Posted by: lylescott89 | July 30, 2012

DC, Maryland & a Little Virginia Day One: Getting there

Hey kids,

Sorry for the long break in blogging, but I was gone again on another trip that I am more than happy to share with you shortly.  However, first I have to tell you that thus far I have shown absolutely no interest in the Olympics.  I watched about 15 minutes of the women’s (technically girl’s) gymnastics and got pretty bored.  I still have not yet been able to bring myself to watch the opening ceremonies.  I have a feeling it will sit on my DVR for weeks until I finally delete it.  I really think my disinterest is due to two things: the fact that I know all the results ahead of time.  Seriously, why don’t they show the good stuff live?  I already know who won the gold medal before they show it at night.  Second, whenever I turn it on and see something live they perpetually have beach volleyball which is probably the dumbest thing ever to hit the Olympic games.  Seriously, if they want me to watch beach volleyball why don’t they get some Hooters Calendar Girls out there in bikinis.  Now that I would watch.  And probably in slow motion.

But why should we talk about that when we have my latest journey to discuss.  I really have no problem with flying and I love airports, but I hate the lead up to boarding.  I awoke that morning feeling very nervous and when I am nervous I sweat.  Thus I always take an extra shirt or two in my carry-on bag so I am not soaking wet for the entire journey.  Despite my nervousness I made breakfast and prepared to leave.  We were picked up and given a ride by the lovely Ann and for reasons I cannot remember I started making up words to the theme song of Bonanza.  I suppose it was a coping mechanism.

Since we had checked in online and already had boarding passes printed all that was needed to do was check the luggage.  This took all of a minute and a half and we were off to get through security.  The line was surprisingly short and I was selected to go through the scanner.  I know that there are those out there that don’t like those things, but I just could not care less.  As long as I get through and get on my flight they can request me to do just about anything and I would do it.  After getting scanned the TSA agent asked if I was wearing a belt and then kind of frowned at me for not removing it.  He made me take it off which led to me having to hold my pants up in order to not be arrested for indecent exposure.  All was well so I got my belt and shoes back on and went to put on a dry shirt.

We flew on Southwest which means our bags flew for free, but it also meant that we had to do that dumb line-up thing.  I mean, seriously, how difficult is it to assign seats?  Nonetheless we were to be boarded with the “A” people so we’d have plenty of seats to choose from.  About 10 minutes into the flight Adam was already bored and kept asking how much longer it would be.  We still had two hours, but eventually he found something to occupy his time so I could read.  When we finally did land the pilot came on and informed us that it was a lovely 101 degrees outside.  Wonderful.

Then came the runaround.  We went to baggage claim and to the first carousel which had our flight number flashing above it.  And we waited and waited.  Nothing.  Then we were told to go two carousels down which we did.  And we waited and we waited.  A few bags came up, but not many and then the carousel stopped.  And we waited and waited before we were told to return to the original carousel.  A fun time was had by none.  By the time we got the luggage and rental car we were starving so we went to the first place we could find for lunch, Panera.  It was delicious.

After about a one hour drive we arrived at our base for the DC portion of our trip, the Town Place Suites in Springfield, VA.  It was a nice hotel and had some decent restaurants nearby, but the room they put us in was hot.  I turned down the a/c as soon as we arrived and Adam and I went for a swim.  When we returned it was still hot in the room, but we figured if we let it run it would eventually cool down so we left for a little while to see what would happen.

It was already late in the afternoon (about 6:00) so we decided to take the Metro and ride out to Arlington National Cemetery.  Knowing that it closed at 7:00 we did not figure we would see much, but since we also wanted to walk over to the Marine Corps War Memorial (aka the Iwo Jima Memorial) we figured we’d go anyway.  Well when we arrived at the Arlington Station we were treated to a little police action.  The police had already had two young men in custody and another was running up the stairs chasing a third.  What they did I have no idea, but it understandably scared Adam.  By the time we got up the escalator the third suspect had been apprehended, but that did not appease Adam’s fears.  Poor little guy.

Since it was so close to the cemetery closing we started the walk over to the memorial.  Some police officers that were not busy with criminals gave us directions and told us that there was a ceremony/parade starting at 7:00.  It turned out to be about a 15 minute walk in extreme heat and I was about to pass out, but thank God for the US Marines.  They had set up a free water stand for the viewing crowd.  Relief!  What we ended up seeing were some Marine routines and some music from the Marine Corp band.  It was really neat to see the precision that these guys have with their marching and rifles.  Plus the band was awesome.  As it was coming to a close we got refreshed with some water and began the walk back to the Metro station.

By the time we got back to the station (and the police still had the suspects sitting there in handcuffs) we were again starving.  Unfortunately we had just missed the train and had a 14 minute wait for the next one.  As we waited we saw one of the suspects come up the steps and began to look for something.  What he was looking for I have no idea, but once again it scared poor little Adam.  When we finally got back to the car it was almost 9:00 and we had to finds an open restaurant.  We recalled that there was a Bob Evans close to the hotel so we went there and had an excellent meal with excellent service.  Frankly if you are one of only three tables at a restaurant you should get great service.

We got back to our room and it was cooler, but still warm.  This would be our only night in that room as the a/c could not be repaired and were moved, but that’s a story for day two.  Yes, day one was a little dull, but all journeys start somewhere.



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