Saturday, July 11, 2009

In the Land of the Surreal

by Trish Milburn

I'm currently sitting in my hotel room in Washington, D.C. From my window, I can see the National Cathedral, a gorgeous building I first saw as a high school senior.

This is probably my fifth or sixth trip to D.C., but the surreal-ness of it hasn't worn off. For years, D.C. was this far-off place where big, important things happened, a place that only existed in video images on the evening news. I still remember how exciting it was to visit here for the first time when I was 18. Through an essay contest, I'd won one of two spots sponsored by my local electric cooperative on the Washington, D.C. Youth Tour in 1988. It was the farthest I'd ever been away from home; I think it was the first time I'd been somewhere that didn't actually touch Kentucky. I'm sure my face was pressed against the bus window as we rolled into the District.

The next time I came to D.C. was in 2000 for my first RWA National Conference - at this very same hotel. That year, one of my critique partners, Annie Solomon, was a Golden Heart finalist. She's since gone on to publish fantastic romantic suspense novels and win a RITA award. By the way, my other long-time CP, Beth Pattillo, was also a GH finalist one year, and also went on to win a RITA. I've finaled in the GH several times, winning twice, so I'm hoping I keep the trend alive and final in and possibly win a RITA one of these days. :)

Okay, back to D.C. On our way to the nation's capitol for that trip back in high school, we also toured Gettysburg National Battlefield in Pennsylvania. Another place that seemed surreal to visit. Up until then, it'd only been a place I'd read about in my U.S. History textbook the previous year in Mr. Grace's class. During that high school trip, I think we toured the White House, but for the life of me I can't remember. I know we went to some memorials and Arlington National Cemetery where we walked through the seemingly endless white tombstones, watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, saw the Eternal Flame at President Kennedy's grave, and watched the Sunset Parade by the U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, which was awesome. A stop at the U.S. Capitol, where Kentucky's elected representatives met us on the front steps, came during the week sometime.

We also visited the Air and Space Museum and the Natural History Museum at the Smithsonian. I particularly remember seeing The Spirit of St. Louis, the Hope Diamond and a wooly mammoth.

In 2000, we had one afternoon where we had time to play tourist, and we rode the Metro (my first subway ride) to the Smithsonian. That time, I visited the American Art Museum. Annie, Beth, our other friend Michelle, and I went off in different directions because we like different kinds of art. I found my way to the area displaying western landscapes by the likes of Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran, the latter known as the Painter of Yellowstone (see one of his Yellowstone depictions below).

Since then, I've been here for meetings and at least once to visit Michelle strictly for fun. Last September, I made a point of visiting the National Museum of the American Indian. I'd been a member of the museum during the years when it was being built and right after it opened, but I'd let my membership drop. Still, I really wanted to see it because I love Native cultures. It was a very nice museum with a great cafeteria with different stations serving Native foods from various regions of the country.

Then when I was here again in November, I took the Metro over to the National Museum of American History because they'd just reopened and had the original flag that inspired "The Star-Spangled Banner" on display. That was a moment of awe - to see something that important to our nation's history. It was tattered, torn, and had pieces cut from it for souvenirs, but it was still breathtaking.

That same day, I realized I was close to the White House, so I wandered over to the front fence and took some pictures despite the cold wind. Even when you're standing there looking at it, it's hard to believe you're that close to the home of the President of the United States, one of the most powerful people in the world. You wonder what conversations are going on inside right at that moment.

This week, I don't think I'll have time to see much beside the inside of my hotel, but that's okay. It's still awesome, and still surreal, to be in the same city as the President, ambassadors from other countries, gorgeous memorials to those who have been important to our country's history, and vast collections of that history. I did get to walk through Georgetown tonight after having dinner with Michelle - my first visit to Georgetown.

Have you ever been to Washington, D.C.? If so, what were your favorite sights to visit? Have you ever been somewhere it felt surreal to be? I think the only other time I've felt this type of surreal-ness was when I visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.


Tawny said...

OMG wow. Trish those pictures are just stunning. I'm so totally bummed to be missing conference, not only for the incredible sights, but because I'll miss seeing all of you!!!

But hey, I guess I'll have a little rooster-style comfort, huh? AT least for today *g*

jo robertson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jo robertson said...

Great post, Trish. D.C. is one of the most impressive cities in the country, I believe, possibly in the world. There are so many fascinating and exciting things to see and do. I grew up in Virginia and was able to visit a lot as a girl, but after I got married, not so much.

