Thursday, August 13, 2009


Back to DC. Where was I? Oh yes – I was on the train, feeling very dirty (no shower) but cosmopolitan (I was on the train!).

After my short train ride, my brother-in-law picked me up and we headed to his office, which has a great view of the Supreme Court. We took some time to catch up until lunchtime rolled around and we headed off to Good Stuff to meet my sister for lunch. Michelle, as in Obama, had eaten there the day before so the restaurant was pretty crowded. I was so glad to see my sister! I was also very glad to see the delicious burger and fries that was soon in front of me.
After lunch I went with Jennie back to her office adjacent to the Capitol. After she completed some tasks, we went on a tour, which I had been looking forward to for one main reason – the Senate subway. I have seen pictures off some of the senators looking so silly riding around in this thing and I couldn’t wait for my turn. After some touring around I finally got a turn and it was just thrilling.
On the other hand, not so thrilling was the elevator ride we went on afterward. A Capitol Policeman jumped on board with us, studied us for a second and asked if we were MOTHER AND DAUGHTER. Seriously? This harkens back to this dark memory. We asked him who he thought was the mother and that b@$+@rd actually pointed to ME! I then asked him to take out his gun out and shoot me. I mean, I had been up since 4:30 a.m. that morning, and was unshowered, and I know my sister looks very young, but surely I don’t look that old enough to be her mother? He scampered off like a roach in the light when the doors open – I guess we put him in his place. Hint to all men out there – 1. Don’t ask a woman when she is due, and 2. Don’t ask a 26-year-old and a 28-year-old which one’s the mother. Sit back and wait for that information to be volunteered, okay? Even if you are carrying a gun.
So after my “daughter” took me on a very informative tour, we retreated to her office until it was time to head to meet Jamie for dinner. Jen picked an Italian restaurant close by for us to try. It was delicious. I know there weren’t any leftovers on my plate… nor in the wine carafe we split. After dinner, we weren’t sure what the night would hold so we decided to figure it out at their apartment. I was so pleased to finally see their cute home! We lingered there before deciding to take a field trip.
First stop, FDR Memorial. I had not seen it and they promised it was neat, especially at night. Right out of the gate Jamie starts impressing me with interesting facts about the memorial, which is outdoors and features four different scenes – one for each term of FDR's presidency. There is a lot of water and stone used, along with plenty of statues, which we started climbing on and posing with immediately. I thought my idea to join the bread line was so original, until we were on our way out and I saw another tourist doing the same pose. Oh well.
Second stop, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. We wanted to go there for a few reasons. First of all, the building is very significant to Jennie and Jamie since he proposed to her at sunset on the rooftop terrace. While we didn’t have time to go up there, we did get a good spot for Reason Number 2 – Fantasia. My sister is a much bigger fan of Fantasia's than I am, but maybe that’s because earlier that week she saw her give a phenomenal performance as Celie in The Color Purple, which was playing that week at the Kennedy Center. The evening show was still going on when we got there and I watched Fantasia sing her big ballad “I’m Here” via a video feed and I was brought to tears, even not having seen the play or the movie. It was very touching and the musical is very high on my must-see list now. After the performance she saw earlier that week, Jennie got Fantasia’s autograph but not a picture. She wanted to remedy that, so we planted ourselves by the red rope and waited for the show to end. Long story short, guess who decided not to take any personal photos or sign autographs that night? Fantasia did come out and talk to us, though. She addressed the crowd and then mingled a bit, walking right up to my sister and asking her (of all things) how old she was. When Jennie answered 28, I added “Yeah, and I’m her mother” (referencing the guard’s comment earlier). This threw ‘Tasia for a loop ("YOU'RE her MOTHER?!") and she laughed/cringed with us when we explained the story. I asked her if she would stay on the tour through Nashville and offered that she could stay with me if she wanted. She pretended to be really excited about that idea and told me she wanted macaroni and cheese with sweet tea. I jokingly told her I’d write down my number for her to call me when she got to town.
The next day, we got up a little later than we'd planned. Our first stop was for lunch at a place called Cosi – it was delicious! I am waiting for one to open in Nashville. After a filling lunch, we took off for the Newseum via the Metro and a walk across the Mall.
The Newseum is a journalism museum that opened in its current location in 2008. It’s six floors full of interesting information! We got there at 2 pm and stayed until they closed shop at 5 pm, and the only reason we managed to cover all six floors in those three hours is because we were rushing a little and moving along. The exhibits in which I was most interested included G-Men and Journalists (about the FBI and the role the press has played in solving (or ruining) some of their biggest cases: there was the actual electric chair used on the Lindy baby's kidnapper, the unabomber’s teeny-weeny shack, a replica of the car used in the DC sniper spree and more) and the 9/11 Gallery (self-explanatory). I also found lots of interesting things scattered among the many other displays on every floor. It was worth the price of admission for sure. After we were (politely) shooed out the door, we headed to the Museum of American History to see the renovated exhibits. That didn’t take too long. We hit the Abraham Lincoln exhibit, the pop culture corner, the first ladies gallery, Julia Child’s kitchen and the Presidential exhibit before paying respects to Ole Glory and heading home for the real treat of the weekend – a home-cooked meal!
My sister whipped up a DELICIOUS dinner on Saturday. What a chef! For an appetizer, we had Wisconsin cheese fondue, straight outta the Melting Pot only better because we were at home! She nailed that recipe and I could have stopped there. But there was a deliciously seasoned, grilled to perfection, NY strip steak with my name on it that she had made (on a Foreman grill!), along with potatoes Au Gratin (Jamie's one request for the weekend) and salad. For dessert, we had more of the amazing ice cream pie we’d been feasting on all weekend. I am still full from all of that! Thank you again, Chef Sister. We tried to watch a movie after that but all of us were so full and tired that we were asleep pretty soon.
On my last day in DC, Jennie and I took off bright and early for the Ikea store. You already know how that went. We spent more time there than I predicted we would, but I also spent less money there than I predicted I would! Our priorities changed after that - instead of cramming in more sightseeing, we had to figure out how I was going to get all the stuff home. They loaned me an extra suitcase and helped me pack and organized all my purchases in two suitcases and a NBC store shopping bag before we had one last slice of pie and left for the airport.

All in all, a great great great weekend that really flew by! I forget how much I miss my sister (and Jamie!) until I am around them. Thanks again guys – love you both! See you at Thanksgiving!


  1. That sounds like such a great trip. DC is really a cool place to visit.

    I can't believe you met Fantasia after all the times you've made fun of her. Did you sing happy birthday Fantasia style to her like you did to me? Your sister looks so giddy to see her.

    It was cool reading about the trip.

  2. Loved that post! Glad you got to come visit - we enjoyed it!


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