Baltimore, DC, SF

Ah, home again.

To sleep 24 hours with some random flu I got on the airplane! To get my mind off of physical discomforture, thought I’d wrap up with some notes regarding the East Coast trip.

Around the middle of last week the heat finally lowered a few degrees. I got to see a series of intense thunderstorms. The idea of walking around while it’s raining is something I try to avoid, but I guess when the temperature is still in the 80s there’s not a huge risk of getting a cold. The rest of the time in Baltimore was spent walking the dog around a nearby park. Mosquitos were in full season, and I got bit quite a bit, which is normal except I was reading a history on the yellow fever An American Fever. Also picked up this book for the airplane, and it had me engrossed the entire visit. It also had my 20 month nephew engrossed, and I can’t explain that: Bill Clinton: My Life (part 1). Maybe his big head on the cover reminded Johnnie of his toddler chew books about Faces? Hmmm.

Phenomenons about the East Coast: sleeping with only a sheet, with a fan on near your head. Something about that just doesn’t seem safe. I really like wearing jeans and sweaters, and there’s just no place for them in the summer. California has such temperate weather you never really have to file away your winer clothes and bring out the summer clothes. Makes the fashion industries’ effort to market “summer” clothes in SF a little silly.

I was really excited to hit DC and we managed to do it after a lot of motivational boostering. In the past I’ve gone solo, then with my sister (who was 8 mos pregnant) and this time, we tried to bring the whole gang, and a double-jog stroller. Ended up working- all the museums allow strollers and no one gave us a hard time about having the ultra-yuppie hyper powered one. We even got in a non-Smithsonian museum with one!

I hadn’t visited DC since 9-11, I guess, so I was a little disappointed in the security measures, which closed off the reading rooms @ the library of congress. It’s hte American version of England’s British Museum, in my interpretation. There wa s good Walt Whitman exhibit but I didn’t have time to read the entire exhibit, just passed through. For some reason his correspondence with Oscar Wilde really sticks out in my mind from that exhibit.

The mall and the museums were ganged with kids and crowds- note that visiting on a summer weekend is a bad idea. We thoguht maybe with it being August-ish and Congress not being in session it might have been better, but combined with the heat, the crowds are no fun. Brown vs. Board of Education’s entrace was right next to the National History entrance! Argh. Also saw- the Americas at the Library of Congress, a collection of old maps from a signle collector, that was pretty intense. Also, the Nat’l History museum had a history of America through its transportation. Kind of fun visually for the kids but lacking content for the adults. I was glad to see that From Fields to Factory is still there- that really is the best exhibit I’ve ever seen. Library of Congress has a Guttenberg bible that is one of 3 perfect vellums. More on Library of Congress.

We found an amazing restaurant that was kid & adult friendly- and right next to the White House. Old Emmit’s Grill (referred from the Sofitel Concierge- thanks!). Can’t find it on the web, weird. Oh well.

We hit the national history museum, and the exhibit on the brown vs. board of education was our first stop. I had really wanted to see it as I’d never really understood. The fact that there were multiple cases across the states regarding the problem with segregated education was new to me.

After DC, went back to Balmer then woke up early (and on East Coast time no less!) then off to Denver, then to SF. The landing gate was the same one I used to use when commuting for all those years, so I went into autopilot and got in a cab. The cabbie had to stop and close his trunk, and then I realized I had never picked up my bag from the carousel! Ha. Went back and got it. Hailed a new cab. Turns out the new cabbie lives quite close to me so we chatted for a while, I ended up hearing his entire love story with this woman, who left him for a younger man that she lent money to, then he ran off on her and went back to the cabbie.