The Lincoln Memorial is the place where I ge the most profound feelings.

You've done a great job with the pictures, Trish. Hope you have a wonderful time at conference!

Yay, Tawny, get that little stinker to help you with all the packing and moving. I'm sure he's good for something besides military excursions and serving drinks!

limecello said...

Ugh. Computer totally froze so I couldn't comment :P Haha I'm pretty sure it was the GR's doing, b/c he definitely didn't have a fun/glamorous day with me :P
I love DC. I had an internship w/ the US Senate one summer - well, the in house counsel for one of them - anyway, it was tons of fun. I love all the monuments and museums, and think a "personal" tour of the Capitol is truly worth it. (Free, but you have to contact a Congress person/office.)
And if it's restaurant week... NOM. Night time monument hopping is really fun - Georgetown - if you go there you HAVE to get the Argentinian Gelato at Dolce Zza. :D
I so wish I could go to DC!!!

Donna MacMeans said...

Trish - great blog! Looking forward to seeing you next week.

I grew up in Towson, Maryland and had relatives around the district. Washington was a popular spot for school field trips. I remember climbing the stairs up the Washington monument, it was hard back in sixth grade, but we were a determined bunch. Besides, it was cool to see the decorative stone blocks donated by each of the fifty states. You can't see them now. Vandalism to the stones forced a change in policy. Visitors must take the elevator both up and down - but if you watch the little windows in the elevator, you can see some of the stones pass by.

We toured the white house on those field trips as well. I don't think I appreciated the significance as much then as I do now.

I returned to DC a couple of years ago for a family wedding and saw the WWII monument - very impressive, and placed so perfectly between the White House and the Washington monument, you'd think it had been planned that way all along.

Looking forward to seeing you next week.

Tawny said...

LOL Jo -great plan!!! I will get that Rooster packing boxes, no matter how much he squawks!!

That had to be so cool to live that close to DC. I was really looking forward to it and we'd been studying American History (with emphasis on DC features) over the spring in anticipation of turning it into a school trip combined with conference. Seeing the Lincoln Memorial would have rocked.

Virginia said...

Congrats Tawny on nabbing the rooster make him help you today.

Great post Trish! I have never been to D.C. but my son went on a school field trip in the sixth grade and really enjoyed it.
There is a lot of things to see there so enjoy yourself, I would love to be there myself!

Tawny said...

Oh Lime, gelato?

My mouth is watering.

Being an intern in DC had to be amazing. What an experience!!!

btw, the Rooster is pouting a little. What on earth did the two of you get up to Saturday?

Tawny said...

Donna, you've had some great sightseeing in DC, huh? I wonder at the contrast of appreciation between visiting as a kid and as an adult. I wish the state blocks were still viewable, they sound intriguing.

Tawny said...

Virginia, we can both stay home and wish we were in DC together, if you want!! I'm going to be having definite DC jonesing this week!!!

Anna Sugden said...

Ahhh - home from home! Great post, Trish. I spent quite a few years living in the DC area when I was younger - my Dad worked for the World Bank. It's still one of my favourite cities.

I'm with Jo about the Lincoln Memorial - sitting on the steps at dusk and watching the sun set over the Reflecting Pool and the Washington Monument is awesome - and so romantic.

What is surreal for me is the homecoming I feel in DC and now in NY. When we land, it's like we've come home. Just as much as when we land back in London. My heart now resides in two countries.

Other surreal places for me have been The Arches National Park in Utah, Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon, Glacier Bay in Alaska and Chicheniza in Mexico. Places you see in pictures and on TV and then when you get there, they just overwhelm you with their magnificence. I suspect we'll feel the same way about Mount Rushmore when we go there after DC.

On the other hand, Egypt and the pyramids were kind of underwhelming, especially the Sphinx!

Anna Sugden said...

Pouting at the Banditas who won't be in DC. And the BB's too.

Helen said...

Well done Tawny and I agree with Jo make him work for his keep

Trish a great post how I wish I could get to Washington I love the pictures you have put up that diamond is beautiful.

Washington sounds like a wonderful place to visit and maybe one day I will get to go to the States and I will make sure I get to Washington.

Have Fun

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Congrats on nabbing the GR, Tawny.

Jo, the Lincoln Memorial is awesome. That's one of the places I remember visiting on that high school trip.

lime, how cool that you had that internship here. I bet that was really interesting.

