Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mini Vacation from Vacation

Destination stops: Philadelphia & Washington D.C.

First stop is Philly

 New science building at Drexel
 Local artist in Old Town
 Keith cooked us balsamic chicken for dinner the first night :)

The trip to see two of my favorite people - Keith and Kristi - was quite a busy time at that. I was glad to finally stay over in Philly for more than a night and browse Keith's neighborhood. He lives in Old Town - where every now and then there's a street made of cobblestone and the decor would remind you of when our four fathers were around - getting the lay of the land. I was so delighted that he wanted to investigate the Philadelphia Folk Festival in Schwenksville (basically out in rural PA). We were very lucky to last the entire day (Friday) without a drop of rain. Unfortunately the weather report did say we were in the mist of a vicious storm heading our way by 7pm - WOW sounds like Falcon Ridge - but lo' and behold it held out until 8. So we saw Brother Sun and a few other bands before it poured during the Comas set. Below are some pictures courtesy of Keith Hobin:

The Comas - during the day
Kala Jojo

One of my favorites Groovemama
The newest member who really can sing!!!

The rest of the weekend in Philly was pretty packed with things to do and see. We walked a lot and my blister on my foot proves how much we pushed ourselves. Saturday morning, after a quick bite at Wawa we took SEPTA to center city and walked to the Parkway heading to the Barnes Museum. Apparently this guy who went to school for engineering I think, became a huge over the top art snob and collected over 4,000 pieces throughout his lifetime. What makes the museum controversial is that Barnes didn't want the pieces to be previewed in a museum in Philly. In fact for the longest time he had a museum out in the country for that very reason. 

I must say I've never seen that many Raphels or the G artist in my life. Even going to the Louvre in Paris! Later we visited the oldest penitentiary in the world, Eastern State Penitentiary. It was cool to see all the inner workings of such a big "prison". I loved learning about its history especially when we went into the old operating room that up until this year was closed due to ingrown trees and debris from the twenty years nothing was being done to protect this fascinating place. 

The operating room -- lamp still in tacked 

We also went to World Live Cafe for dinner and a show with this very eclectic group Bushwalla. The two musicians before the headliner were awesome! However, I was getting a real kick out of the ladies sitting next to our table. It turns out they were celebrating one of their birthdays and as a result Bushwalla took the chance to put her on the spot and sing, dance, caress and had to have been there.

The ladies who partied hard that night...

Sunday was travel day to DC. I took Megabus to Union and hung out a bit in the city, visited TWC apartments to see Alan (concierge of the complex), until Kristi was ready for me. She lives in Columbia Heights which is a really nice area. Her complex is "one of the biggest" in DC or so she said. It was though, I was pretty impressed. Studio apts, laundry, a restaurant, a convenient shop, postal boxes, dry cleaning, security, a POOL!!! so jealous. Kristi had just returned from her trip to Miami. Sounds like the humidity down there is unbearable but she seemed to have a good time with friends. 

Since she works during the day I decided to venture out. Monday I went to the American Indian museum and Pentagon City to browse the mall. After a few hours browsing the museum I decided to check out the cafeteria that Keith mentioned was authentic. I "chickened" out and got an Indian Taco. I thought it would be more adventurous than it turned out to be. Oh well...

 Spearheads...they look like fish

 Looking down at the atrium of the museum.
 Looking up from the same place.
 The museum had a lovely exhibit on horses and how they were used throughout history 
for various Indian tribes across the country. This is a pic of a tipi with 
horse art. 
 The building's exterior

Shopping just isn't my thing but I wanted to say I had been to Pentagon City (since most of the interns during the spring had gone and it sounded like a place I "had to go see"). A mall is a mall. It was nice to sit down on a bench awhile and people watch. Thanks for the idea Alan!

Monday night we ate and drank at one of her favorite places the Xchange near the White House. It was good and I was surprised I drank three Bud Lights (Happy Hour special $2 each). I didn't think I would like it but it was ok. Kristi was so cute being concerned about her weakened tolerance since I last hung out with her in DC. We ended up walking back to her place taking about an hour and twenty mins - three mile walk to Columbia Heights. 

Tuesday was a relaxed day until I realized that Congress wasn't in session and that my idea to bring Kristi a free lunch - thanks to CNP's free lunch discussions - I didn't realize how much work it would be. Since the location was changed to a room in Russell instead of near Union Station then changed again (moved to another Senate building) I was rushed getting there so I got a crappy seat and of course this would be the day they only had boxed lunches for which I assumed there were only enough for those who said they'd be coming. CSPAN was there...ugh it was a hot mess. I looked awful, felt worse and ended up drinking a Coke for lunch. No biggie though I did keep my promise Kristi and she was very humbled. It was okay in the end since I walked to FroYo to get a snack :)

Scrambled eggs, flat bread and The Day After Tomorrow was our night. I was happy to spend some time with Kristi and I hope she had a good time too. It was nice to get away for awhile but thinking about coming home in Union Station Wednesday around lunchtime I started to do my usual worrying. As my friend Jay said, "you're a worrier." She's right and I'm trying everyday to be less so but its a habit I'll need to slowly adjust overtime.

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