Tuesday, September 13, 2005

What I did this weekend, by Buffi (with pictures! sorta)

I know I promised pictures. There are lots of links to pictures. I couldn't get them to upload from Flickr. Blonde, sorry.

As I said, this weekend may go down as the best ever. I was amazed that everything fell into place so well. I was afraid I would jinx myself because I kept saying how great it was going. The only thing that was not perfect was that, although SugarBug got better by the time I left, SugarBear and SugarDaddy got sick. But that was was in Ohio, and I was in DC, so... (sorry, I did feel bad for them. When I wasn't having fun!)

The Queen sent her husband to pick me up from the airport. Stunningly, my plane landed 20 minutes early. As I got on the escalator down to baggage claim, I looked up & saw him walking by. I shouted to him and thankfully got his attention. He hadn't seen me in two years & then I had very short hair. He wouldn't have recognized me! And, being a man, didn't bring his cell phone into the airport with him. My bag was the third one off. The king seemed surprised that it was so small & that it was the only one. "No shopping?" Hahahahaha! No, I told him that I just knew that anything I didn't have room for could be mailed back!

We got to their house & I got to see the Princess and the Prince, whom I had not seen in over two years. Aren't they beautiful? We had a fun evening and went to bed at a decent time for me, anyway, knowing that we had all weekend to visit. The Princess was a little peeved in the morning because I wasn't awake before she left for school. She left me a very sweet note. I felt appropriately guilty.

We left late Friday morning, stopping first for lunch and a little shopping. SugarDaddy told me to buy a new digital camera when I got there, so we stopped at Circuit City and got this one. Isn't it adorable? I love it! We also had to go to Marshalls to get me a new shirt, because I can't even brush my teeth without dripping something on a white t-shirt. Loser.

We were supposed to meet LBT, my roommate from my senior year of college, at our hotel at 3:00. We found the hotel with almost no problem. Checked in (it was lovely), freshened up and waited for LBT. She had gotten a late start also and arrived about 4:00. After a bit of visiting we took off toward Old Ebbit Grill so that perhaps we could see someone we might know. Alas, no politician or press sightings, but we did have a lovely dinner, some lovely drinks (the bartender even bought our last round!), and some yummy chocolate cake. After Ebbit's, we walked the block down to the Hotel Washington and enjoyed a second dessert (banana split, if you are dying to know) on their lovely terrace and enjoyed the views. We laughed and told stories on each other (and our husbands) and had a grand time. My sides hurt when it was time to leave!

We started back to the hotel and got a little turned around. The Queen and I got a good laugh when LBT said that she knew we were going the right way because Look! There's a Starbucks and there was one on our way out. HA! As if you can throw a rock without hitting a Starbucks in DC! (Love ya!) We finally made it back and LBT had to head back home to take care of her very sweet, old puppy, Pandora. We were sad for her to go, but settled in and finally got to sleep sometime after midnight.

The next morning started with SD text messaging me the play-by-play of SugarPlum's first soccer game of the season. It wasn't pretty, I'm sorta glad I missed it. We ordered breakfast, showered and headed out the door around 10:30. I think we walked around eleventy bajillion miles Saturday. We headed out toward the White House . We saw where the press corps hang out, although nobody was there, of course. Then we took off toward the monuments.

Good golly it was hot! We had to stop for water before we ever got to the WWII Memorial. I wanted to get lots of pictures for PopPop and my grandfather, but didn't remember until we got around to the back. So basically, I got another shot of the Washington Monument. From the Lincoln Memorial, I got this shot, which is one of my favorite pictures. After Lincoln, we went to see the Korean War memorial, which is so very haunting and moving. The statues are very lifelike and the images etched in the wall are like ghosts. We proceeded to the Vietnam Wall and then decided we'd better find some A/C and perhaps some food.

We hoofed it over to the Smithsonian Museum of American History to see the First Ladies exhibit and Julia Child's kitchen. First we had a very overpriced lunch. Whatever. We also saw this flag. It is the flag that was draped over the side of the Pentagon after 9/11. Yeah, cool. Very, very cool. I did find the coveted yellow airplane as well a blue one. To keep the peace, you know. No doll, though. Very disappointing.

