Monday, January 29, 2024

Washington DC Day 2- May 15, 2023

Ravishing Rockets

Rosa had her alarm set for the complimentary breakfast. I could probably have run on extra sleep and Power Bars but decided to join her downstairs so she wouldn’t be lonely. Anabelle was immobile, reaching the coma like state only college students at the start of break can attain.
The set up did not have the volume or obviousness of gluten free objects the woman who booked our stay led us to believe would be there. Luckily, one of the wait staff was Latin and Rosa could get a tour of the few items that qualified. I went directly to the “Steel Cut Oatmeal” sign…
And found a tureen full of grits.
We ate and brought a meal delivery up to our unconscious child.
This was one of the longest “start of the day” walks we had on the trip, due to a mix of distance and distraction. Because of construction and limited access, the Air and Space Museum was the only one we were interested in on the Mall that required reserving a date and time. It was at the furthest end of the Mall from our hotel, over next to the Capitol, and also on the southern side. We had a reserved time for when the museum opened at Ten AM with an hour grace period… which we didn’t notice until we got there.
(Spoilers- We didn’t make it.)
The combination of it being our first family trip to DC, and the first day we were walking that direction increased our normal penchant for getting distracted to a large degree.
Down one of the streets we walked were large medallions on the sidewalk honoring those who had done volunteer or philanthropic work. It was called “The Extra Mile” and featured several folks we recognized, including Clara Barton. Anabelle had wanted to be her in the grammar school “wax museum” but another kid took her because she had darker hair. Anabelle is still pissed about this, but she did begin her special relationship with Abigail Adams as part of that “wax museum,” meaning it worked out for the best.
Hey, “The Extra Mile!” I get it now. It was a long drive.
On Pennsylvania Avenue, we spent some time wandering through, and being interested in the World War I memorial, featuring fountains, three dimensional maps, and an impressive General Pershing statue.
If we had understood this diagonal route to the Capitol would be the primary path we travelled most days, we likely wouldn’t have taken the time to poke around here this day.
Give us a break. We were new at this.

We made our way onto the National Mall, and between two of the other museums on the way to Air and Space was what appeared to be a large, very floral, herb garden.
The worthy stop of looking around the natural beauty added more to our travel time.
Anabelle took many an artsy flower photo, as well as shots of my feet to return to that running gag. 

At the Air and Space Museum, we learned we had to follow the fenced in path around the entire building to the entrance on the other side, where the street was. We also learned our ticket, originally set up for the opening time of the location, had that one hour window listed on it.
Probably should have read that sooner, huh?
Luckily, like almost any museum or zoo we have visited with pre-registration, the people at the door didn’t care about the end time on the ticket, as long as it was past the start time. Therefore, in we went.
DC Flashback: On past vacations, this was always my favorite part of the Washington trip. We’d spend a full day here at the bare minimum. On the occasions we stayed at a hotel only a couple of blocks from it, Kim and I would run down and re-explore it while our folks were packing or resting as well. Sadly for them, when the rest of my family came two years before, only half of the first floor was accessible thanks to the work and elevator issues.
The original filming model of the Enterprise had been refurbished and finally returned to display shortly before the whole update of the museum happened. Then it was gone again. Fortunately, my geeky reputation preceded me, and good old NCC-1701 in its new fancy display case was placed to welcome me at the only available entrance.
I stared at it a long time, marveled, read the labels, and helped Anabelle to find the little pod that goes “Weeee!” when Kirk bangs on his arm rest. While taking the requisite “Live long and prosper” picture. I overheard some other fans who didn’t think it was a model used for filming. I quickly corrected them and pointed to the display notes as a reference.
Also in the entrance lobby was Robert Goddard’s first rocket. Anabelle though it was cool because it was launched on her birthday, and also…
The final lobby exhibit was the racing airplane flown by Neil Loving, an African American double amputee. Or as Anabelle referred to it, “A plane…yawn.”
The exaggerated, actually stating “yawn” was her way to signal she did not share my enthusiasm or interest for an exhibit.
Because parenthood is the gift that never stops giving.
Only about half the museum was open, which was a bummer, but at least we got that much. The first side room we entered was “We All Fly” about humanity’s general fascination with flight, and ways common folks participate.