Donna, I'm ready to expire just thinking about walking to the top of the Washington Monument.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Virginia, if you ever get the chance, do visit D.C. There's something to see everywhere you look.

Anna, I forgot to mention Mt. Rushmore. It is a surreal moment to see it. I felt a bit the same way when I visited Yellowstone National Park the first time and saw Old Faithful. There are other, more spectacular geysers there, but it's the most famous. I've seen the edge of Arches from a distance on the train, but I want to visit. I have a big framed print of it in my living room.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Helen, hope you get to visit here someday.

Well, I'm off to the board meeting. Will check back in tonight. You all keep things rocking here today, okay? :)

Tiffany Clare said...

This will be my first trip to DC. A friend at work gave me a list of really great restaurants to try while I'm there, so I'll have to sneak out in the evening once with the family if I can 'cause I'm a sucker for good food.

Never been anywhere surreal. I've done so little traveling in my life that it's just sad, and something I really need to correct.

PJ said...

Great blog, Trish! I didn't know Annie Solomon was your CP. I love her books!

Like Donna, my senior class trip was also to DC. We climbed the Washington Monument on a hot, muggy April day and I thought I was going to die before we got to the top. One of the guys in our class had to pull me up the last couple flights. When we were there last November we went to the top again and, while I'm glad I had the experience of climbing, I have to say the elevator is much preferable!

On that first trip, I found Arlington to be the most surreal part. JFK had been killed only a few years earlier and standing at the eternal flame was a very profound and sobering experience.

This last trip, one of the most surreal moments was during our congressional tour of the capitol when I found myself walking the same hallways as the men and women who have shaped our country, especially those early legislators. Another was walking around the beautiful and majestic WWII Memorial at night and thinking about that generation who also played a huge part in shaping not only our country but the world in which we now live.

DC is an amazing city. Everywhere you turn there is a piece of history just waiting to be discovered.

Pissenlit said...

Alas, no. My exposure to the US has so far only included Boston and New York City(including limited bits of Long Island)...oh and an hour or two when we nipped across the border to your side of the Niagara Falls just for the heck of it. But oh, I so very much want to visit the Smithsonian and the Air and Space Museum and all those other museum-y places. Never been to the Statue of Liberty either though I believe I saw it from afar out of the window of a moving vehicle while I was in NY. Heh.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Trish, I live here and its surreal! Hahaha!

Hello from DC from Jeanne and Anna C!

Suz and JT are already here as's the beginning of the Bandita INVASION!!!


Great Post Trish!

jo robertson said...

Your post made me ponder last night, Trish. Don't you think all people have that sense of awe and surrealism about their own capitol cities?

I mean, it's the symbolic seat of power, if not literal.

jo robertson said...

Anna, how wonderful to be a citizen at heart of so many countries and places.

Yeah, the Sphinx was especially pedestrain to me. All that target practice that took place anciently. But in their heyday those Egyptian monuments must've been beautiful, all that alabaster and gold.

Nancy said...

TD, please keep the bird very, very, very busy. We don't want him causing trouble this week! We'll miss you and the other banditas and buddies who aren't coming.

Trish, what a great post. I've been to DC three or four times but always on the run or with a group, never with the freedom to see everything I want to see. Or even almost everything.

A friend and I "did" a Rodin exhibit at the National Gallery in 15 minutes and Air & Space in 30 because that was all the time we had. I don't generally like light-speed sightseeing, though I adjusted to it when the boy was little.

For example: Edinburgh Castle when he was 7. "There's some swords. Let's see if there are any in here. . . . No swords. Let's see if there are any over there." Five minutes. I kid you not. Five minutes, and we were out.

Biltmore House, when he was 3: "There's a little bed [fainting couch]. Let's see if there's one in here. . . . There's one. Let's see if there's one in here." And so on. There were no "little beds," I can report with assurance, in the dining room, library, kitchen or servant areas. We were in and out of that massive, recreated, 4-story French chateau in 30 minutes. Though he did like the gargoyle downspouts outside, as the dh reminds me.

I love the Smithsonian and the National Gallery. My plans for conference week include the Air & Space Museum (USS Enterprise, here I come!), the American History wing, the Spy Museum, and the National Gallery. That's a lot to squeeze in between workshops and gatherings, probably too much, but that's my list. Also the Vietnam and WWII memorials.

