June 29, 2012

Washington in the Summer

I am back in town, but off again in a few hours to take my boys to Pensacola. I was in DC for business, but it was personal business, not work related, Thank God. Work is tough and I need to decompress. My brain is on permanent fry.

DC is very hot. How weird to think, "Wow, can't wait to get back to S. Fl to get away from this heat..." I walked everywhere if I could, the exception being once when the roads were closed passing by the White House due to some foreign dignitary gig, I was in a formal gown and heels, and the detour was way far out of the way. The other was when a woman I was with could walk no more. And of course to and from the airport.

I met a funny cab driver, who out of the goodness of his heart picked four of us up (formal gowns) and took us a few blocks, even though he was off. One of our women was not beneath groveling. He was quiet, but jovial and funny, telling us how he was off to get his wife and as long as he wasn't late, it was fine. It seems his wife said to him, 'You have such an easy job. All you do is sit all day and drink coffee..."

That was met by laughter from my girlfriend's and silence from me. When they quit laughing and joking with him I said quietly, "I personally think you have probably one of the most stressful jobs around. A cab driver in NYC, DC, or any big city like this... I'd have a stroke." He smiled at me through the rear view mirror, shook his head and said, "Yes. It is stressful..."

We liked him. We made him laugh. We tipped him and wished him well with his wife. He was fun. An intelligence was behind his eyes. He had good.... energy.

Otherwise, I walked everywhere. The 7AM walk was no biggy. The 2PM walk back to the hotel was brutal.

I was sitting in a meeting and a woman from Arizona was sitting next to me. I'd just walked over to the building at 2PM, it was about 100 degrees and DC is humid. I said something about how dang hot it was and she rolled her eyes, "Hot. You don't know hot. Come live in Arizona."

I told my roommates, I wanted to roll my eyes and say, "F*** you. Is this a contest? I'm from S. F***ing Florida, Beyotch".

Look. When you get above 95 degrees, hot is frickin' hot. Unless you're in the Sandbox, wearing fatigues and chemical warfare suits, I don't want to hear someone say, 'Oh... you don't know hot." THEY can say that. Not some twit from Arizona.

And cold is cold. Once it gets below 20, it's just frickin' cold as crap.

Off my soapbox.

It was hotter than three hells in DC. I'd be fit if I lived there as I'd try to walk everywhere.

Two of my roommates were big snorers so I didn't sleep for three days. My other roommate liked the room warm, which was crazy. I was ready to come back.

My one roommate is a lawyer and she wanted to go over to the Supreme Court and try to get in or protest. I thought about it for the life experience, "Hey! I stood outside the Supreme Court during a major decision!" kind of like I can say I saw a President laying in State, but then I thought, "It's hotter than three f'ing hells in DC. No thanks."

I spent as much time alone as possible, if that makes sense. I attended meetings, met great people, but when push came to shove, I was content to grab a book and disappear into my own head.

I walked past the Washington Monument every day and watched throngs of tourists taking pictures. I think most of Japan is now in DC.

I walked past the White House every day (I had to get to D street every day from Pennsylvania Ave) with the long lines of people waiting for tours, dogs, police, and guards a constant presence. I looked for snipers on the top of the White House and didn't see them. I think perhaps I've read too much Vince Flynn. (BTW, loved Kill Shot. Just finished it...)

I think DC is a nice place to get lost. You can be totally alone in a crowd and I'm OK with that.

Every morning, cup of coffee in hand, I made my way to my destination, through the heart of our Nation's Capital, and quietly contemplated what was up in life and in the rest of my day.

The people who run this great Country may be a bunch of self serving jerks (both sides, thank.you.very.much), but they can't take the history away from our Country. Everywhere I walked, it surrounded me.

I think we're the best screwed up Country in the world. And for what it's worth, I don't think there is a country that isn't screwed up. But are very very... messed up.

Nevertheless, it was very cool... and inspiring.

Off for a 9 hour drive to Pensacola. My eldest just informed me he'd drive the first three hours.

Dang I'm going to miss him when he goes away to college...

Did I just say that? Yes, I guess I did...

Posted by Boudicca at June 29, 2012 03:05 PM

I love DC.
When I lived in silver spring md, every day off I was on the metro to the smith... Or the archives...
I drank in the bar John Wilkes boothe did before going to ford's theater...

Odd. Japanese in DC... Manhattan is full of Chinese. Wonder if that means anything.

Posted by: K-nine at June 30, 2012 06:11 AM

You make me want to visit the city, as if I've already fallen in love with it.

Hubby is in Houston this week. Temps over 100! I'll take 90, thanks!

Posted by: pam at June 30, 2012 07:06 AM

People like you make me proud to be an American.

Posted by: PeggyK at June 30, 2012 08:06 AM

I hate big cities and their traffic, but still, D.C. is an amazing place. I visited relatives there years ago. I'd commute into D.C. early and spend all day walking and seeing the sights and sites, then I'd leave around 3 p.m. to avoid the horrible traffic. Last time I visited was during a 2-hour layover on a train trip. Their massive train station is a work of art. And there IS a lot of truth to the cliche that "it's not the heat, it's the humidity." South Florida's steambath heat feels MUCH worse than higher temperatures out West, where there's much lower humidity.

Posted by: George P at June 30, 2012 09:12 AM

Lucky you were not here this weekend. This sucks. Who knew there was such a thing as a "land huricane"? There are more people out of power than our last real huricane. It's really hot to boot.

Posted by: web at June 30, 2012 07:22 PM

I've been to DC a few times, hubby's Aunt/Uncle live 30 minutes outside of it.

I've seen everything and can't wait to go back again.

My favorites are the Smithsonians though.

And we have seen it from the view of people who live their, so we got to see some things the normal tourists don't do.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at July 1, 2012 03:57 PM

Oh Lordy - the "hot" contest thing - drives me INSANE. As you know I'm in Melbourne Australia. Our summer temps average 90 - 113. My sister lives in a mining town in outback Queensland where it's frequently 122 in the middle of summer, but hot is relative and totally dependant on where you are and what you are doing. I'd still rather be in her backyard pool at 122 than walking through the city in a business suit when it's 82!!

Love your attitude! x

Posted by: Shaz at July 2, 2012 11:47 PM