There was a large section on drones, including some impressively massive ones used for delivering medical supplies. That was tied in with a “flying hospital” plan used to treat folks in hard to access places.
Like…where the patients lived was hard to access.
Nobody needs anything with a propeller trying to find their unmentionables.
There was also section highlighting how access to simulated flight can be inspirational, such as featuring Neil Armstrong’s model planes from his childhood.
Yes, this was incredibly cool!
The next side room was a large collection featuring the Wright Brothers… as there should be.
I thought it was funny that, while the original Kitty Hawk flier dominated the center of the room, the description around the exceptionally rare bicycle from the Wright Brother’s shop seemed like the museum was more excited about having it than the plane.

A nugget of information I never considered before, they had to figure out how to lighten the engine weight early on. This was not to make their one plane fly better; it was in order that the plane could be shipped by boat overseas to demonstrate it flying in Europe. 

The entire history of early flight can be summed up with a Tim Allen like “More Power!” Technically most of modern flight is like that as well.
Sadly, none of the little sample models propellers spun. The hazards of reopening, I guess.
Anabelle is not a plane enthusiast (“yawn”) and her favorite part of the “earliest of flight” section was the model of an insane idea for a literal “air ship” Flying Boat City on a hot air balloon.
The only main open area of the museum focused on the history of commercial flight. (I know, Anabelle… “yawn.”) Granted, it probably was the least exciting of the two floored exhibits, but there was still some cool stuff. The simulations of how loud (damage causing), shaky (bone ratting) and cramped (carcass crushing) early air transportation behaved was an eye opener for modern crowds.

The exhibits pointed out how “high end” air travel was at first, with images and records of various famous folks that took advantage of the new convenience.
This included the Marx Brothers, Woo! (Or in Anabelle’s case, “yawn.”) Even with standard use aircraft, it was still neat to see it full sized on display like that. There was one military jet, a trainer. At least it was something. 

DC Flashback. This museum, both looking at all the fighter planes both past and current, and getting a book about Western Nation’s fighter aircraft are a HUGE part of why I became an engineer. Thirty years later, I still have no idea what the heck I’m doing at a medical device company.
Somewhere in the middle of our first-floor adventures, because we did take the time to enjoy the sights on the way across our nation’s capital, we broke for lunch. Disney definitely spoiled us when hunting for Rosa’s gluten free choices. Few options were available in the café of a half-refurbished museum. Rosa kept a supply of her snacks in the travel bag for much of the trip. Learning that we knew far more about how gluten free worked than the employees of many locations was a puzzle we’d solve later in the week.
We also needed to run back to the entrance for the “on the hour” brief lighting up of the Enterprise model. Some fans were complaining that the lights were on for such a limited time. I needed to explain to these other plaque reading challenged individuals that what they were looking at was not a recreation, but the actual filming model from the Sixties. Therefore, having the lights continually on would have either burnt them out, or burnt it up. Why museums haven’t started keeping me on temporary staff for all the work I do for them I do not know.
The second floor had more of a “Space” slant for the “Air and Space” Museum. It was difficult to start exploring as Poe Dameron’s X-Wing was at the top of the stairs and required the proper length of time spent in amazement and gawking.
Oddly, it had R2-D2 in the droid slot. This was a weird choice. Then again, it was also a weird choice in Rise of Skywalker since Poe had only flown with BB-8 up until then. I guess they wanted to give the little rolling droid his moment on the Star Destroyer with Finn and company. I also guess, once more, I have looked far too deeply into a Star Wars thing.
The room about satellites had …
Satellites in it.
Granted, not the most exciting of spacey things, but still interesting.
Even with the back-up Lunar Module not on display (quick DC Flashback there) the section on the Apollo missions was amazing.

