Monday, July 23, 2001

18 Hours in D.C.

Just to add to your collection of weird, what-was-she-thinking "Lori stories"... here goes nothing.

One week ago Monday (7/16), I flew out of San Diego to meet Loren in Dallas, TX. He got off of work at 7 pm that night and had off for the rest of the week. So, at the last minute (3 days beforehand) we decided to take advantage of some of my vacation time and his days off. We stayed in a cheapy hotel in Dallas (which luckily had a Denny's about a mile away that we walked to in the Dallas heat) and flew out on Tuesday morning to start our journey to Washington D.C. We landed in D.C. around noon, found the Metro (which took us to our REALLY NICE hotel in Bethesda, MD - yeah, we decided to go all out. We were even on the top floor of the hotel), and then found our way back into the center of D.C.

We then proceeded to walk up and down what I hear is actually considered only a small portion of The Mall. For both of us, this was our first time in D.C. - and we knew we wouldn't be able to see everything in this short amount of time - but we did know what we wanted to make sure and see: The Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Monument, the Reflecting Pool where King presented his "dream" speech, parts of the Smithsonian, and whatever else we could fit in. Keep in mind, the temperature was about 80 degrees. The humidity level? About 100% - or at least it felt like it. (OK, so I've been accused of exaggerating every now and then - but it was stinking hot!)

We also saw portions of the National Air and Space Museum. And even flew over the Pentagon on the way out of town on Wednesday morning (which, I'm convinced is the best way to see the Pentagon building). No, we didn't see the White House, but I did happen to catch a few glances toward the Capitol Building. So - it was a short trip - but we saw exactly what we wanted to see.

The thing I took away from the trip was this: a renewed sense of pride for my country and the people who have fought for our freedom and the freedom of those in countries we've stepped up to help. (I also took away the lesson of - pack even less next time!)

While we were walking up and down the Mall we passed people of all nationalities and colors and backgrounds and speaking all sorts of languages - but one thing we had in common, we were all proud to be free! Even though we all had many differences in culture and experience - we shared one tiny spot of common ground - OUR FREEDOM! Even though we have some problems in this country, we are still free! And what an amazing gift that is for all of us!


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