Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Washington: Part 2

For those of you just now catching up, make sure to read part 1 before continuing on with this post, because I'm just going to pick right up where part 1 left off.

We had pressing dinner engagements, so after the National Building Museum, we headed back to the metro, at which point we encountered these interesting fellows.

They were angry about abortion or divorce or something. Unfortunately, we didn't really have time to stick around and find out. We had a train to catch.

I apparently have problems with depth perception.

After running home for a few minutes, we headed back out for dinner at the Army Navy Club. Our hosts are members of the club and decided to take us out for an old-fashioned dinner experience. I'd never been out to a proper dinner club before, and it was definitely a fun experience. The servers did everything in a very particular fashion, and everything was right and proper and fancy. I had a really good time, although I was constantly worried that I was violating some sort of unknown element of dinner table etiquette.

Nervous smile.

I got the Asian-inspired halibut with baby bok choy. It was very good.

After dinner, we went upstairs and checked out the Army Navy Club's library. The library contains pretty much every book regarding politics and the military that has ever been written. It was really interesting. Also, we got to try on some old-school formal regalia.

Laura (our hostess) helping Kelley with the unruly headwear.

Kelley in the feather hat.

Kip (our host) and Dillon, ready for action.

After the library, we took an evening walk around the White House area. D.C. is a beautiful town at night, and it always surprises me how many people are still on the streets after dark. It's kind of funny, really. I feel safer in downtown D.C. after dark than I ever have in good old Columbia, SC. The fact that there are about ten kinds of police within the immediate vicinity at any given time probably helps a lot with that feeling.

On the way back to the metro station, we passed a Five Guys restaurant that had a Coke Freestyle machine set up inside. Even though we were about to get on a train that prohibits beverages, I had to stop inside. I doubt that there is enough demand to justify the price for these things in South Carolina right now, so I really wanted to try one out while I had the chance. We ended up having to pass the drink around to finish it off before boarding the metro to head home for the rest of the evening. 

If you ever see one of these, I definitely recommend the raspberry Coke.

The next morning, our group split up (boys and girls), and we went to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum while the girls went to the mall to shop and get they hair did. We went to the lesser known branch of the Air and Space Museum, which was really cool, because all that I had seen was the museum downtown. The remote branch of the Air and Space Museum is basically just a huge, renovated hanger that contains one of each of most of the aircraft that have been used in the military since World War I. It also features dedicated sections for commercial and civilian aircraft, as well as spaceflight. As most of you would probably expect, the space exhibit was my favorite.

The space shuttle Enterprise currently resides in the museum. It was quite a sight.

After returning from the museum, Dillon and I ended up going out to the mall so that he could shop for some shoes. During this shoe-shopping, I ended up picking up a copy of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow for the PS3 for half price at the Sony Store. I also ended up paying more money than I ever intended for tea at an interesting store called Teavana. My experience in both the Sony Style store and Teavana was...strange, to say the least, but that is best saved for a later post.

We returned home for a while, and Kip eventually ended up making us a delicious chicken curry. After dinner, we went out to visit some of the historical monuments. We wanted to go at night, because the lights positioned around the monuments give them in a much more dramatic and powerful feel. I know that everyone has seen the monuments, and I hate to be "that guy," but here are some obligatory pictures of the monuments that we were able to see.

The Washington Monument

The Jefferson Memorial

Big ol' columns

The Jefferson Memorial Exterior

The Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln and his artistically protruding foot.

We got in from monument hopping at around 2:00 AM, and immediately passed out. We got up the next morning, packed our stuff, ate lunch, said our goodbyes, and then left very reluctantly. There was lots of very interesting conversation during the car ride home, but the only thing that I managed to document was this weird bell tower that we saw out in the middle of nowhere.

Kinda hard to see in the video, but from what we could tell, there was nothing around this strange artifice. Also, for the record, Kelley is not referring to the bell tower right before the video cuts.

Anyway, that's a basic rundown of our trip to D.C. I know that my description was pretty rushed and out of control, but I hate being that person who goes into every single detail about every single aspect of their trip. The trip itself also moved pretty fast, and the pace that we kept in real time during our stay was about the same speed as that depicted by the jumpiness of the post. It was crazy and altogether too short (none of us wanted to come back home), but I still had a really great time, nonetheless. It was definitely a nice break from working on engineering drawings in Pro/Engineer all day every day, and although I was initially worried about the trip filling me with forgotten memories of my childhood, I am really glad that I was able to go.

The long road home.

1 comment:

  1. Table manners are so tricky, aren't they? In formal dining settings such as your dinner at the club I am always paranoid about committing a faux pas at every opportunity or worse, looking foolish in front of people who are infinitely more polished such as myself.

    Never heard of Coke Freestyle but the machine looks awesome.

    To see a space shuttle up close and personal like that would be a breathtaking sight. Nice pictures!