I went early to Washington D.C. in order to see the sites before the actual conference started. In theory this was good because once it started, I wanted to be THERE! I didn’t see everything I wanted, I didn’t go everywhere I wanted, but I have to say I had the most delightful time this year with my friends, making new ones, and getting to know people I don’t see but once a year other than on Facebook. It was truly a delight to party with them on the Fourth of July even though clouds and fog rolled in, ruining what had been anticipated as a great display of fireworks. The party though of pre-con gatherers was a hoot as we chatted, ate, and drank. The daily view from my 24th story room was fantastic. I could see the Washington monument! As a child growing up this iconic symbol was something I really wanted to see. Even the Potomac, it’s historical significance touched my soul.
I had never been to Washington DC, much less Virginia, Maryland, and a few of the surrounding states. I drove from Central Wisconsin, starting out on Friday, July 1, and driving until I couldn’t anymore, sleeping in the car I had rented somewhere in Ohio. Traffic alone through Chicago took me four HOURS it was so intense but I didn’t mind too much. I had a modern car (vs my crappy motorcycle I normally drive) that allowed with bluetooth technology to talk to my various friends who kept me company on my drive, checking up on me for which I was eternally grateful.
I chose a safe oasis or rest stop in Ohio only to be woken up by some Amish people! I know they don’t use much modern technology but they had stopped with a sixteen passenger van to use the facilities and in getting out of the van, the men first (of course in this patriarchal society) one of the young bucks leaned against my car, deliberately bumping it to wake me, he seemed thrilled at the deed, grinning unrepentantly. The fact that he did it again on his way out from the facilities told me he was doing it deliberately. So much for some of their beliefs. What if I had set off the car alarm or gotten out with a knife in anger? How stupid of him! I did set off the car alarm later as I opened the car door without using the key fob thing, using a keyless car was mind boggling to someone who doesn’t drive a car very often. It was funny as I tried to figure out how to turn off the alarm. Others didn’t find it as amusing, I was trying to keep my sense of humor.
I drove into Pennsylvania with a good feeling, the sunrise in Ohio had put it there, but in general I was in just such a GREAT mood. I wore a brace for my damaged back and unbeknownst to me was causing water to accumulate in my legs and feet…the swelling when I arrived at the hotel was gonna be scary. I stopped in the area where Flight 93 went down. I seem to end up in this spot repeatedly and by accident as I had traveled through here before. It always clutches at my heart the history of this fatal flight.
I don’t know what I was expecting when I got to Maryland. It was my first venture into this beautiful state. I do recall thinking how LUSH it all was. I have to admit I was annoyed with the radio stations that didn’t come in too clearly due to the various hills and valleys I had gone through but that had started in Pennsylvania when I lost people on the phone repeatedly. I was just surprised at how green everything was, I expected more houses as this area of the country was ‘older’ and more established in the history books. Guess not from the interstate! It was very nice.
Then I came to Virginia and it was even more lush and beautiful if that was possible. The George Washington Parkway was a genuine surprise and I loved the stone walls.
I really was enjoying my trip. The hotel was a welcome site in the early afternoon on my 2nd day of driving and while I didn’t appreciate how they played around with my credit cards (I had prepaid for the trip) working it all out became a challenge.
I had to show you THIS picture which I find to be a massive oxymoron phrase….I hope you catch it and find it as funny as I did….
Stay tuned for more blogs about my GCLS and DC trip as well as the mini-trip I took up the Eastern Seaboard afterwards…..
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