There and Back Again

This is a short post about my trip to DC this weekend, highlighting museums and meals with friends. To see why I was going to DC, click here.

I’m home from an extended weekend in DC. It has been truly one of the most amazing weekends spent with some great, great new friends – if not family. The Resolve invited me and a small group of advocates to Washington for a mixed bag of great events. What was supposed to be the pinnacle of the itinerary was the mother of all reasons to go to DC – an invitation to the White House.

The Allen Lee, my home for the weekend

The Office of Public Engagement was holding a Community Leaders Briefing – part of an ongoing series – and this one was specific to foreign policy, particularly related to conflict and development. And so I went to DC, and was received in open arms by the Resolve crew.

Upon arriving, I checked into the shadiest building ever, in a pretty area central to everything (Foggy Bottom). From there I wandered the Mall and had lunch at the Old Ebbitt Grill (which is older than the Civil War, what?!) and visited the Museum of National History before meeting up with Adam for dinner at a tall and narrow restaurant called Matchbox. It was really nice to catch up and chat, and I got to see what DC calls Chinatown.

The next day was a long and thorough walk through the permanent exhibit at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The exhibit is huge and well worth the three and a half hours I spent there, and I also perused the other exhibits before heading for lunch at the USDA. From there I trekked across town to the Resolve office, where I met old friends and made new ones. It was great to see everyone a day early and hang out in the office. I was able to finally put faces to names and voices and also got to chat with some great people. From there I left for a rendezvous with Caitlin, a fellow advocate that was – like me – flying in with little to do. We went to a cafe near Dupont and hung out for a while before departing.

Friday was the big day at the White House, which I’ll write about later. After that I wandered the Mall with a few people before we headed to Busboys & Poets, a cafe/book shop that had slam poetry that night. It was my first slam, or whatever

WTC antenna, with 9/12 headlines in the background

you want to call it, and it was a lot of fun. Saturday we went to a workshop in East Market hosted by Citizens for Global Solutions which was pretty neat. During the lunch break I wandered the market with a few friends and ended up doused by a rain cloud. After the workshop I ended up wandering with some friends to pick up flowers, go to a coffee shop, and then a wonderful BBQ at the house of one of Resolve’s staff.

The very last day, I wandered with Caitlin past a few memorials before dashing through the rain for brunch back at Old Ebbitt. It was the weirdest meal ever, with french toast stuffed with ham and wrapped in bacon and drizzled in syrup. So, if I die of a cardiac arrest anytime soon, that’s why. From there, we walked a bit before saying final goodbyes and I went to the Newseum, which is a really neat museum whose facade has the first amendment in giant letters. Running short on time until my flight, I made a quick tour through today’s front pages and saw a piece of the Berlin Wall, a fallen statue of Lenin, and the antenna from the World Trade Center. The whole museum was really interesting and had some great exhibits on lots of things, from terrorism through the ages to natural disasters like Katrina. I ended up rushing off through a sculpture garden on my way to the airport, where….

I waited forever for the train to the airport, checked in and went through security and got to my gate with 40 minutes to spare. Grabbed lunch and sat, and then saw the plane arrive. As we got really close to departure time, I got word that it wouldn’t be leaving for Newark for another 75 minutes because of storms there – and I’d miss my connecting flight. So I went through the long process of trying to get a plane, then had to go back to the ticketing counter and ended up having to go back through security and ended up on a tiny regional plane. It was the first time I ever set foot on a tarmac, and I took a bus across the runway to a small plane and boarded it and read on a 20 minute flight to Philadelphia before rushing to my next plane to Phoenix. Made it home and slept, and here I am now. Trip: over’d.

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