after arriving at the airport shortly before 7am yesterday morning, I stood in the security line 4EVER! Go TSA, I appreciate your interest in my safety! Our flight departed on time and in relative comfort...I do so LOVE having to ask for ye ol' belt extender.... We had a little time for our flight change in Charlotte so that was not such a rush, but let me tell you...the landing at Reagan International in D.C. was horr-i-ble. I was not a bit motion sick till then. The situation was as follows
- The descent was the steepest I've ever experienced. I had to put my hand on the seat in front of me to keep from sliding forward.
- The plane was rocking from side to side.
- I've been on a skid pad in a car, so I know what a skid feels like. The back end of the plane was sliding around to the right.
Luckily for us, the pilot straightened up at what felt like the last instance before the wheels kissed the tarmac. I had visions of hitting the runway at an angle. I was glad to set my feet on solid ground and my stomach was happy about it too.
Strangely, as soon as we got off the plane I noticed an odd odor. Now I didn't see any water in any direction from the view I had at that time, but that's what it smelled like...brackish, bay water...just a teensy bit fishy and A LOT gamey. Outside it was a little better, but not much. I went on to experience varying degrees of similar smells for the rest of the day...who knows?
On the pleasant side, it was about 75 degrees outside and fairly dry as opposed to the 98 degree, 60% humidity I'd left only a few hours beforehand. We've enjoyed beautiful weather so far but it is expected to warm up everyday.
Our rooms were not ready so we went to get some lunch and check in at the Convention Center. Lunch was at a great restaurant called Matchstick where I had a fresh portabello pizza with spicy marinated artichokes and their house drink, a gingersnap (which tasted like punch and packed one as well). Hopefully we can go back before we leave! ;D
The crowd at the Convention Center was CRAZY and we spent a solid hour just getting through the various lines to get our conference badges, event tickets and so forth. By the time we got back, I was beyond sweaty and gross, my feet hurt, I was about to thirst to death and all I wanted was some air conditioning and to sit, preferably lay down. After getting up to the 5th floor with my heavy luggage and lugging it down the 5 miles of hallway to my room, the magnetic key didn't work. I'll allow you to imagine my thoughts at this time. I dropped off my bags at my coworkers room and ventured out to get a working key.
After only a small lie-down break, the others in my party wanted to go over to the Smithsonian portrait gallery. Fine. But I quickly discovered that I like my paintings with stuff in them, not just a person staring out at me. I did see one of Walt Whitman and one of Edgar Allan Poe, both of which would look stunning in my living room...go figure.
We did go on a monument tour, where the guide was a Bob Saget wannabee (as if I need to say that it was not in a good way). After three hours, we were all ready to strangle her but I did see the Washington Monument, a distant glimpse of the White House, Jefferson Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, the FDR Memorial and, since our tour guide got lost, an indepth tour of the Pentagon parking lot followed by a 30 second drive around the Iwo Jima Memorial. She said (and I quote), "it's on your left, we'll try to go slow." Barely saw it.
Dinner followed at a restaraunt I won't name lest it be misconstrued as a recommendation. Our waitress was fresh off the boat from Muldavia (according to the bartender; does anyone know where that is or if I even spelled it correctly?) so no one got what they ordered and we were there for going on two hours for hamburgers and chips. I crawled back into the hotel ~1am and reposed into a state of unconsciousness as soon as possible.
...as I am off to do now since it is 11:30 here and I have an 8am meeting blocks away. I love cabs, even when I don't what the driver is saying to me :)
Tomorrow, I'll tell you about the heartbreaking tragedy that I experienced this evening and how I am plotting my dastardly revenge against who ever will choose to be emotionally damaged by it.
Good night from our nation's capital!