These are fabulous pictures! I can't wait to see those of you who're coming, and I'm sure we'll lift a glass to those who're not.

Nancy said...
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Caren Crane said...

What the...? Tawny, is the GR helping you move house today? *g*

Personally, I've never gotten to sightsee in D.C. at all, so I wish I had more time there. I plan to sprint through at least one of the Smithsonian museums and also the Holocaust Memorial Museum on Wednesday morning. That's about all I can squeeze in on this trip.

I would love to drag my family there on vacation sometime, but the kids still at home have schedules that are hard to work around. I would hate to go with my dh alone, because he insists on reading every. freaking. plaque. Then, he wants to have some big philosophical discussion about whatever or whoever the plaque was about. It's exhausting.

I want to just go through at a moderate pace, ooh and aah over the cool stuff and GET ON WITH IT. My kids are all fabulous to visit museums with. We may have to just drop the dh off somewhere first thing in the morning and pick him up later. *g*

Beth said...

What a great post, Trish! I went to D.C. for a class field trip when I was in sixth grade but it was just overnight and I don't remember much of it.

I'd love to sightsee in the city, though! D.C. is on the short list of places I'd love to take a family vacation :-)

Becke Davis said...

Congrats on the GR, Tawny -- awww, I'm sorry I won't get to meet you at National!

I don't think I'll have time to do any sightseeing this trip, but if I did, I'd go check out the ruby slippers at the Smithsonian, for one thing! I haven't been to DC in years, but I really enjoyed my last visit.

Tawny said...

Oh Anna, Welcome back to the US *g* I love it when we're on the same continent. You've seen so many amazing places!!!

I can't wait to hear what you think of Mt. Rushmore, and am giggling over the pyramid comment.

Tawny said...

Anna said: Pouting at the Banditas who won't be in DC. And the BB's too.


Yeah... if I pout any more I'll trip over my lower lip

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Tawny.

Hi Trish,
I was in junior high school when I visited DC. The Lincoln Memorial was my favorite. The museums were fantastic, but it's been so long that I hope to visit them again soon.

Tawny said...

Helen, that is one sweet rock, isn't it? I do hope you get to the US to visit someday, I'd love to hear what you think of it.

Of course, I'm sure all of us here would much rather come visit you- Australia just sounds sooo romantic and gorgeous!!

Tawny said...

Have fun at the board meeting, Trish (okay, yes, that was tongue in cheek. But I hope its a good meeting!!)

Tawny said...

Tiffany, DC is a great way to kick off your traveling. You'll have so much fun and I can't wait to hear which restaurants you try and what you think!!

Tawny said...

LOL PJ, I'd always vote for the elevator over stairs myself! But that's really cool that you got to do both ways to contrast.

The historical significance and power of the different sites must be incredible.

Tawny said...

Pissenlit, I hope you get to DC to see it all soon!! It had to be pretty cool seeing Niagra Falls, though. I haven't visited east of the Rockies much, but that had to be gorgeous.

Tawny said...

it's the beginning of the Bandita INVASION!!!


Jessica Scott said...

It felt surreal for me when our plane touched down in Kuwait for my first deployment into Iraq. The sand, the bedouin tents and the realization that this was home for the next year all took a lot to sink in. I was much better when we finally got to Iraq and I realized that yes, there real toilettes and real showers. Reality was better then.

Caren Crane said...

Jessica, I'll bet that was surreal. Like stepping onto a movie set, only much hotter and more permanent. Glad they had real facilities in Iraq! I refuse to even go camping without flush toilets. I am officially a wuss! We are all grateful for your service and your non-wussiness!

Caren Crane said...

As far as spectacular sights, we went to the Toronto side of Niagara Falls when I was about 10. THAT was spectacular. I remember being surprised at how clean Canada was, compared to the roads we had been on in PA and NY. *g*

Barbara Monajem said...

I've been to DC several times and have stayed at the Marriott Wardman before (although not for RWA) and made a point of walking to the National Cathedral, which I really loved. Went to some other attractions, too... there are so many.

Speaking of swords, Nancy, one of my most enjoyable museum visits was in Chicago -- and I can't for the life of me remember what the museum is called -- where they have a whole hallway of medieval weapons -- poleaxes and such. Those brought history alive for me in a very surreal and shuddery kind of way.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

The Bandita invasion of DC has begun, and Aunty will be joining y'all tomorrow night!!

