(Big apologies go out to Kara, who sent me this update a month ago and I’m just now getting around to posting it! Sorry, Kara!)
I was Pugnax, then Franklyn…and while I visited D.C. with Kristen and Bill’s friend, Kara, I was Pants!
Sheeeesh. Kara put me on planes, trains, bikes, and automobiles of all sorts!
OK, I lied. That was a lie. I didn’t venture around on a train, but I was able to enjoy a flight to D.C., a taxi ride, Metro adventures, the city bus, biking, and hiking!
After leaving Kristin and Bill from a local speakeasy in Orleans, MA, I ventured to our nation’s capital, Washington D.C., There, I attended classes at a Charter high school, spent time with many of the students there, and learned to love their tidbits about “must sees” in this city. After all, these students know their stuff! After morning advisory, caring for “Ms. Brady’s” plants, and 9th grade English class with my new friends from school, I headed to break, where the girls taught me double dutch. I then headed with my new friend Kay to her Latin class. What a dead language. I guess this classical school believes in the teaching of it. Mea culpa!
After school I helped a new friend sell Girl Scout cookies, took a ride on the Capital Bikeshare bikes, road the city bus, ate at the local Carry Out, and visited the famous Smokey’s Restaurant. I really enjoyed heading down to the local Carry Out, where the famous “Mrs. Mumbo” makes her decadent Mumbo (or Mambo – there is no official spelling, apparently) sauce. It is the best known in D.C.; that’s a pretty big deal around here. We ate chicken and fries, that were, of course, drenched in Mumbo sauce.
That Thursday night I visited the Kennedy Center. What a beautiful theater. One of Kara’s students was performing in a D.C. Top 10 Youth Talent Competition. I saw so many young talented artists there. From drummers to pianists and dancers and singers of all genres, I was impressed. The girl who won was my top choice, too! We were able to cast votes like they do on American Idol. The program that put it on, DC CAP, is a program that helps to support children of all backgrounds in their pursuit of attending college. The program’s goal is to send all D.C. public and charter school children who want to go to college, to college. The top three won scholarships. I appreciated being a part of such a great show, and in support of a great organization’s mission. The Kennedy Center is unreal, too.
Over the weekend, I went hiking in Harper’s Ferry, WV. This is a famous location where I learned of abolitionist John Brown’s Raid and saw the second named armory of the United States, marked as such by George Washington. This made such a great location for an armory because it is where the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers intersect. I also saw the well-known and gorgeously kept Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. Too bad Kara didn’t take me on that train! The hike was beautiful, and I made a lot of new friends. We even saw a live bald eagle at one of the lookouts. I think he admired my pants…he kept circling…
That night I learned how to brew beer! We made a Belgium Ale. I wasn’t able to try it because I was told it wouldn’t be ready for about six weeks, but the process was fun. I learned a lot and the hops were tasty.
On Sunday of my week in D.C., I ventured through Rock Creek Park by bicycle down to some of the monuments on the National Mall. We visited the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, WWII Memorial, and the Korean War Memorial (see all the pics!). I think my favorite was the Lincoln Memorial. Kara was really emotional alongside Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. I guess she wrote her thesis in college on it or something. She couldn’t get over the magnitude of the document. It was ludicrous! After the monument walk, we ventured alongside the Potomac for the sunset. I was able to watch the sunset along the river and the Key Bridge, which Kara said leads to Virginia. The skyscrapers over there were lame, but I guess parts of Virginia are nice. The route through VA out to Harper’s Ferry was pretty. They say that state is for lovers. I haven’t found mine yet…
I was hoping to catch some of the famous cherry blossoms on my visit, as I hear they are just beautiful. The Japanese had it right with that gift, I’ve heard. They had not popped yet, though.
And now I am off to Chiang Mai, Thailand to visit my friend Anna!!! Kara actually lives in Anna’s old room in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood of D.C. I have heard wonderful things about Anna, so I am super excited to meet her and adventure around! Stay tuned!