Next, to the Museum of Natural History. We were on quite a solitary mission - to see the Hope Diamond. So we walked through the exhibit with all of the rocks looking for the sparkly stuff. People were quite pushy and rude. There was a couple in front of us who had their very well behaved child. And two strollers. Why two strollers? We don't know. The woman was pushing an empty umbrella stroller, taking up lots of room, unnecessarily. Space issues, I suppose. On the upside, I found lots of Christmas ideas to give SugarDaddy this year. That's a post for later in the year.

By now we were hungry and exhausted. We stopped at the gelato/coffee stand for a little of both. Unfortunately, the bitchy lady there had decided to close up early, so we got gelato, no coffee, and a heaping serving of resentment. After perusing the gift shop, we headed out destined for the mall at Pentagon city. With a quick stop at that one DC Starbucks to get that caffeine infusion we needed.

We hit the metro and got to the mall and the first shoe store for a pair of comfy shoes for my aching feet. No, they were NOT cute, but they did the trick. Then we looked at more shoes, make-up, clothes and purses (with thoughts of Busy Mom!). I found a coat that I really, really wanted. It was cashmere and beaver. I never knew how much I needed a beaver collar on my coat. So soft. **sigh** No, I left it for someone who could actually afford it. Then? Hungry and even more tired.

We got back on the metro, intending to eat at the hotel's restaurant. We had to ask the info booth guy which train to take & which stop to get off at. So, one queasy train ride later, we were one stop short of ours. Then we sat there. We finally got off, because who can understand the announcer? He sounded like the grown ups on Peanuts, "Wah wah wah wah, McPherson Square, wah wah wah." Whatever. We decided we could find our way back. You know, because my navigational skills are world famous. Did you know that the people on the street in DC at 10:30 at night are just a liiiiiiitle scarier than the ones out there at 10:30 in the morning? After several wrong turns and trackbacks, we made it to the hotel. We were so very, very grateful to get a table in the bar. We had the most adorable Italian/Argentinian waitress named Gabrielle. I had the absolute most fantastic steak I have ever had. And martinis, and one of my favorite beers! And we had dessert with coffee. Mmmmmm. I am happy just thinking about it. Gaby got a really good tip.

We finally dragged our tired butts (no dessert jokes!) up to the room & chatted in bed until well past midnight. Lots of funny stories. Did you know that the Queen's dad looks like Saddam Hussein? Mine looks like Harrison Ford. I'm not certain that coffee was decaf.

We got up & ready in time for brunch Sunday morning. Champagne brunch. Mimosas. Need I say more? We checked out & chose to drive to the Capitol. No more walking, please. Or so we thought. We took pictures at in front of the Capitol. We walked (in the ungodly heat) over to the Supreme Court. FYI, you can sit in on the hearings for John Roberts appointment. SEE? Somehow we ended up walking allllllll the way over to Union Station to go potty. Then we had to walk allllllllll the way back to the Capitol. Feet=ouch.

We wanted to go to the National Archives and Ford's Theater, but we couldn't find a parking place nearby. So, we said screw it, let's go to the mall. We had to call the King to get us out of the city. Yeah, that famous navigational acumen again. Only, it took us a while to get through, because the Princess was on the phone with SugarPlum for an hour. Paybacks are hell.

**This is where I am trying desperately to wrap up this gargantuan post.**

So, we shopped, yadda yadda yadda. Stopped back at the Palace to say goodbye to the Royal family. Left my tickets at their house & had to turn around. Got to airport...exit row seat! YAY! Got home to find SugarBear laying at the top of the stairs waaaay past bedtime. He told me, "You were gone a very long time, mommy!"

Now, SugarDaddy has gone to meet his Dad on the East coast. I feel sooo much better mentally. This was the recharge I badly needed. I think I may have whatever virus the rest of the family had, but I'll be fine.

If you have stuck it thru this post this long then you deserve a medal. I'll bet you can find one at the Smithsonian.

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