One of my friends from college had decided to try his hand at the wedded bliss, and he asked me to wear the monkey suit, so the family and I all loaded into a microscopic regional jet for the 2 hour flight from JIA to Dulles. We rented a Dodge Charger that sounded like it was charging more than it actually charged, and checked in to the local Hampton Inn in the general area of the Patomac Point Winery, where the wedding was to be held. The weather was disgusting for most of the weekend, save for the wedding day, which was beautiful. The baby was tired so we missed out on the duck dinner and instead went to McDonalds for Happy Meals and "Speed Racer" toys. Typical.
While we were in the DC area, we took the opportunity to head into town for a little cultural enlightenment...and as I live in Jacksonville, I'm not going to pass up on any such opportunity. We got together with a group from the ceremony, loaded into the Metro's Blue Train at Franconia Springfield, and headed on into town and the Smithsonian Station. DC looks much better than I remember it from my last visit nearly 20 years ago, certainly benefiting, as most cities have, from the increased residential units and related interest and investment that young professionals have in a more metropolitan lifestyle. Not an adult bookstore was seen the whole weekend. I never once stepped on a crack pipe. I point that out because I've found used needles in my front yard in FLA, so not seeing drug waste on the ground was a nice if not somewhat disturbing change of pace.
The baby enjoyed most of the Air and Space Museum, and the Natural History Museum parts that were open...its under the knife for some badly needed updates and investment. Dinosaurs and Gemstones were the target of the day for Natural History. The Hope Diamond was mobbed by a hoard of Asian tourists who about knocked everyone on their butts to get a chance to see the thing. Rent the movie Titanic...the prop stone in that sad-sack flick is prettier. The "whale room" was closed for renovation, so after teaching my daughter to say "big whale" all weekend, all she got to practice was "triceratops". I made the joke that all the international folks in the museum were just checking up on their new possessions, what with the US up to our butts in debt to China. My wife recommended sensitivity training.
Went to lunch at Qdoba, not because we are typical American sheep that only patronize chains that we are familiar with over the local fare, but because the ESPNZone was fully booked for a special event, and we couldn't find anything else in the area...not even Speed Racer Happy Meals. Qdoba is nasty.
Air and Space was as usual, but with the baby there was a lot of looking at the ceiling, pointing, and screaming "airplane! airplane!" Spirit of St Louis, retired military goodies, some of Richard Branson's discarded gadgets and various nuclear missiles were all on display. The baby got overheated in the museum toward the end of the day and peeled her shirt off and ran around the "Polar Star" half naked. There were no Asian folks to be seen... Perhaps because when the time comes for creditors to forcefully collect, old planes from bygone eras mean less than massive chunks or raw copper, shale, Hope Diamonds and pyrite.
The flight home was as uneventful as the trip up, with the baby sitting bolt upright in our laps and not sleeping a wink until after the plane landed. 500 bucks in airfare, 500 bucks in hotel rooms, 300 bucks for the non-charging Charger, 50 bucks to park the car and incidentals meant that George Bush's tax break was shot in 5 days.