03 August 2006
So, my sister, Sia, came to see me last week. For her graduation from high school, I flew her out. This was her first solo flight, so it was quite the adventure. The flight was delayed for 3 hours, and when it finally came in, I was at the wrong terminal*!! Well done. We had such an absolute blast together. I can’t even tell you how much fun it was to have her here! We crammed as much as we could into the time we had. She got in after 1 Saturday morning, and we didn’t get to bed until after 3, but we were up and getting ready before 8. Saturday, we went driving around the National Mall, and finally settled on a parking spot near the Capital building. We got tickets for a tour*, and then moved on. We went into the Botanical Garden*, and Sia showed me all kinds of plants that she used to know in the jungle of Africa. It was really neat. It’s different doing that kind of thing with someone from another world. Then we went to the Native American museum* and had lunch. The cafeteria there (Thanks for the tip, Aunt Jill!!) has all different varieties of American Indian food. Most of the meat is buffalo and fish varieties. We had all kinds of wonderful things, and decided that our mutual favorite was the flat bread. Mmmmmm. After lunch, we watched a movie in the museum that shows different American Indians in their lives today. Then, we bee-lined it back over to the Capital building for our tour. After the tour, we were going to go to Eastern Market, but by the time we found it (there should be signs, seriously.) they were closing down for the day. So we headed home, by way of the grocery store and Blockbuster, and had some sandwiches and watched a couple of movies. Sunday, with just a few hours of sleep under our belts, we got up in time to go to the early service (7:45a.m.) at my church. Sadly, our Commander-In-Chief and First Lady were not in attendance. We went home to change and then headed for Eastern Market. I think we made a serious dent. There’s only one section that we didn’t see, and we didn’t realize we’d missed it until we were headed to the zoo*. We did the zoo thing (yes, we saw the baby panda—he was up in a tree and looked really uncomfortable. He was napping strung out between 2 little branches, looking like a fat, fuzzy hammock), and then headed out for home. OK—here’s the fun thing: the zoo is free. Parking at the zoo is $4/hour. We paid 12 bucks for PARKING!!! Grrrr. I went to work Monday morning, and left Sia catching up on her beauty rest. After noon, I came home and we set out again, first to get the car inspected (2 parking tickets* in one day were plenty), then to Chinatown for lunch, then back over to the National Mall to stake out our place on the lawn for the movie. There is something called “Screen on the Green”* that happens on Monday nights during the summer. It was a blast! It wasn’t too insanely hot, and we got a great spot. We could see the car (maybe a 10-second walk from it) from our blanket, and the movie was Band Wagon with Fred Astaire. After the movie, we drove around the Mall again so that Sia could see the monuments lit up at night. Tuesday, I went to work for the morning, and then picked up Sia for more tourism. We had some lunch (KFC) and then went to Arlington National Cemetery (changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknowns, Kennedy gravesite, etc.) where parking was much more reasonable than it was at the zoo. Then we went over to the Mall and walked amongst the monuments and souvenir stands. We hit Lincoln, Vietnam, WWII, Washington, the reflecting pool, and a few softball league games. We headed back to Arlington in time to pick up Darla for dinner, and ate at Bangkok 54*. We visited with Darla for a bit longer, then headed back to my place to get ready for bed. Sia’s flight left early Wednesday morning. All-in-all, it was a lot of fun. We had some really interesting and meaningful conversations, and saw lots of new thing, (Asterisks indicate things I’d never done.) and we have a whole list of things to do when she comes back, again!