Advocacy finished up today in Alexandria. We all left excited about having to deal with politicians and their political processes. Wrapped up at noon, grabbed a sandwich, and found a quiet spot in the hotel lobby to call my airline.
You see when I made the reservation, I had intentions on experiencing the many sites and monuments of Washington DC. That was before it decided to get hot and humid in the nations capital. It has been 100+ degrees the 3 days I’ve been here. Ugghhh! I could have stayed in Texas and got e same temperature treatment I got here.
My scheduled flight was at 7:15pm. I knew there was another flight two hours earlier. Being so hot and having to lug luggage, i figured if I could change my flight and leave early that would be “cool” in so many ways. After 13 minutes on hold (not bad considering other times I’ve called those guys), a pleasant lady named Debbie greeted me. I told her what I wanted to do…she said she could do that for $785, in addition to the $359 I already had into the flight. “No thanks, I’ll hang out till 7:15”. She chuckled and thanked me for flying American Airlines.
About that time, FS texted me. He and OFDIL just got back from DC and NYC. He advised that I take in Arlington National Cemetery if I had the time. FS said it was a wonderful stop but the weather…it was “hot as balls” (I’m not sure how hot that is…not sure I want to know come to think about it). He also said I would walk away with about 6 million pictures ( does he know me or what).
Having just designed a Veterans Memorial for my hometown (and having it dedicated about 3 weeks ago), my research obviously drew inspiration from the National Cemetery; its hollowed grounds, sense of national pride, and for the families of those enterned a recognition of a life given in service to our country.
The Tourmobile was $8.50 – much better than walking with a man purse (that another post y’all) and a shoulder carry-on bag. First stop was the Kennedy gravesites. That was pretty special. It was comforting to know most visitors to the graveside removed their hats without being asked…even the foreign tourists. That was a humbling witness.
The next stop, The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. And the timing was perfect as I watched the changing of the guard. Now that was a humbling witness. It is the Old Guard that “watches” over the Tomb 24/7, regardless of the weather, events of the Cemetery, the politics of the day, or the actions of our nation on an international stage. That was an even more humbling witness.
By now, my shirt and top half of my pants were a different color (from sweat) and the time was creeping towards needing to be at the airport. It was an enjoyable afternoon spent. Met a couple from Topeka, KS and being the kid from there, we struck up many a conversation about the Cemetery, Kansas, and what a small world this can be at times.
Back in plenty of time. Downed a $3 iced tea at the airport Starbucks (only because I was really parched did I spend that kind of money on tea), and sat down to write this post. I hope to be back in DC a couple times in the coming year. I might be back to Arlington…but there is so much that needs to be seen. Go to Washington DC if and when you can, and text me where I need to go next I’m here (just like FS did for me today – thanks Beeba! Outstanding suggestion).