Friday, May 1, 2009

Washington, DC

I just got home late last night from my super fantastic girlfriend trip to DC and I'm ready to report! (Watch out... MANY photos to follow!)

David and I arrived Tuesday around lunchtime and went straight to Old Town Alexandria, where we walked around a bit (almost giving David a coronary while he sat in the yarn shop and had to listen in silence to the VERY liberal employees there!) and had lunch at one of his favorite places, a chili place called Hard Times Cafe. Not my first choice, but tasty! I then had a quiet afternoon before meeting up with David to go to the Cherry Blossom Banquet for the Kansas Society of DC. It was a typical DC event of the kind I used to dread: crowded, loud with lots of small talk. I guess it either gets easier with age, or doesn't seem so bad when I only do it once a decade or so, but I actually had quite a good time. It was held in the building of a DC law firm right near the Capitol, and there was a beautiful rooftop garden with a glorious view of the Capitol. A friend took a picture for me, but I don't have a copy yet.

The next morning I met up with Petra and Sarah and we headed over to Sam's office to meet up with Mary for a day of sightseeing. It was fun to hang around David's old office (now belonging to the current chief of staff) for awhile.

I got up the courage to get all yarn-geeky and ask Sam to take a picture with my sock to send to Yarn Harlot for a donation to Knitters Without Borders:
Petra was enjoying the seat of power:

And then we headed over to the National Archives to see the Constitution and Declaration, followed by lunch at Jaleo, a tapas bar in the neighborhood of my old office. We got to meet up with my dear friend Tracy (and again, my picture taking brain wasn't working!)

We then cabbed over to the Supreme Court to keep an appointment with a delightful young man named Travis who is a clerk to Justice Kennedy. He gave us a fascinating private tour of the Supreme Court, and we were even able to go into the Justice's chambers and spend about ten or fifteen minutes with him.

The Supreme Court gym is located right on top of the Courtroom, so apparently they have to be VERY certain that Court is not in session before using the (basketball) court!
And Justice O'Connor used to teach an aerobics class up there, as well, and apparently she still attends it sometimes when she is in the building:

From the Court, we walked back the Sam's office, then over to the Capitol Building:
Sam took us on a tour of the Capitol Dome (which I never managed to do when David worked there because the Senator needs to be in attendance). This spot is about above the frieze, but still well below the painting inside the dome:

But you just keep going up and up! Our next stop was the very distant balcony you can just make out under the painting:

Then you keep going up and up and up and up:

And finally emerge in the open air with an amazing view of the city! It was raining and chilly, but still really neat!

We had a lovely dinner in Georgetown, and then rested up for the big event the next day! The First Lady's Luncheon is an annual event sponsored by the Congressional Club, which is an organization for Congressional spouses.
Just in case the first picture makes it seem like a small, intimate event, here's little perspective:

There was a front stage with a runway leading from the stage to the head table which was at the back of the ballroom (the event was in the "Reagan" Hilton, where President Reagan was shot). We were quite close both to the stage and the runway, so were pretty close to the First Lady as she was introduced and walked to her seat:

She spoke briefly about community and national service, as well as about how the First Family is adjusting to life in DC.
And then the entertainment for the luncheon ended up being an unexpected and exciting little thrill:
Blake Lewis from American Idol! Sarah and I were giddy like tweens!
As we were waiting for our ride in the lobby of the hotel, who should walk by?
Sarah and I owe Petra big time, because we felt embarassed to talk to him, but Petra just shouted out, "Hey Blake, can we get a picture?" (She was also the one who had the guts to ask Justice Kennedy for the photo, too, so yay Petra!)

Then home again! I had such a great time! And I am glad to be home!

1 comment:

Sarah Blue said...

Talk about being well connected! I can't believe all the cool things you did.

I love that you got a picture of Sam with your knitting. I almost expected a picture of your sock in front of Michelle Obama as she walked by. That would have been hilarious! :)

I'm so glad you had a good time. And again, I am super impressed that you were able to have so many phenomenal experiences in such a short amount of time.

BTW Jeremy is impressed you got to see Justice Kennedy. He thinks that so neat.