It was my second trip to Washington D.C. The first was four years ago, so see my daughter perform in the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. This time, it was to see my son perform in the same band.
First off, who designs these airline seats? The Marquis de Sade? I've seen thicker padding on prison mattresses (don't ask). I'm getting older, I admit it. And the airlines are getting worse. Literal pain in the arse. Thank God my daughter and I traveled light and only brought carry-on bags.
My girl and I traveled on one plane, while my son was with his school bandmates on another. We all arrived late that day (with the time zone difference) so pretty much it was dinner (via Doordash) and hittin' the rack.
The first day, my son's band performed at Mount Vernon (George Washington's estate). The band played well, and it was good to see the estate again. More correctly, for the first time. Last time, I was a band chaperone, and I had to make a trip back to the hotel to retrieve some kid's "shako" band hat. This time, we took the full tour. It's humbling to see how the "1%" lived 250 years ago. They did have an impressive garden, though. And a lot of garishly painted rooms (Washington liked this odd shade of green, it was a thing back then).
While my son enjoyed his box lunch, my daughter and I went to the estate restaurant. In solidarity with the estate workers, I chose the jambalaya. Who am I kidding? I picked the jambalaya because it was delish. How do they make those scallops so tender?!
That night we went to a National's baseball game. Nice park, even if most of the fans are a bunch of pansies. It rained lightly, and the park was barely 1/3 full. And every time it rained a bit harder, all the sugarplumbs left their seats and ran for cover. Just sad.
The next day, we hit the "free" museums. Because it's paid for by the government (with someone else's money), free is good. I'm gonna go all provincial here, but The Air and Space ain't all that. The Boeing Museum of Flight in WA State is actually much better. The only thing the DC Air and Space had going for it was big ass rockets. I love it when a museum has to compensate.
The Natural History Museum was fun, but more geared to a younger crowd. We ran into my son, and his band friends. I gave him some money, then he gave us the slip. Teenagers.
We toured the Capitol building. It's pretty lame, as you don't get to see anything while Congress is "working". Statuary Hall was fun, as I got to see likenesses of my heroes Barry Goldwater and Huey Long. Then we jaunted over to The Library of Congress which was much more interesting, and beautiful. They had Thomas Jefferson's personal library on display. SPOILER: He liked French philosophy and English law.
The pace was getting to us, so my daughter and I decided to wave the white flag for the day and retreat to out Air B&B. It's in a blue collar neighborhood across from Gallaudet University. BTW the Metro (train) system in DC is awesome. Anyway, we had dinner delivered again. And if you think Korean BBQ burritos sound good... eh, not so much.
So, Saturday was parade day. We paid some God-awful sum to get bleacher seats along the route. I'm glad we did. The weather the entire time was as schizoid as a Presidential staffer. The sun was out, but we got seats in the shade. My son's band marched by near the end of the parade. I'm totally unbiased, but they were the best sounding band. I give a sold second to the kids from the Bahamas, who at least had some spunk.
We met my son after the parade, and the Boy of Steel was finally beginning to crack. After drinking some water and eating another yummy box lunch, he was back to normal. He posed for a picture for Mom back home. I gave him more money, and he was gone again.
This is going long. I'll finish in a second post...