Sunday, December 19, 2010

D.C. part 1

Whew.  We've been home for three days now, recovering from travel and nursing a cold caught on the last leg of our journey.  

A brief synopsis of our three weeks of travel because, if nothing else, I want to see it in writing:

*4 hour drive on packed snow & ice to the home in which we would Give Thanks.  3 days there.
*7 1/2 hour drive up to Montana where we would leave Osa (blessedly, Juniper slept for 6 1/2 hours of that).  3 days there.  
*1 1/2 hour drive to airport.
*2 flights to Washington DC.  8 days there.
*40 minute metro ride and 5 1/2 hour drive to Juniper's great-grandparent's house.  5 days there.
*4 hour drive to a town with an airport on snowy/wet roads.  1 night there.
*3 flights back to Montana (12 hours of flights and layovers).
*1 1/2 hour drive to in-laws house to retrieve Osa.  1 night there.
*4 1/2 hour drive back home on some snowy roads...Juniper gave up on me before we made it home.  1 more night in a hotel.
*1 1/2 hour drive on packed snow & ice, then...HOME!!!!!  3 nights there (so far).

Like I said.

Given the above, can I say something about my 14-month old?  She is a rock star.  I mean, yeah, she gave up on me that last day when we should've been able to drive all the way home.  And yeah, she doesn't like being in the car after dark and one evening had her grandpa, nanna and mama all owl-hooting (because she loves that) to keep her from crying on the last leg of that drive.  But all in all, she was a smiling, pointing, clapping, laughing little crowd-pleaser who even won the hearts of the most stiff, jet-set Washington bureaucrats.  (As one woman on our flight put it, "I LIKE that baby!")

::  (Okay, enough about travel.)  After a joyous reunion with Juniper's long-lost father the night before, here's how we started our first morning in DC...
Yep, there I am completely drenched, ready to tour the Capitol building.  The night before (our arrival in DC) was So warm! and that morning was So warm! that, even though the sky was a little gray, I didn't bother with a raincoat.  Well, approximately 3 minutes before entering the Capitol breezeway, a wind came up Capitol Hill, snapped my umbrella in half and was swiftly followed by a downpour.  My husband was carrying Juniper in the front pack and ran.  I was wearing knit pants (which lengthened by six inches with the ten pounds of water) and was tripping all over myself.  Nonetheless, we toured the Capitol building in good cheer.

Being the mother of a daughter I found myself searching for women in the Rotunda (sort of like, Where's Waldo?).  And aside from the baptism of Pocahontas, we found leaders of women's suffrage.  True to form, Juniper slept through it just as she would sleep through the White House the next morning and the Capitol Christmas tree lighting our last night.

I wrote that ^ last night.  Present moment interlude: that little cough we were nursing yesterday turned into Juniper's first-ever fever last night.  Re: 100% breastfeeding all night punctuated by cries of anguish.  This morning she laid upright in my arms and cried.  Now, she is a little more cheerful and playing with her pops.
^ Being our first fever, I'm reading in "The Baby Book" when to call the doctor.  I know, I know, first time parents.  
As I mentioned before, we had an additional "behind the scenes" tour.  

A repeated theme both my man and I found striking: the importance of agriculture to the Founding Fathers.  Over and over we saw depictions of flora and fauna endemic to North America.  It's easy to forget that during their time, North America was mostly a vast wilderness.  Even the Capitol itself was moved to the country (modern day DC) to avoid the corrupting influence of big-city business men.  Ironic to think about that now, when wilderness exists in islands and "farmer" in the last several decades has been reduced to something akin to "garbage man."  But in our nation's Capitol, corn and grapes and such are the foundations of support.  
Part of our "behind the scenes" tour was a visit to the House and Senate elfkin-like mini-metro that runs underground between the House and Senate office buildings and the Capitol building.  Had I not just experienced that downpour, I probably would have poked fun at this.    
While we were in the neighborhood, we took "the tunnel" over to the spectacular Library of Congress.  

So far, I don't remember any of this from my last visit to Washington, 25(!) years ago.  I don't expect Juniper to remember much either.  I, at least, was ten years old...not one.  

I was pretty enamored with the lavishness of the Library of Congress.  It reminded me of the great cathedrals of Europe, except this is all secular and done in the name of our Union.  Yes, you can't help but get all patriotic and proud of our great American experiment while in Washington.  It really helps that the current man in the White House put "We the people" back into We the People....

Of all things, our Tree group ooed and awed over this mosaic's toes.  I'm standing in front, but if you stood to either side, her toes always pointed towards you.  They moved.  We were fascinated by this.  Which I suppose means Wyomingites are easy to entertain.  

Late nights at trendy restaurants (with damned good food, I might one Oaxacan-inspired digs, my man ordered "grasshopper tacos" but alas, they were out of grasshoppers--hard to come by this time of year, I guess) often lead to Juniper's pops going to extra measures to keep her happy before the food arrived.    

A post-supper stroll through the neighborhood:
Okay, okay, bugs is crying again and ready for some mama's milk.  More later.    

No comments:

Post a Comment

What say you? I want to hear it!