From actual craft leading up to the Apollo missions, (including the early chimpanzee ones) to the Apollo 11 command module itself, standing within that much history was mind blowing.
Neil Armstrong’s space suit was there as well.
However, it wasn’t just “WOO HOO LOOK AT THIS COOL THING!”
Although, honestly, I did a bunch of that.
There were displays explaining how it all worked, including all the layers and safeties and so forth. They also did not skimp on the post Apollo 11 stuff. Unlike the country at the time, the Smithsonian did not lose interest in the Apollo program after the first moon landing.
(“REAL! Say it again!” – Anabelle)

There were rovers, suits, equipment, and side explanations about what happened during Apollo 13, including the accurate quote “Houston, we’ve HAD a problem.”
They even had Gene Kranz’s famous vest.
I was there (as in “alive”) for the tail end of Apollo and the transition into the Space Shuttle years. There was something about having a focused space program that really united the country in a healthy and intelligent way.
You still see shades of it occasionally, for things like the Mars rover, but I feel like it would help the country technologically, intellectually and morale wise to get back to this. I mean, we’ll have to leave behind the flat earth and “moon landing was a hoax” morons and their kin…
but no great loss there.
The one “non space” room on the second floor was dedicated to other quests for speed. Anabelle’s favorite part of the museum was here-
The Disney Cars toys, next to one of Richard “The King” Petty’s actual cars.

There were other race cars including Mario Andretti’s. Along with cars there were rocket vehicles, stunt planes and a motorcycle with an insanely large engine.
(Hey, what could go wrong?)
Featured in the stunts section was a display of a guy who went flying with a lion, including its taxidermized remains. Again, “Hey, what could go wrong.”
In that stunt section, in a case that cause great excitement to the little boy that lived in the Seventies (and still lives in my head) was an Evel Knievel tribute. Memories were kindled by the flashy suit, the gleaming bike, and the rev up toy that I used to send speeding through the front door of my sister’s doll house. (But never mind that now.)
Embarrassing admission- until seeing this display at the ripe young age of fifty-three, it never occurred to me that Mr. and Mrs. Knievel would have named their little boy anything but “Evel.” (Anabelle- “You fool! Also, yawn.”)
Near the tribute to Robert Craig Knievel were samples of toy spacecraft both real and fictional, to showcase humanity’s excitement over things that go fast starting at an early age. Due to the inclusion of Star Wars and Star Trek items, yet another museum got an area labelled, “The Stuff In Our Basement” section.
The planet room brought us back to awesome space stuff. This, along with the moon section, were two of the few overlaps where both Anabelle and I thought things were interesting. Anabelle used one of the interactive screens to plan out a successful mission to Neptune, her favorite planet… tied with Mercury.
The planet room featured a couple more props from the original Star Trek on one wall. There was a pair of Leonard Nimoy’s ear tips, donated by his family. There was also an original tribble. An older veteran in a wheelchair was pushed over by his son who asked if he remembered the tribble episode. Without missing a beat, the vet replied in perfect accent and pitch:
“Aye, sir. Before they went into warp, I transported the whole kit 'n' caboodle into their engine room…
Where they'll be no tribble at all.”
Yes, he most definitely remembered that one.
Each planet had its own section of displays and videos. There was a short film about Venus being the Earth’s twin. I was tempted to film it and send it to my sister’s fourth grade teacher.
(Not DC Flashback- In what inspired a rare, angry visit of my dad to the principal, the woman taught that Mars was Earth’s twin. When Dad sent Kim into class with a book correcting that, her answer was, “I’ve been teaching it this way for thirty years and I’m not changing it now.” Don’t mess with space science around Dad. The only worse reaction was when someone on the phone told my massively gifted from the early years of programming Father, “The computer made a mistake.”)
Over at the Mars section, Anabelle and I were both excited. Her about the chemistry analysis stuff, and me because I lived through the Viking years, and they WERE exciting. A copy of the Voyager disk was equally inspirational.

