Tuesday, December 16, 2014

How I Spent My Two Days Off

I have a friend who regularly tells me I need to get out more.  He's right.

Last week, my sister had business in Washington, DC, and I went along for the ride.  I can't wait for a chance to go back.

For starters, the three hours on Amtrak to relax, read, listen to music, and enjoy the passing scene from the window were a true gift.  How often does that happen?

Our accommodations were in what another friend described as a "swanky" hotel, which became even "swankier" when we were upgraded to a suite.  (Your tax dollars at work.) Indeed, the building used to be a post office and both the architectural features and the amenities were terrific.

The National Portrait Gallery and the American Art Museum (both housed in the same building) are directly across the street and before dinner, we took a quick spin through -- mostly so Amy could make sure that each piece of art she planned to use the next day in her training session for intelligence analysts was still on exhibit.  I loved the works by Richard Estes and wish there had been more time to spend with them, but, alas, we had dinner plans with a few of her friends in the hotel's restaurant and didn't want to keep them waiting.  We passed the evening enjoying delicious food and great company, and it couldn't have been more lovely.

After breakfast the next morning -- which included the smoothest, most delicious coffee I've ever had -- she headed off to her teaching session and I walked to the Metro a few blocks away.  Two stops on the red line and I came up right opposite Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe, with an hour to spare.  Does it get much better than that?

When I left the bookstore, I rounded Dupont Circle, picked up lunch for a friend and me, and headed to the RAC, just a few blocks away.  Is there any better place to spend part of an afternoon?

Once I'd caught up with the social justice gurus (and taken this picture from David Saperstein's office), I returned to the Metro, rode back to MetroCenter, walked to the hotel, picked up my sister (and our bags), and headed to Union Station.

Back on Amtrak (we got a red cap so Amy could skip standing in line and board early), we again had three hours to relax, read, listen to music, and enjoy the passing scene from the window -- this time with a freshly baked, homemade challah to enjoy.  How often does that happen?!

Yes, as my friend regularly tells me, I need to get out more -- and I hope to make it back to DC again soon!