Friday, January 16, 2009

Inauguration Countdown

I arrived in Washington at about 6 p.m. on Thursday. Snow was falling lightly. I had phoned in a prescription earlier to my pharmacist, only to realize I wouldn't have time to pick it up. Darn.

The train was packed. The plan was I would stop at BWI to wait for my friend's plane to arrive. But the only available train got me there two hours before. So I decided to just head straight to the hotel instead. I was hungry and tired. Sitting for two hours at the airport just did not sound like the best way to spend two hours. When she arrived, I was sitting at Union Station, waiting for the Red line to take me to the hotel.

The trip to Washington was uneventful, really. I found a seat, sat down. I brought my computer, of course, but didn't feel like writing on the train. I also brought a host of DVDs with me and didn't want to watch them, either. Whomever was sitting in those seats before me left a pretty big mess...water bottles left in the seat compartment on the back of the chair where magazines should be. I've had this thing about public trash, a compulsion you might say. I was thoroughly grossed out, but decided to try to ignore it and focus on removing the lint from my wool coat.

Union Station was busy as it always is. I arr ivied around rush hour, so it was full of commuters. I called the hotel ahead of time to find out the Metro train to catch to get me to the hotel. Bought my metro ticket with the help of a busy commuter I let go ahead of me in line. Then I headed off to Woodley Park station to wait for the hotel shuttle.

Hotels should take note. If you have a shuttle, you should at least tell your guests what to look for when they're taking it. An unmarked black van was parked at the curb when I got there. So was a white one and a blue one. Neither of them had the name of my hotel on them. Since all three were down a flight of stairs and I had lots of luggage, I was not too keen on venturing down, only to find none of them were looking for me. So I stood in front of the station, as I was directed by the hotel, looking like a damsel in need of rescue by a hotel van.

Needless to say when I called back 20 minutes later, the hotel said the van had come and gone without seeing me there. And sure enough the van I was looking for was the black unmarked van I had seen earlier. I got to the hotel, had dinner and went back to my room.

I have to mention that when I checked in, I was so hungry and tired that I checked in, got my key, went up to my room and came back looking for the restaurant. It was only then that I realized there was a life-sized standee of Barack in the lobby. Life-sized! And standing right by where I checked in.

I walked over to the attendant to ask if it had been there when I checked in. He assured me that it was. Aye Carumba...

Dinner was great. Funny how a hamburger and onion rings hits the spot. After coming back to the room, my friend finally arrived...hungry and tired. Back to the restaurant again.

Tomorrow, I'll sit down and figure out what we're going to do in the days leading up to the inauguration. Another friend is picking up the tickets on Monday. Sounds to me like we're as far away from the Capitol Hill steps as you could get.

Bought an inaugural sweat shirt and hat. Now I need inaugural mittens, LOL.

More later...

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