Rosa wasn’t as excited as I was, but also wasn’t saying “yawn” throughout much of the Air and Space Museum. Therefore, she balanced out our little group.
Before leaving the building, as always for us, a gift shop check was needed. I got a set of post cards that had all the awesome planes and spacecraft I remembered from previous trips that were in the closed areas this time.
DC Flashback- The Air and Space Museum had a HUGE number of planes and spacecraft on display when it wasn’t being refurbished, many with giant historical significance. This is why I spent that much time in there in the past.
Yes, I’m still complaining half of it was closed. And I’m still thankful more of it was open than on my sister’s family trip.
The guy at the counter was a big fan of our Star Trek and Doctor Who shirts. Guess he worked in the right place. Anabelle pointed out that he DID NOT compliment her NASA shirt, even though there were multiple NASA items in that gift shop. She is also still pissed about this.
In a tribute to one of the most famous items in their display, the gift shop sold Star Trek Spock ears…
With a picture of Captain Kirk, and only Captain Kirk, on the labeling.
“You had one job” grand champion edition.
We stopped to pay respects to that famous Star Trek item on the way out again. In a show of both practicality and coolness, there was a shade that automatically came down to protect the Enterprise model from the afternoon sun. It was illustrated with images from the Starfleet Technical Manual and labeled “Shields Up!”
We spend some time looking at the multi-Mobius shaped “Continuum” sculpture on the front steps. I’ve always liked that one. Given that I’m fairly indifferent to much non-representational art, I think the reason I always liked that one is it signaled I was entering the Air and Space Museum.
The rest of the family told us the Eisenhower Memorial was worth seeing and “behind” the Air and Space Museum. Given that every other entrance was closed, that meant it was “in front of” the museum when we exited, making it more likely that we would find it.
DC Flashback- The Ike Memorial, and many others, were not there on our childhood trips. (These flashbacks may be less interesting than I originally anticipated.)
They were right, it was very impressive, as befitting the man. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had problems trying to reconcile admiration for all he did as a General and President, with the McCarthyism that sprung up during his time. When Rosa and Anabelle were getting their stamps in the gift shop, I saw a book detailing how he fought against it behind the scenes. That made me feel better…
As I was, and continue to be, about half a library behind in my reading, I cannot explain how he fought. The book is on my wish list, maybe by the time we go back I’ll know.
We crossed the Mall and found the Sculpture Garden between the National Gallery and the Natural History Museum. I mean, it was pretty easy to find, being a giant, fenced in area full of large modern art items. Rosa and Anabelle got ahead of me on the way in. Anabelle summed up the reason:
“A stranger complemented Dad’s shoes again.”
Anabelle got a strawberry snow cone as her first “souvenir.” Then she was somewhat sad upon seeing a coconut one offered on the next truck. We walked through the lovely garden atmosphere taking in the various artistic sights such as:
The Q-Bert board.
The Tangled Charger Cords
The Fringy Pizza Cutter

The Refugee from The Thing

The Tongue Turd. 

These names are assumptions. Perhaps they should put some plaques in there.
Disclaimer- As this will come up a lot:
I do enjoy a fair amount of Modern and Contemporary Art. But I enjoy being a smart-ass more. 

The Museum of American History was intended for “free space” moments on the Grid. This is because none of us had a specific t-shirt selected for that museum.
Do not doubt our Grids.
Down on the first floor were histories of hip hop and advertising which, like nearly everything we experienced on this trip, we walked through backwards. 

After those reverse time journeys, Anabelle tried out a weird little period outfit thing, which looked to use the same technology as the old Disney Store Princess mirror. It turned her reflection into Shirley Temple. 

DC Flashback-  The fancy dollhouse I remembered from when I was a kid was on that floor as well. Yes, yet another riveting flashback.

