HCat was flying in from Japan and her flights went well until she got to Houston. Mechancial problems held her up and by the time she finally got to the apartment, it was almost 10pm and she'd been traveling for something like 27 hours since she left.
It was incredibly wonderful to spend time with her and we had a great time. Friday, it was raining quite steadily and we got soaked (because neither of us thought to bring an umbrella.) We went to the Smithsonian, the Natural History one and got a behind the scenes tour by some friends HCat had made who worked with birds. It was quite fascinating to see what goes on behind the doors where the public isn't normally allowed. And I got to see some of the most stunning birds that are kept there for research. We also toured the other areas including Anthropology. Then we got treated to an IMAX movie to round out our day.
Saturday was still clouded over but we went to the Mall and visited my favorite three places- the WWII Memorial, the Korean War Memorial and of course- The Vietnam Wall. I do have pictures I'll put up here, hopefully tomorrow. The Wall still amazes me with its simplicity and power. I've worn an MIA bracelet for years, for a Sgt Daniel Nidds who was lost in 1968 with four other men. I've rubbed his name off on the traveling wall, but never on THIS wall so with the help of a volunteer veteran, I was able to get a rubbing of Daniel's name. He still shows as missing in action.
We then went to find the Container Store in Arlington. Oh rapture! But as we were walking to it, we found a Cheesecake Factory restaurant where we had a really nice lunch before enjoying the wonders of the Container Store. I wish we had one of these in upstate NY, but alas, we do not. I'd go crazy in there if we did. On the way back to the Metro, we each picked a slice of cheesecake to enjoy and share later. I got Red Velvet cheesecake, HCat got Chocolate Mousse. Oo-la-la.
Monday the weather was stunning with clear skies and temps up in the low 70s. We took my car to venture out to the Air and Space Museum. What an adventure that was just getting there. Both Google maps and my GPS failed us miserably and we ended up asking someone for directions. We also got a bit lost and ended going the long way on the way home once we got off the main highways and into the neighborhoods. Good grief. But we had a super time there and I got to see a Huey, which is like my Holy Grail of sorts. I got lots of pictures. There were several other WWII planes there, although no B17 or B29.
The apartment was comfortable and perfect and we really enjoyed it. We spent our evenings knitting and watching Tour of Duty and of course just chatting. I got to show her the new Critter of which she seemed very impressed with. I'd rent the place again, it was perfect for what we needed.
We parted on Monday, with me driving back in perfect weather to upstate NY and HCat taking the metro to her hotel for the conference she had to go to this week. The drive back was uneventful and with clear weather so I made great time.
Oh, as a side note... while waiting for HCat that first night, I had the local news on. The DC area is trying to pass the gay marriage law for which I applaud. What I don't applaud is the Catholic Church and the way they are going about blocking it. They have made it clear that if the legislation passes and it becomes legal for gays to marry, they will pull all their charitible funding for the various programs that rely on that money to survive. To say I'm disgusted is an understatement and I'm appalled at the tactics. How UN-catholic can you get? I was raised Roman Catholic but renounced my religion for some very specific reasons when my son was born. This just reinforces my decision.
But outside of my outrage with the Catholic Church in Washington DC, I had a fabulous time, absolutely and hope that maybe I can do it again next year with the lovely HCat if it's at all possible and she would want to with me.