Monday, May 24, 2010

Washington, D.C., Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Mom drove me bonkers Wednesday morning insisting we finish everything she'd been putting off before we could leave for the airport. Because I had gone to bed late (packing) and gotten up early (loading the car and driving the dogs to the vet/kennel), by the time we left at 1:00, I had smacked right into the silly zone, and that was only exacerbated by the can of Diet Coke I drank in the car because I didn't have time to drink it in the office.

Our flight was scheduled to leave at 3:20, and we got to the airport just at 2:00. After our inadvertant adventure coming home from Savannah, we were careful to check the flight time. The seating area at our gate was full, so we sat one gate down. Mom took out her book (Freedom by William Safire) and I took out my knitting, and we settled down to wait for our boarding call.

At 3:05, I heard a garbled announcement in which there was a word which sounded sort of like the Jammies family surname. I looked at Mom, and asked if she'd heard it. She had, so I tucked my knitting into my carryon and headed for the desk. A customer service person asked what I needed, and I said, "I thought I heard my name." He answered, "You probably did, where are you going?" I said, "D.C." and he said, "That was the final boarding call for your flight." Mom and I just squeaked on to the plane before they closed the door! Once we were safely in and the plane was airborne, I said, "At least I wanted my mom, not my sandwich!"

The flight was uneventful, but Mom missed the best part--looking out the window as the plane skimmed in over the Potomac. I did tell her that it's pretty impressive that she went from being so scared she needed a Valium to fly to being able to get on a plane and not make a peep until after we landed.

At the airport, we caught a shuttle to our very nice chain hotel in Alexandria, Virginia. Exiting the shuttle, I banged my right knee hard on the door (remember this, it will be a recurring theme). Once we were in the room, I called my friend and fellow BPAL fan, tempete, to see when and where she wanted to meet. She directed us to a mall at Pentagon City, and met us in the food court. Because it was SO very loud there, we left the mall and went to a Mexian place across the street, where we had a nice dinner, with lots of talking and good food. Wei had brought handmade sugar scrubs for me and for Mom, and lip balms for the two of us and for the other four BPAListas I planned to meet on the trip. The reason Wei couldn't meet up with the rest of the group on Saturday was that she was leaving Thursday for a scientific conference in Croatia, where I hope she has some good weather for their reportedly awesome beaches.

After dinner, Mom and I took the Metro back to the Braddock Road stop and walked back to our hotel. I had checked to make sure that the subway was within walking distance of the hotel, and it was only eight blocks away, but about four of those eight blocks were through neighborhoods that were not the nicest. Mom and I agreed that Wednesday evening was the last time we would take that walk in the near-dark.

Back at the hotel, Mom took a shower and I headed for the hot tub, hoping to soak myself enough to relax all my aching muscles. The pool was absolutely infested with teenagers, which didn't bother me. What did bother me was the fact that evidently the chaperones had told the kids that they could only be in the hot tub if there were no adults wanting to use it. I felt a bit bad about the immediate exodus (but not bad enough to not get in!). I soaked for about fifteen minutes, just watching the water and listening to all the horseplay. Then the chaperones chivvied the kids out of the pool, and the attendant said something about finally having peace and quiet for me and for her (she was studying). I replied that without all the noise, I was liable to fall asleep! I squished back to our room, changed into my jammies, rinsed out my suit, and fell asleep without taking off my makeup or brushing my teeth.

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