The next section was the history of TRANSPORTATION! I told Anabelle it was a walk through version of EPCOT's “World of Motion” but without the jokes.
She said, “Good riddance.”
Don’t worry, we’ll align on some museums.
Part of her issue was many of the manakins were “free range.” In other words, they were outside of the protected “fenced in” parts of the displays of cars, trains, boats and so forth. She was not prepared to deal with a possible Auton attack, and it was a quick pass through the maze-like exhibits.
The section on Edison was a similarly speedy pass through. This is likely because my now more informed opinion of him has shifted from “Inventor and Boyhood Hero” to “The guy who invented the business models that are responsible for all the crappiest parts of my job.”  Anabelle learned this at a younger age than I did…and Rosa doesn’t much care about this type of exhibit in general.
We went up to the third floor, the entertainment section, and mass amazement for all three of us. There will be a trainload of photos for this section, as it was very dense and had stuff for all of us, often situated near each other for no visible reason other than to make us happy. 

DC Flashback- This collection was a MASSIVE upgrade from how the pop culture stuff was kind of strewn around in hallways when I was younger. The only sad part was back then Fonzie’s jacket was in the case with the All in the Family Chairs, MASH sign and Carol Burnett dress. The new additions more than made up for it.

How they selected locations did seem to be based on our family. There was the mosquito in amber from Jurassic Park next to the gown for the famous Latin Psychic, which hopefully I will remember to ask Rosa the name of. (Spoilers- I did not.)  Superheroes got huge representation via Clayton Moore’s Lone Ranger mask, George Reeves’s Superman costume, Chris Evans’s Captain America shield, and Julie Newmar’s Catwoman accessories (right next to Lucy Lawless’s Xena costume). 

There was sports stuff that even I cared about: Joe Louis’s gloves, Ali’s robe, Jackie Robinson’s glove, Rocky Balboa’s robe, Billie Jean King’s Bobby Riggs Stomping Dress and Michael Jordan’s jersey. (Next to Cyndi Lauper’s dress, a Xenomorph egg and Desi Arnaz’s conga drum…
Ali’s robe was next to Phyllis Diller’s dress,
in case it wasn’t obvious that the placement was confusing.) 

Artoo and Threepio were there, standing in a case close to the very first Kermit from Sam and Friends, it was insane. Some things were obvious, like Levar Burton’s shackles from Roots. Other objects less so, but equally impressive on inspection, like the typewriter Orson Wells used for the War of the Worlds script. 

Then, we reached the children’s television section, and the nostalgia burned the brightest. Howdy Doody, for Grandma’s generation, was still there, but there was also Bill Nye’s lab coat. 

Similarly, the items that made me all misty, an early Oscar the Grouch in his trash can and one of Mr. Rogers’s sweaters, were joined by Elmo, and one of Anabelle’s all-time favorite Sesame Street character, ROSITA! Anabelle planned to move in next to this Muppet, but that would happen later in the trip, he said, yet again whipping in foreshadowing like a pro. 

While she was mesmerized, she noticed activity in one of the many groups of Eighth Graders in the city on class trips. The extremely self-aware youth, egged on by his classmates came up to her and said, “Hey.” She responded with a confused, “Hey?” He immediately shuffled back to his classmates stating, “She’s not into me at all.”
While Anabelle basked in her childhood memories a bit longer, I waved to some of the Ringling Brothers memorabilia before we tried out other sections of the museum, vowing a return. 

The First Ladies exhibit was mostly “nice dresses.” In normal circumstances it would be time for the rest of the family to be more interested than I was. Except Anabelle took great exception to the fact that Abigail Adams, her favorite since the “wax museum” project eleven years (or another number) prior, was underrepresented. They only had a sample of her dinner ware. I thought how it will be an interesting look back and conversation starter for future generations when they see Dr. Jill Biden’s inaugural outfits came with matching face masks.

An adjoining section had various memorabilia for the Presidents as well. We took it in but were getting a little tired and closing time loomed.
Before leaving, we found a little hidden room with two hallway connectors chronicling how Disney films and parks have adapted to changing social structures and ideals over time. It showed how much they do pay attention to being a part of, and reflecting, the world as it actually exists.