FUN post, Trish! And I guess I'm just a surreal kind of person because I've had so many of those moments! LOL! The Gettysburg battlefield -- VERY DEFINITELY! I esp. loved our docent guide who staying in character for the entire time.

I didn't make it to DC for the first time until about 15 years ago. It was indeed awe inspiring.

But I think one of my most surreal moments was my first trip to Europe (about 25 years ago) and seeing my first honest to goodness castle -- Windsor -- out the window of the car. I think my jaw hit the floor! Felt that way the first time I walked out of the train station in Rome and there was the Coliseum. GAH!!!!

Can't wait to see everyone in DC!


Nancy said...

Barbara, if you and I ever get to Chicago at the same time, you'll have to take me to that museum. I love medieval weaponry.

The dh jokes that we do "reverse-gender tourism." He takes us to authors' homes, and I choose battlefields and castles.

Nancy said...

Tawny, if the GR just happens to get sealed up in a box and relocated to your new house, well, y'know, a week of quiet and rest would probaby do him good. I'm just sayin' . . .

Nancy said...

Donna, I didn't know that about the Washington Monument. Too bad some people are so juvenile as to ruin it for the rest of us!

Nancy said...

Limecello, that internship sounds like a fabulous summer! I'd love to spend the summer in DC, hot and humid weather notwithstanding.

Nancy said...

Anna, I've never had the opportunity to watch sunset from the Lincoln Memorial. It sounds gorgeous, though. Maybe we can try that at some point this week.

Since everyone's schedule is so open. *sigh*

Nancy said...

Trish, I hate meetings. I appreciate those of you who deal with them so I don't have to. I hope you get out and have some fun in the next couple of days.

Nancy said...

Caren, you and my mom would be in sympathy about touring. My dad read every word of every plaque in every place we visited. I warned the dh when we took our first trip together, to Savannah, that I intended to do that and suggested he go wait by the river if that was a problem. He allowed as how he could deal. And then he did.

If all this plaque-reading really bothers you, you do not want to be in the UK with me. :-)

Joan said...

Hi all!

Suz and I are sitting next to each other in the business center after a day of "hopping on and hopping off" to so some of this surreal sightseeing. Real quickly.....

Arlington. A place that thrummed with honor and valor and courage. Even amidst the rows of plain white markers. The changing of the guard brought pride to my heart.

The Lincoln memorial was stately for sure but the most majestic sight to me? Standing on the steps of the memorial looking out across the reflecting pool to the majesty of the Washington monument (which was grayer than I'd seen on TV). Also had an international flavor with all those Canadian geese floating in the water LOL

The war memorials. There were some Vietnam vets volunteering at the wall and when I thanked one of them for his service and shook his hand he looked stunned.

The nurses memorial was very poignant. A nurse holding a wounded soldier while pressing a bandage to his heart.

Did the American History museum and was a bit disappointed though the First Ladies exhibit, while short, was really cool.

The Metro made me claustrophobic

Saw the White House from the bus. Pretty cool.

But you know what really felt surreal to me? Seeing the buildings for like "The Department of Transportaion" "The State Department" The FBI.....

That was like "wow..."

I know. I'm not right :-)

Tomorrow we're doing the National Zoo to see Ling Ling, Ping Ping or Ding Ding...whatever those Pandas are called before we have to give them back to China...

Can't wait to see the other Banditas (saw Trish tonight....looking fresh and lovely from her Board meeting :-)
and the BB's.

Travel safe!

EllenToo said...

I think the most surreal place I've been in Washington was the Vietnam Wall at night.I've been to Washington three times and seen the sights you have mentioned and more. I went with a group of students two of those times and with a friend the third time. One of the places I have been that not too many people go is the national zoo. It's fascinating but since it is out of the city (more or less) people don't think about it.

Nancy said...

Joan, we went to Arlington when I was in grade school, but I don't remember much about it. I mainly remember my mom complaining about my dad reading all the placards in the Custiss-Lee mansion. :-)

Sounds as though you and Suz and Trish, the vanguard of the invasion, have things under control and are enjoying yourselves. Can't wait to join in the fun!

Nancy said...

EllenToo, I've seen the Vietnam wall only on TV. It does look very surreal in nighttime episodes of JAG that featured it. Might have to try that this trip.

Nancy said...

