Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The town that Pierre L'Enfant built

Greetings from Washington, D.C. Adria has been enjoying her oppourtunity to explore the nation's capital. I, on the other hand, have had to work and become orientated to some of the dealings of the Postal Service. Here are some of the highlights from our trip so far:
  • While I was waiting for my flight from PDX to Dulles, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden walked by. He was on my flight as was Oregon's other Senator Gordon Smith. Senator Smith was excited about his upgrade from coach to first-class (Senator Wyden sat in coach on the flight). Senator Wyden must be afraid of DVT as he got up from his seat about every 40 minutes to walk up and down the aisles. At one point on the
    flight Senator Wyden made his way up to Senator Smith in first-class and they had a spirited discussion. Luckily no fisticuffs broke out between the Democrat and the Republican. They were probably discussing their recently announced health care plan.
  • Upon landing in Dulles, I saw what I thought was an interesting ATM (seen to the right). I had never heard of a Chevy Chase Bank, and I didn't know that Chevy Chase had time to start a bank between starting in movies such as "The Three Amigos" and "Fletch Lives". What I didn't know is that Chevy Chase Bank is the largest bank that is headquartered in the D.C. metro area and there is a town in Maryland called Chevy Chase (Adria knew these things, as she apparently gets credit card offers from Chevy Chase Bank "all of the time")
  • Adria flew into Baltimore where her Aunt Connie lives and was able to spend a day with her in and around Baltimore before Aunt Connie drove Adria to the hotel. We had a nice dinner with Aunt Connie before she drove back to Baltimore.
  • We were able to spend some time with my Aunt Nancy and Uncle Vance who are serving in the Washington D.C. temple. We were able to go to dinner with them one evening (we went to a Chinese restaurant and Adria was excited for the chance to speak Cantonese to our waitress) as well as to church. Nancy and Vance attend a Spanish branch, which made for an interesting experience as neither Adria nor I speak Spanish (although I did understand when Aunt Nancy asked somebody to speak slower because we don't speak Spanish). After church we had a pleasant Sunday dinner with Aunt Nancy and Uncle Vance before we went back to the hotel.
  • The EPA headquarters building in downtown Washington D.C. (seen to the right) was much, much, much bigger than either of us expected it to be.
  • Adria and I saw fireflies for the first time. We enjoyed watching them light up at night, however we seemed to be the only people who noticed the fireflies.
  • We saw the Hope Diamond. I, for one, thought that it looks much bigger in the pictures. Hopefully they have contained the curse of the Hope Diamond within the 3 inch thick glass case that they protect the diamond within.
  • Adria was able to take a tour of the National Cathedral. She really enjoyed it. Below are some pictures that she took:

  • We also enjoyed the Native American Muesuem. We spent a couple of hours on Saturday looking at the exhibits. We also enjoyed this placard below because it explains how the beaver symbolizes wisdom:

  • Below is a picture of a guitar that was custom made for Prince. It may not come through on the thumbnail very well, but all along the fingerboard, there are drawings of the symbol that Prince went by for a while and because the symbol has no name people were forced to call him "The Artist-Formerly-Known-As-Prince". You can click on the thumbnail for a better view of the symbols

Below are some pictures that we took, but don't really have much of a story behind them:
Here is a statue of Andrew Jackson
Here is a picture of Adria with the Lincoln Memorial in the background
Here is a picture of one of the surviving sunstones from the original Nauvoo Temple that Adria saw at one of the Smithsonian muesuems
Adria and I at the Jefferson Memorial
The Department of the Treasury building
The Smithsonian Castle with a statue of Joseph Henry (after whom the unit the Henry is named)
The scene at 1600 Pennslynia Ave. The yellow signage on the left is for an anti-nuclear vigil that has been there continously since 1984.
A picture of Adria wearing my sunglasses
A Statue of Ulysees Grant
A Statue of James Garfield, the only President who could write in Latin with one hand and at the same time write in Greek with the other

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