On the way out, as they were getting ready to lock the doors, I was excited by seeing Steve “The Colonel” Cropper’s guitar on display! I found out my family may have been less excited than I was when I finished reading about it and noticed they were already outside.

Walking north, away from the Mall and towards our hotel, we passed Ford’s Theater, (which is still operational) where Lincoln was shot. Across the street was Ford’s Theater Education Center, connected to the house Lincoln was brought to and died in.
There was also “Lincoln’s Waffle Shop,” where, one assumes, the President had breakfast the morning of the show.

We had been through two museums on this day, after driving four hours and walking around the entire tidal basin the day before. Sane people would have head back to the hotel to rest up for a very full next day.
“Hey, isn’t the American Art Museum containing the National Portrait Gallery open until Seven and near here?”
Rosa and Anabelle had very little interest in the portraits, but once again, New York Museum bias surfaced, the place was much smaller than anticipated, and we went through most of it.
Being American Art, there were a large number of outstandingly beautiful landscapes in the older sections. Then we reached the modern section and saw a painting of a fried egg. (I may be incorrect on that one.) There were multiple impressive Georgia O’Keeffe’s in the area as well.

Additionally, in the modern area was a cigarette machine. I thought it was supposed to be some ironic commentary, but a closer inspection found it was labeled, “Artomat.” Cigarette machines had been repurposed to support local artists. Instead of dispensing carcinogens, now art was packaged inside. Anabelle picked poems and they were found to be fun and interesting back in the hotel.

One captivating room had a comparison of classical and contemporary landscapes.
The classic was a gorgeous example of the Hudson River school. (Or close enough to it… no I’m not looking it up, in spite of appearances, I do have a life.) 

The modern one was this wild, and very red, view of Brooklyn after being submerged under rising oceans.

Both highly impressive and thought provoking in different ways.
The modern section also had the Preamble to the Constitution written on license plates of all fifty states. Due to being unconscious on the way down, Anabelle had decided to play the “license plate game” only in DC itself. However, she ruled this to be cheating.

Another room had a huge, donated collection of die cast cars, including a Herbie to keep a through line to the last Disney trip.
The Portraits of all the presidents did turn out to be engaging. It was fun seeing how the differences in both eras and personalities led to the differences in the painting styles.
Great art is always attracting, and other portraits drew us to them as well.
(Translation- I forget why we liked some of them, and I can’t read the plaques in the photos I took.) 
Considering what they accomplished, the collection of World War Two military leaders all in one place was imposing and inspirational.
The gift shop was closing (though the saleswoman liked my Star Trek shirt and [“hooray!”] Anabelle’s NASA shirt) The upstairs Entertainment and Sports portrait galleries as well as another section we wanted to see were being refurbished and the cafeteria was closed by the time we finished.

We reached the end of operating ours with some disappointment in an art museum.
Yes, we were thrown out of two museums in one day.
No this would not be the only time we experienced this phenomenon.
Anabelle wanted dinner from Chopt, a chain she discovered near school. I like it as well, though I do delight in tormenting my daughter by complaining that one cannot get the grilled chicken heated up in their offerings. Rosa was going to stick with gluten free leftovers from the night before. We stopped at CVS for some supplies on the way, and the guy paradoxically running the self-checkout machine liked our geeky themed credit card and shirts. (Combined they hit the geek trifecta of Star Wars, Star Trek and Doctor Who.)
While I do like Chopt, I try to experience more local choices on vacation. The check in woman had explained the hotel dinner options, and I planned on trying that.
(Spoilers- I should have ordered dinner from Chopt…
Even CVS would have been an improvement.)
Before reaching home, we needed to stop at “The Other Joaquín Memorial.”
Translation 1- Joaquín is the name of a snail doodle that Anabelle has been drawing since she was a wee tot.
Translation 2- When Rosa was marking all of the museums, memorials, and monuments we could see on the map, Anabelle drew a snail in the corner and labeled it, “Joaquín Memorial.”
Translation 3- When Anabelle realized that corner was NOWHERE near where we would be walking during the week, she added a second snail drawing near the hotel labeled “The Other Joaquín Memorial.”

