Seven Days in DC


CAN YOU MAKE IT TILL THE END? Only time will tell . . .

Monday 5/24: Brock surprised me with a half-dozen roses at work! We went out and grabbed Mexican for lunch at Burrito Brothers, and worked it off later that night with a fabulous run through Georgetown.

Wednesday 5/25: Busy day at work! The House was debating the Defense Authorization bill for FY2012. Congressman Chaffetz had a couple amendments he wanted added to it, so we spent they day glued to CSPAN trying to determine when he should leave to head to the House floor. There were 152 amendments total, his were #56 and #152.

Brock went to a briefing about the Arab-Israeli peace process and met the author of a book I'm reading! The bookmark I'm using as I read is now Aaron David Mitchell's business card! Nerd alert.

Later, Brock and I went out for gelato at Dolcezza in Georgetown. Grabbed some Starbust Gummies at CVS on the way home (ADDICTED TO THOSE THINGS) and curled up with a Netflix. And by "curled up," I mean we laid flat on our stomachs on the Murphy bed with our chins in our hands watching Netflix on my laptop that was sitting on a desk chair.

Thursday 5/26: Ratko Mladic caught!

Friday 5/27: Our class for Washington Seminar this week was going to the Holocaust Memorial Museum. We had the privilege of listening to Erika Neuman, a Holocaust survivor. She was the cutest old lady with a thick Czech accent. She never went to a concentration camp, but lived in the Czernowitz ghetto for two years. She talked about being hungry all the time. She remembered her dad trying to have a conversation with her, but realizing that she was not paying attention. "Erika, are you listening to me?" he asked. "I'm so sorry," she replied, "I was just thinking about a piece of bread."

It was inspiring to listen to her. One thing that touched me is how she doesn't hate anybody. She said it's taken her a while to get to that point, but she can genuinely say now that she holds no malice in her heart to Germans, to Nazis, or anyone for that matter.

I moseyed around the Holocaust Memorial alone for a bit (Brock had to work, so he didn't get to go). My favorite part was the Hall of Remembrance, which is a beautiful, serene room for quiet reflection. See pictures in this album (starting at photo #176).

After refueling at Potbelly, I went to the Museum of American History to finish the "Price of Freedom" exhibit we'd seen a couple weeks ago. True to form, it took my obsessive placard-reading self two hours to make it from the Civil War to present day. It was one of the best exhibits I've been to at any museum--essentially a crash course in American war history.

Later, Brock and I stole away for a sweet treat at Sprinkles Cupcakes in Georgetown. Salted caramel for him, a rich dark chocolate for me. By the time we finished, there was pouring rain outside. Solution? Keep dry by staying inside to order another cupcake.

When we got home, our friends Ryan and Tiffany called and invited us to something incredibly cool--a candlelight vigil at the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial put on by Vietnam Veterans themselves. Oh, and all of them were bikers. (As in, a huge motorcycle gang.)

Hundreds of Vietnam vets and their families lined up along the wall in the dark with small glowsticks in hand. At about 9:30, a procession made its way through the crowd. It was a man playing the bagpipes, followed by a torch-bearer and a group of women wearing white--all mothers who had lost sons in Vietnam. To see big, burly, tattooed men in leather jackets cry over their fallen brothers was something painful and beautiful.

After a few minutes, a lone trumpeter played "Taps" in the distance. The procession moved on to other statues around the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial--the Vietnam Women's Memorial and statue of the Three Soldiers. There was a short speech and prayer given at each place given by the director of Rolling Thunder.

Saturday 5/28: Met up with Ryan and Tiffany again in for breakfast at Eastern Market. The line was long, but soooo worth it. I had French toast on challah bread with a side of perfect (no really, perfect) bacon. Brock had crab cakes. For breakfast. But he swears they were the best crab cakes he's ever tasted, so more power to him?

After breakfast we strolled around the farmer's market outside, and wow there was some beautiful fruit there! Fresh, bursting strawberries, blueberries, peaches, watermelon--Brock and I are going back next week for a fruit run. There was also a ton of artwork, jewelry, clothing, pottery, and other artisan crafts for sale.

Then we went old bookstore around the corner. Perhaps "bookhouse" is a more accurate term. This funny old man owns the place, and as soon as you walk in he says (without looking up) "Hello, hello. Fiction upstairs, non-fiction downstairs."

Sunday 5/29: We biked down to the National Mall in the morning to see if we could catch any of the Rolling Thunder action. Over 400,000 vets on Harleys ride from the Pentagon, down the Mall toward the Capitol, and on to the Lincoln Memorial. Freaking rad.

Unfortunately, the ride didn't start till noon, and we had to get gettin' to church! We still got to see a ton of bikers riding toward the Pentagon though, which was awesome. After church we met up with some friends at the National Memorial Day Concert on the lawn in front of Capitol Hill. I felt like it struck the perfect balance between patriotism and somber remembrance. They had actors who read scripts written by veterans, veterans' wives, their families. It gave me an even greater sense of respect for the sacrifice and bravery of our armed forces.

To top things off, we got to hear from Colin Powell! That was very cool. We also listened to musical numbers from Kris Allen, Pia Toscano, and the great B.B. King himself! B.B. King was sooo funny. He made a few flubs here and there, but THE GUY IS 85. He just laughed and kept on going!

My favorite part of the concert was when the band played all the anthems of the different branches of the military. As the songs played, veterans in the audience stood to be recognized. It was so great to see some of them get up and belt the songs with abandon! I think the best song is the Air Force's ("Wild Blue Yonder") but I also love the lyrics of the Marines' ("Halls of Montezuma").

Monday 5/30: I've been wanting to spend Memorial Day at Arlington ever since we found out we were going to DC. We got there early in the morning with a group of friends from the Barlow Center, but not early enough! The line to get in to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (where President Obama lays the wreath) was ridiculous, but we waited anyway.

It was the hottest, most humid day of the year. I think the heat index was 102. But we persevered!--only to be told that the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was closed :( Disappointed, we stopped to rest in the shade for a few minutes. Right as we were passing the security line, we heard a guard say "Okay, I've got room for 10 more people." And there was almost exactly 10 people in our group! We squeezed in at the last second! Soooo lucky. Because we were the last ones in, there weren't any seats. Normally that's a bad thing, but not when the standing room is in the shade! 

I could go on and on about how amazing it was to watch the Memorial Day program at Arlington, and how privileged I felt to hear from the leaders of our country, but I'll just let the pictures do the talking. It was the closest I've ever stood to a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of Defense, and President. Geeked out a bit over that ;)

Finally, Serendipity 3 opened up in Georgetown on Memorial Day. (Just a ten-minute walk from our front door. I swear DC is trying to give me diabetes.) Brock and I went there for a frozen hot chocolate to cool down!


  1. ah, I have finished reading through your post, and I feel unbelievably jealous! I need to get out and enjoy the city more. I'm such a home body. >.<


© Raesevelt All rights reserved . Design by Blog Milk Powered by Blogger