The next couple of days were spent in Washington DC and had two resounding themes: RIGHT BACK WHERE WE STARTED and IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME.
It doesn't sound funny reading it in black and white, but let me tell you those themes are laugh out loud hilarious!!
Thursday, July 2 (after Kristi’s half-day class on anesthetics), my mom, Kristi and I drove the purple pickle (a well-loved Suburu) to Washington DC. Arriving after the town had rolled up for the evening, we walked and walked and walked along the National Mall. To be honest, this had very little to do with seeing the sights. It had to do with finding food for the fiercely famished family.
We were searching for a hamburger joint Jordan insisted was better than Five Guys Burgers & Fries. This was a direct threat to my Five Guys loyalty. So this I HAD to experience! We searched with a diligence that would make William J. Bennett proud. (And please, don't blurt out here...why not use your iPhone for directions?? This has already been pointed out more than...say...five or twenty times!)
As we walked back and forth in our search, we really became familiar with the Navy Memorial. And with each walk-by, we laughed. “Right back where we started,” we would quip.
We took a picture here in honor of my brother, Jeremy, is who being deployed as a Navy physician to Afghanistan this month. (I'm praying for you, bro!)
The wording on the steps is from a 1963 speech by President John F. Kennedy: Any man who may be asked what he did to make his life worthwhile can respond with a good deal of pride, "I served in the United States Navy."
Realizing the metro was closing soon, and feeling more and more desperate for sustenance, we finally “tripped” (literally, in my case) into a Mexican place, which turned out to be a Tapas-like menu of delicious flavors. We didn't try the grasshoppers. No travel hangover could make me do that.
The next morning we were fresh and ready to walk some more. But this time we fell into a new theme: IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME.
We started the day taking the purple pickle in for wheel bearing surgery. We happened to find a mechanic minutes from our hotel who could work on it right away (right time). And the shop was in walking distance from the bus station (right place). We whizzed into downtown DC on the clean, comfortable metro. While our car was being tuned up, we also tuned-up our knowledge of American history visiting the Holocaust museum, the Smithsonian American History museum (this is a Lincoln election banner),
the Library of Congress,
and of course the Capitol.
Oh, and we did manage to find the burger place. "Which is more than a simple hamburger joint. It is a rallying cry. It is a whoop. A holler. A hail. And a salaam. It is an aspirational articulation, an inspirational idiom and, quite frankly, the best way...to enjoy handmade burgers, hand-cut fries and handspun ice cream."
I drowned myself in homemade fries with mango ketchup, slurped a toasted marshmallow milkshake and savored the Blazin' Barn Burger (pickled daikon & carrots, mint, cilantro, thai basil, lettuce and spicy mayo on a sweet, buttery soft, freshly baked Pennsylvania Dutch Bun.) Oh lawsa mercy!!
It had been an inspiring, significant and delightful day.
THEN....getting ready to leave the mall, we heard singing. Never being girls to pass up live entertainment, we sauntered in the direction of music.
Now this is what I’m talking about. Again, we were at the right place at the right time. We had happened upon the Capitol Fourth Concert dress rehearsal. Plopping ourselves down on the grass, not far from the stage, we spent the next 3 hours watching the lawn grow more and more congested with people, and argued with the man behind us about snowboarding vs skiing.
Then we spent the next couple of hours watching the show.
We rocked out with Barry Manilow and Natasha Bedingfield and chuckled giddily when Aretha Franklin walked out in levi capri’s, tennis shoes and a Mickey Mouse t-shirt.
It was thrilling. But even more thrilling than seeing the concert was seeing my mother see the concert. I witnessed her fulfillment of a lifelong dream.
Wow. Washington DC was my grandparent's old stomping ground. It was great to be there for many reasons and share it with my mom and sis!!