Anabelle brought her food to the room, Rosa went to the room to get her food, and I stayed in the lobby to order my food.
There was no readily visible way to order food. I tried to explain what I had been told on check in to the desk clerk, but he didn’t seem to understand.
Therefore, I went up to the room to scan the code that had the menu on it to see if it said how to order. Nothing was selectable on the website that came up with the menu referencing ordering in the lobby. I called the lobby and explained the situation, and he told me to select what I wanted on the website.
I explained the situation once again.
He again told me to make the selection on my phone.
Third time was sort of the charm and he said, “Oh, then you can’t order there, you have to go up to the roof bar.”
Knowing the check in lady told me the roof bar had limited snacks, but not knowing what else to do, I went up to the roof bar. The bartender showed me his much more minimal menu that what came up online. He also told me the lobby was supposed to handle the menu on my phone, but “they’re lazy.”
Back down I went, meeting Rosa who had come to microwave her food.
I talked to the guy at the desk about the bartender telling me I had to order down here (leaving out the lazy part).
This had been the same guy all along.
Y’know, the guy I first asked about ordering at that desk?
And then the guy I talked to on the phone about ordering from my room?
The guy that both times told me there was no way to order?
That guy?
That guy huffed, reached next to a box behind the desk, handed me a print copy of the menu I’d seen on my phone, and asked what I wanted.
I selected my chicken sandwich with seasoned fries, and he asked if he wanted me to have him to call the room when it was ready.
Worried that the entire lobby would be gone if I left, I elected to wait.
After what was about as long as it would have been to walk back to Chopt and return, the elevators opened, and the bartender came out.
Y’know the bartender who told me he couldn’t work off the menu on my phone?
And then the bartender who accused the other employees of being lazy?
That Bartender?
“That Bartender” brought my chicken sandwich over to “That Guy” and went back upstairs.
Then “That Guy” gave me my dinner and I went back to the room.
Not content with one disaster, I checked to make sure we had everything ready for the booked Capitol visit and night bus tour the next day. I had checked all the times and locations well before we left. I was preprogramming the addresses into the Navicomputer to make sure they were accessible and when I entered the address for the bus tour, the location came out WAY east of the Capitol building in a neighborhood I had no ideas about, making us require almost an hour and a half walk at Ten O’clock at night.
With nothing left after the day, I freaked out, started checking everything, tried to call the bus tour company (closed), and also called my sister who had recommended the tour they went on. I couldn’t figure out how I could have screwed up so badly checking things at home.
Here’s how:
A) My fingers suck at typing anything on my phone.
B) Washington DC is set up in a four quartered system around the Capitol, addresses have East and West, or North and South connected to them.
C) The “E” and “W” are right next to each other on the keyboard.
D) Every single time I tried to type the address I hit the “E” instead of the “W” without realizing to the point that the phone started autocorrecting to “E” even if I hit “W.”
E) I was VERY tired.
Through several parallel methods, I confirmed the bus was right next to Ford’s Theater, a few blocks from our hotel.
Anabelle decided she was also very tired and in no mood to deal with me. Therefore, she showered through my panic and the resolution.
Given the whole idea of using the hotel for back up dinners went down the toilet, we researched restaurants in the area and checked menus for gluten free options while we had flashbacks to Anabelle’s Saturday mornings as a kid where she watched Say Yes to the Dress, since all the networks stopped showing cartoons.
Then to prepare for our visit to the Capitol and other historical sites, we watched the history series of School House Rock.
We finished the night with some Disney World Trivia Questions and finally passed out, with Anabelle still babbling excitedly about seeing Rosita.
20362 steps
8.2 miles

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