memorial, Korean Veterans' Memorial--if you didn't have tears in your eyes at one, you would at the next. I was here before, as I said, in 1990, before the VIet Nam Wall was built. And it was winter then, so my memories of here are different. I did a lot of my walking around in the tunnels below ground then, rather than on the sidewalks and streets. I'm sure I went to the Lincoln Memorial, but I don't remember it moving me as much then as it does now. And at the Viet Nam Veterans' Memorial, you had the impact of all those names, and one of our group looking for the name of a father long gone from her life. But there was also an actual reunion of a POW/MIA group there, who had pictures of themselves taken in front of the wall.

After the memorials, we got back on the trolley and headed off for lunch and to see the White House. We had lunch at a food court in the mall at the old Post Office building. There was some sort of event being staged in the evening at the White House, so we were a bit further back on the ellipse lawn than tourists normally get to go, but we got a good view nevertheless. We got back on the trolley and returned to Union Station, where we did a bit of souvenir shopping before returning to the hotel. Dinner was pizza, then we watched the new animated Wonder Woman.

Today, Sunday was a relaxation and hanging-out day in preparation for heading home. We had a relatively early breakfast, then sat around chatting for a while until we headed out for lunch at the French bakery, then did some grocery shopping for the home-made spaghetti dinner now being cooked by midnightsjane. We are sitting here now, joined by two of dlgood's friends watching Serenity (which, I recall, was the movie selection the night we had spaghetti cooked by Jane in Lake Tahoe).

ETA: We are now watching a movie called "Stardust", which I've never even heard of, much less seen before.

There's been the usual wine and cookies and spontaneous singing of the theme to the Greatest American Hero, people wandering off to do their own thing, and late-night philosophical discussions.

All in all, a Very Good Gathering.

PS: And thanks also to atpo_onm for the cheesecake! It was yummy and we missed you!


( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 29th, 2009 01:10 am (UTC)
How does Flagstaff grab yah?
Jun. 29th, 2009 02:25 am (UTC)
What a delightful weekend! A friend of mine is moving to Washington in the fall so I'm looking forward to visiting - I suspect it might be more fun now than the school trip I was on 20 years ago.

(I do have a very strong memory of visiting the Viet Nam memorial and seeing a man with a very little boy, the man pointed to a name on the wall and said "this is the name of a man Daddy knew in a place called Viet Nam"... you're right, it's impossible not to get choked up.)
Jun. 29th, 2009 10:15 pm (UTC)
The VN Veteran's Memorial was new to me because when I was there before 20 years ago, it wasn't yet completed. Quite an astounding place.
Jun. 29th, 2009 02:53 am (UTC)
sounds like great fun
Jun. 29th, 2009 10:15 pm (UTC)
I had such a geeky, relaxing time!
Jun. 29th, 2009 03:05 am (UTC)
Sounds like I missed a good one! *snfs* Glad you guys had fun!
Jun. 29th, 2009 10:17 pm (UTC)
You were there. You resembled a small plastic object on the floor of the hotel room, but you were there.

; D
Jul. 2nd, 2009 12:22 pm (UTC)
heeee! And I was fascinating, right? ;)
Jul. 2nd, 2009 01:11 pm (UTC)
We have photographic evidence!
Jun. 29th, 2009 03:39 am (UTC)
You're very welcome, and I missed you guys too. Fortunately, the mini-meet with LittleBit was definitely a highlight of my weekend, and many thanks again to her for the visit.

BTW, if you ever need to escape from a parking garage that encloses some kind of discontinuity in the space-time continuum, Bit's your girl.

~ ( waves at ya'all ) ~

-- OnM
Jun. 29th, 2009 10:18 pm (UTC)
There's a story there....
Jun. 29th, 2009 05:52 am (UTC)
Thanks for posting! I felt like I was ALMOST there...
Jun. 29th, 2009 10:18 pm (UTC)
You were there, too, right in the room as I relayed your chat responses to the gang.
Jun. 30th, 2009 05:49 am (UTC)
ack! i didn't know! or I would have waved to everyone and not just bit! :(
Jun. 30th, 2009 10:39 pm (UTC)
You bit someone?!? Well, that wasn't nice! @>)

Hi, zarg! It was good to hear from you at the Gathering. I know, I know, I need to keep up better....
Jul. 1st, 2009 07:15 pm (UTC)
I think I've virtually been to a few gatherings now.....since they started after I left the country, it makes it more difficult...
Jun. 29th, 2009 12:09 pm (UTC)
I've lost count of how many times Mr. Rufus has watched Serenity. He didn't want to wade through the series until he had seen the movie many times. He got Firefly on Blu ray for Christmas.

miss you all

Jun. 29th, 2009 10:19 pm (UTC)
We missed you, too!
Jun. 30th, 2009 07:24 am (UTC)
Aka lots of fun was being had! :)

Stardust is based on a novel by Neil Gaiman. He's hugely popular here in Turku too. The recent animated Coraline was based on his work too.
Jun. 30th, 2009 12:55 pm (UTC)
Yes, we got a catalog of the differences between the novel and the movie afterwards, LOL.
Jun. 30th, 2009 11:16 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed, and that things turned out mostly well. It's also good to get visitors to drag me to the museums and memorials of my own city, which I don't actually do much of.

That said, when we went down by the memorials on Independence Avenue, I commute right past those stretches every day. I've played on those fields. And I still feel a sense of awe after so many years in this town. There are some very pretty parts of my The City.
Jun. 30th, 2009 11:21 pm (UTC)
I'm glad we could help return that sense of wonder. That's why I enjoy watching Buffy with newbies. It's all shiny again.

Your town, and the Memorials especially, is quite amazing. I am a bit disappointed now there was so much else to see I didn't get to see! Another time....
Jun. 30th, 2009 11:57 pm (UTC)
Yeah. It's a spread out town, and there is so much one could possibly see.
Jul. 14th, 2009 08:25 pm (UTC)
Sorry my time was so short, but it was great! So good to see everyone, and to meet some people I've known online for a long time but never met before.
Jul. 15th, 2009 03:12 am (UTC)
Great seeing you again!
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )