I am just catching up from our busy, fun weekend visiting Mom Shiao in DC. The laundry is done, the house is picked up, and awwww, I'm sitting down!
We left fairly early on Friday morning (8:30 or so) as we had to wait for Annalisse to attend her first period bio lab before going. Cam ended up staying home so it was a relief not to have to take the dog to the kennel before leaving, and soon enough we were on our way. (Although that came with it's own set of anxieties.)
Although it's a long trip (approx. 8 hours) I do like the trip to Northern Virginia. There is a lot to see, and, as I've raved before, I love to stop for lunch (and some calorie-laden comfort food) at the Country Cupboard in Lewisburg, PA.
We got to the hotel around 5:30pm, and were greeted by an endless array of motorcycles. It turns out this was a huge weekend in DC for bikers, with the "Rolling Thunder" ride and "Ride for the Wall" in town. In a way it's very touching to see all those guys, most of them vets, honoring the US and their fallen comrades this way. They've seen and experienced so much more than most of us ever will, and, of course, so much of it is tragic and difficult. A world of thanks to all of them, and all vets.
Upon check in, we hooked up with Mom and headed to Shirlington to the Capital Brewery for dinner. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel, all of us hitting the wall/dead tired. We got up early on Saturday, picked up bagels, and headed back to Mom's for a quick breakfast before taking the Metro to Arlington Cemetery. I've been to Arlington several times (it was Mark and Mom's first trip there), but have never seen it so busy. Usually you can stride right up and take a seat on the steps to watch the guards pacing, and, if you time it right, you can see the hourly changing of the guard. We got there 10 minutes before the guards changed, but could not see a thing. We inched our way down a little at a time (thanks to the kindness of strangers) and were able to see parts of the ceremony. So very touching and very cool.
After Arlington Cemetery, we took the Metro to the Library of Congress (I've never been...) to see a Civil War exhibit I've been wanting to see, but, alas, there were lines out the door there. For some reason I envisioned walking right in...oh well, this was obviously not the right weekend to try to do things in Washington. And you know me - I don't like lines.
On Sunday, we got up early again and headed out of town to McLean to go to church at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, were our former pastor is now the pastor. On a good day it takes 30 minutes to get there (on a bad day, it could take an hour or more and it's only about 20 miles), so I'm glad there was very light traffic that day. After church we changed and hit the road to Ikea in College Park, Maryland. I've been wanting to go to an Ikea "for forever," and it did not disappoint. Although I like the furniture, it doesn't really go with my old house, but I thought the housewares were to die for. Great stuff at really reasonable prices.
On Monday we got moving early again and headed north, arriving home around 3pm. Puppy (and Cam) were happy to see us!
Great company, great food, great fun - it was a great weekend! And what better place to be on Memorial Day weekend than the Nation's capital!