Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Most Unusual Sunday: Adventures in Traveling (Part 2)

Given that most of the time our Sundays consist of going to church and nowhere else, wearing our church clothes all day, and not watching much TV, Sunday, January 5th, was quite a different kind of Sunday. We shopped, we ate out, we went sightseeing. What else could we do? We were stuck in Washington, D.C. without our luggage!

I woke up that day feeling much better. My headache was totally gone. It's amazing how much better you can cope with things when you feel healthy and well-rested and your head isn't pounding. We ate a nice breakfast at the hotel and then went to Target in Arlington, Virginia, not far from our hotel, where we bought some clothes for me (so I'd have something to wear when doing the laundry that day), swimsuits for the boys and Peter for the hotel pool (I had just bought a new swimsuit the week before in MA and refused to spend more money on one when we were already spending enough on our unexpected weekend trip to D.C.), and a few other necessities. On our way back to the hotel we took a wrong turn and ended up driving through D.C. and did some sightseeing. Sam fell asleep and it was almost lunchtime, so we just drove around for a little while and saw the sights. We saw Arlington National Cemetery, the Capitol building, the Lincoln Memorial (although I think it may have been something else), and what must surely have been some of the most expensive townhouses in the nation.

I took a few pictures with my cell phone while we were driving. Not the best quality, but better than nothing! 

Then we went to eat lunch and ended up at this super nice mall right down the street from our hotel. It was The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, and it was probably the most upscale mall I've ever been in. But despite its fanciness, the mall still had a good old-fashioned food court, which is where we ate lunch.


We didn't do much shopping because it was Sunday, not to mention the fact that we had only our carry-on bags to hold our things when we hopefully traveled home the next day, but I couldn't resist going to the Kate Spade store. I've liked Kate Spade for years but had never been to one of her shops. I ended up buying what was probably the cheapest and smallest thing in the store, a new case for my iPhone. I love it!

My happy, silly boys.

Then we went back to the hotel where Peter took the boys swimming at the pool while I washed all of our clothes while wearing the sweats that I'd bought at Target that morning. I took a few pictures of the hotel's view of the Pentagon across the way and wondered about the secrets contained within its walls. I think the Pentagon is one of our country's most mysterious places.

After our clothes were clean (it felt so good to wear clean clothes again!) we ventured out and took the D.C. subway downtown. The D.C. subway is well-known for being clean and easy to use, and it was.

The kids were excited to go on their first subway ride, especially Sam. When we first got on, we happened to sit down right across from a lady who turned out to be crazy--every other minute she'd shout angrily at her reflection in the window, and her rants were filled with R-rated obscenities. So at the next stop we changed seats, but we could still hear her from the other end of the train car. I was probably overly fascinated by this woman. I'd been away from city life for awhile, so I wasn't used to weird people in the subways like I used to be when I lived in Philadelphia and when I traveled into Manhattan regularly and used the subway there. It's funny what we become used to and "un-used" to. John and I had a conversation about mental health and how some people's minds weren't healthy. I felt bad for the woman (but did she really need to use so many "f" words?) and wondered what her story was.

Anyway, we didn't have a lot of time to walk around D.C. because it was getting late, but I was thrilled that we got to go by the White House. I'd been there before, but Peter and the boys hadn't. D.C. is beautiful and I love the grand, historic buildings there. Being there made we want to watch National Treasure and read Tom Clancy books.

We got off the subway here at the Woodrow Wilson Plaza and the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. 

I loved this rose sculpture.

From there we walked up Pennsylvania Ave. until we arrived at the White House. These were some of the sights along the way.

This building was beautiful (whatever it apartment building perhaps?).

I thought this was the Supreme Court, but it turned out to be the Treasury, the building that appears on the back of ten dollar bills. I knew it looked familiar!

The Washington Monument was staring at us with two creepy red eyes as we walked to the White House. I don't know if you can see them at the top in the picture, but they're there. What's up with those?

And then we were at the South Lawn of the White House. Or right outside of it, anyway. Cool!

That's one big backyard you've got there, Mr. President! The cook's garden was back there too.


A kind man offered to take our picture, and then we took his family's. They were moving to Germany the next day on a military assignment. (Aren't I lovely without makeup, hair products, even moisturizer? Blah!)

This is the view across the street of the National Christmas Tree and Washington Monument. 

Peter and I thought the fallen star on the National Christmas Tree was pretty funny and symbolic of the fallen nature of Washington politics. Ha ha! I'm not naming names, but many politicians unfortunately turn out to be fallen stars. Not to be cynical or anything.

I would have liked to have walked around to the front of the White House, but it was getting dark and we were cold and hungry, so it was time to head back to the subway. In a few years we'll go on a real vacation to D.C. and really see the sights!

You know how some bloggers have these great candid shots of themselves on their blogs, like they have their own personal photographer following them around everywhere? Sometimes I'd like to have pictures like that, so I asked Peter to take a few candid shots of me. This is what I got:

Typical. A blurry non-candid shot and a butt shot. Thanks a lot, Peter! 

Some views on the way back to the subway...

Those creepy red eyes continued to watch us!

I'm officially obsessed with this building.

 The Department of Commerce. 

I told you I was obsessed.

I love the architecture and history of the buildings of Washington, D.C.!

Waiting for the subway train to come...

Once we got back, we ate dinner at California Pizza Kitchen and then the boys went swimming again before bedtime. The hotel had an especially nice hot tub. I was hoping to watch the season premiere of Downton Abbey while they were at the pool, but for some reason it didn't air on D.C.'s PBS station. Sigh.

Racing to the elevator...

We're always fans of the hot tub!

So all in all, it turned out to be a fun, memorable day...memorable for good reasons this time! It was definitely one of the most unusual, Sabbath-breaking Sundays we've ever had.
This post is already long enough, so tomorrow I'll conclude this "Adventures in Traveling" series. Here's a teaser: after the kids were in bed we checked the status of our Monday morning flight. CANCELLED. Aaaaugh!!