Sunday, April 10, 2011

Vikings in Vinland

Sadly, I could only attend the Colombia, MD blot in spirit this weekend while visiting DC with kin for the cherry blossom fest this weekend. Gary the Viking invited me for their blot, but previous commitments prevented a happy reunion. Maybe we'll see you at Della & Stephen's Handfasting at Ravenwood in July?

Retrograde times provided interesting challenges, delayed luggage, too much traffic/blocked-off streets, too much to see, three different pc's with no yahoo/facebook access for four days, missed Metro stops. Even the weather was out of sorts. First day was cool - never reached 50 with endless showers and gray skies, but nothing could daunt spring bursting out all over with tulips and daffodils and myriad other flowering things. Sadly, the harsh weather had blown away at least half the blooms on the cherry trees, but there were many lovely views to be had.
With the government shutdown looming, prudence dictated that we go to our priorities first on Friday afternoon: Library of Congress, National Botanical Gardens, Museum of the American Indian were all we could manage before closing time and back to Arlington for Red, Hot & Blue BBQ.
Saturday we drove through Georgetown and out to the National Cathedral to see the stained glass and the gargoyles and flying buttresses. (Found free Sat. parking right out front!) The 360 view from the 7th floor observatory was impressive even though visibility was still poor, but not as thick as yesterday - it was also 5-10 degrees warmer. Returned to the hotel and made dinner in our 1BR apartment and had friends in. President Obama made a surprise visit to the Lincoln Memorial to assure us tourists that the government would not be shutting down and we should enjoy our vacations - so we better get busy supporting the economy

Sunday, after first trying to drive 3 miles in maddening traffic to go around the tidal basin, we had no trouble at all heading back to the hotel in less than 10 minutes while calling a cab (who also got lost/obstructed twice and made 2 amazing u-turns) to take us to the Yacht Marina for a special cherry blossom "traditional" high tea and 90-minute cruise on a 1947 yacht on the Potomac around the cherry blossom islands. We had ideal weather and good visibility. That was sooo fabulous all of our previous tribulations melted away - we even met two fellow Ohioans aboard!
Sunday night we went out for dinner at Ray's the Steaks for an incredibly delicious meal with family-style sides of perfectly skinless, perfectly mashed potatoes and creamed spinach. Ray's other restaurant is even more famous since President Obama has been there twice and is charmingly named Ray's Hell Burgers. He even stopped by our table and asked how we enjoyed our dinner.

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