Monday, October 16, 2006

Separate Ways

After arriving in DC, we rode the Metro out to Alexandria and checked into our hotel. Everyone else on my committee was staying in Crystal City because that's where the corporate offices are now, but I liked Alexandria because I KNEW this area and knew that my family would feel comfortable there. Evening reception with free beer/drinks and salty-crispy food. A sumptuous breakfast buffet with a corner for made-to-order omelettes. Don't underestimate the importance of food to traveling men.

So we dropped our stuff off and turned right around and headed back into town to join the committee for an informal dinner in a local eatery. Introductions were made all around and I swear I heard several wombs crying out when their owners met my boy. He is such a charmer - and all the ladies fall in love with him immediately. He sees beauty in everyone and is not shy about saying so and winning friends in the female population with great ease. My husband, son and I sat down at a table with a couple of new members and chatted the evening away as we devoured salmon cakes and pork roast. For desert we had a truly sinful concoction called a Chocolate Volcano. Chocolate bread pudding, chocolate ice cream, chocolate sauce, and chocolate chips. Fortunately, we ordered it with six spoons and the entire table ate it. I do believe that if one person had attempted it, there would have been a chocolate coma.

Exhausted, we made our way back to the hotel after dinner, where each of us passed out within seconds of hitting the pillows.

Bright and early the next morning, I got up and got ready for my meeting. The boys went down to breakfast and we exchanged cheery waves as I left. My day was interesting (to me), but the guys were the adventurers on Friday. After breakfast, they hit the swimming pool.

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Heated indoor pool is quite a novelty. Z-boy couldn't believe the steam on the windows!

Then they were ready to hit the town. They managed the Metro on their own and landed on the Mall. First stop... Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

Z-boy has been fascinated by bones, archeology, dinosaurs and fossils for quite a while now. They spent a lot of time looking things over.

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Z thought the disembodied sharks' teeth hovering over Daddy's head was funny.
He made some bony friends his own self, too!

Then they went to the Hirshhorn Museum. A dead ringer for Ed Bradley (down to the earring) was working in the gift shop. They wandered around a bit, bought a couple of things, then went across the street to the sculpture garden, where they had fun looking at all the cool statues.

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They also walked the Mall and visited the Washington Monument, but discovered that tickets for the Monument (to go up in it) are limited and sell out very early. They contented themselves with just looking up.

Finally, dogs barkin', they headed back to the hotel for free beer, pineapple juice and all the nachos you could eat. That's where I found them when I got back from my meeting... sitting in the atrium, noshing. We went up to the room, ordered room service, and settled them in the room before I went back out to rejoin my friends for dinner.

Normally, I would not have left. It was my last chance to see my fellow committee members though, as I am a departing member. My term is up and I won't be coming back to DC again for a while. I have to wait a year before I reapply. And I love all of them. They are the coolest, most fun group of people I have hung out with in a long time. I will miss them. So we had a final Thai dinner together, talking and laughing and I said my goodbyes.

I got back to the room a little after nine. The boys were asleep on the foldout couch in the main room, having eaten dinner, watched "Avatar", and fallen into an exhausted sleep. I crept past them into the bedroom and marveled at the unexpected luxury of a bed to myself. I hadn't put in the physical exertion that they had, but my brain was exhausted.

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