Joan, whaddaya mean, we're giving back the pandas? They were a present. You don't give back presents!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Tiffany, hope you enjoy your trip here. I ate at Filomena's in Georgetown last night, and it was yummy. It's been around a long time, and my friend who lives here has seen senators there. And the menu has things like "Harrison Ford loved this dish when he was here."

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

PJ, I bet seeing JFK's grave so soon after his death, and if you remember him, is way more powerful than for someone like me who doesn't remember him.

Pissenlit, one of my YA editors has a gorgeous view of the Statue of Liberty from her office window. Was so jealous of that.

Jeanne, I saw Joanie and Suz briefly at dinner -- I was between meetings. Can't wait to see everyone else!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Nancy, had to laugh at your speed sightseeing when the boy was little. LOL.

Becke, I saw the ruby slippers when I was here in November. And the original Kermit the Frog. :)

Tawny -- as a testament to how tired I am, I read your comment to Helen about the "one sweet rock" and wanting to visit Australia and thought you were talking about Ayers Rock, a famous Australian site. :)

Tawny said...

oops, didn't mean to disappear. They're working on the electrical on the house, which somehow translated into turning off my computer for hours on end. Argh, its like asking me to skip breathing for awhile LOL

Nancy, ROFL at the speed-of-light touring. You're the master!! I hope you get to enjoy DC at a little more leisurely pace this time!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Jessica, I bet that totally was surreal to land in Kuwait and then go into Iraq. Wow.

I've never even been out of the U.S. In fact, I just got my first-ever passport because I thought I might be going to Vancouver, but that doesn't look like it's going to pan out.

Tawny said...

LOL on the plaque reading hubby, Posh. That'd drive me a little battery, too. I mean, I want to look, but - well, like you, I read fast so we can keep on moving, right?

Tawny said...

Beth, you're close enough to drive to DC, aren't you? I do think you should save your family vacation for California, though. I really do.

Tawny said...

AWw, Becke, I'm bummed too. I was really looking forward to meeting all the BB's I hadn't had the pleasure to get to know yet.

And seeing any type of shoes is always awesome, but Ruby Slippers?! Oh man!!! I can't wait to hear about your adventures and what you think of them.

Tawny said...

Jane, school trips to DC seem to be popular!!! I wonder how many people would get to visit if not for their history classes? I didn't get to as a kid, but would love to now.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Barbara, was it the Field Museum next to Soldier Field? I went there and it was fabulous. They had a wonderful area devoted to Native Cultures -- one of the best I've seen. They even had full-size totem poles from several of the Alaskan peoples.

AC, I can only imagine how wild it is to see castles in person. In fact, anything that's older than anything we have here since we are a comparatively young country. I think it would be so surreal to see Stonehenge. Did you see it?

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

EllenToo, the zoo was someplace I went on that high school trip. It's conveniently located right across from the hotel here. :)

Joanie, interesting that the Metro made you so claustrophobic. It's so much better than the one in NYC -- and smells better too. :) No offense to New Yorkers -- I think the subway is a wonderful way to get around.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Okay, I'm up later than I wanted to be, so I'm hitting the hay. Thanks for keeping it rocking today and for sharing all your "surreal" moments and D.C. memories.

Tawny said...

Oh wow, Jessica. That had to be surreal in a totally-different-world kind of way. Thank you so much for what you do!!! We appreciate you.

Tawny said...

Posh, I've been to western Canada, but Toronto is on my to-visit list. It sounds gorgeous.

Tawny said...

Barbara, the Marriott sounds fab. And lol on giving Nancy an outlet for her sword hunting. A sword here or there is fascinating to me, but a whole hall of them might freak me out. I mean, I live in earthquake country - I'd worry one good shake and they'd all fall. Nancy's much braver than I!!!

Tawny said...

AC - I envy your travels. You've seen so many awesome places and surreal things. You must have an incredible travel scrapbook!!!

Tawny said...

Nancy, would you believe that darned bird bent a feather and claimed he couldn't help lift a single box!!!??? He's hoping for pampering and quiet tomorrow. I'm hoping someone else puts him to work!!

Tawny said...

WOW JoanieT!!!! It sounds like you and Suz saw some INCREDIBLE sights. I'm so missing you already.

Tawny said...

Ellen, what a great list of things to see. I'd have loved to see the Vietnam wall, and I know my daughter had a zoo trip planned. Less crowds is good, I think of DC and think politicians and crowds. Is it like that??