Baron Dave Romm (barondave) wrote,
Baron Dave Romm

Best Birthday Present Ever: Porpoising To Antarctica Part I

It's been more than a week and I'm not nearly through editing the pictures, but I might as well start here on LJ. I'm putting most of this behind a cut ID because the pictures make the file large. Fair warning.

minnehaha K only wanted to see 20 pictures from the Antarctica trip. There are 16 in this section, all taken in Washington DC before the trip South began. Fair warning there too, K.

Note to future readers: The pictures are temporary files on my system, and will likely look different than when I posted them. Go to for info on the trip report (which isn't even remotely started).

This is a first draft. No wait... up not up to a first draft yet. Call it draft 0.4.

Thank you, and happy reading.

"So, you're 50 years old," says my mom. "What do you want for your big birthday?"
"I've always wanted to go to the Antarctic," I say offhandedly.

The above conversation, an amalgam of many, is pretty much where we started. My jet-setting mom had just turned 80 and was a Friend For Life with Lindblad Expeditions. One of their Expeditions is to Antarctica. So mom arranged for us to go on the expedition that began the day after Thanksgiving. It never seemed real until just a few weeks before the trip, when the gear arrived and I needed to be checked out by a doctor so they'd let me go to places that didn't have a lot of medical personnel. I didn't talk about it much, because I only half believed that it would happen. The day came.

First stop: Thanksgiving in Washington DC at brother Joe and sister-in-law Patty's house near Washington Zoo.

Tues 11/22 Washington DC: Arrive 9:30pm at Kalamara Guest House by taxi from National. Too late to go to Joe and Patty's. Fellow guest Peter Allen and nephew were already staying over and let me in. Called the Lebanese place, which was closing. Peter directed me to a Chinese place that delivered; good food, better than similar Mpls places though more expensive. Peter promised to mail (doesn't have e-mail) South Pole postmark he got in 1959. Didn't see him again.

Kalamara Guest HouseKalamara Guest House
My RoomThe front of the B&B

In DC, Wed 11/23: Joined Joe at his house as people gathered. Saw Zan, a friend from Middletown I hadn't seen for decades, and met husband Harry. We decided to go into DC together. First stop: The Holocaust Museum, my first visit. Even though I knew the story and had seen many of the pictures and images before, it was moving and a bit disconcerting. It could happen again, and all too easily.

Holocaust MuseumHolocaust Museum
The Foyer of the Holocaust MuseumIn The Holocaust Museum

Zan and Harry and I were going through the museum at different speeds. We lost each other. I thought they were ahead of me, but they were way behind. I waited for them, and they waited for me, but not at the same time. We lost each other. I went to the Mall, tried to get up into the Washington Monument, but all the tickets were taken for the day. So I went to the American History Museum and the National History Museum.

Washington Monument911 Flag
The Washington Monument911 Flag

Hope DiamondPatty
The Hope DiamondPatty

Thanksgiving Day started with Joe and me going shopping. I'd never really done that in DC before; remarkable how similar upscale markets are in Washington and San Francisco. Joe drove around in his Prius. He's very into renewable energy, and walks the walk. Before the meal began, Sam (another childhood friend from Middletown) is into Gilbert and Sullivan among other things; and Zan is a superb pianist. They gave a Shubert concert. A non-traditional way to start a non-traditional Vacation.

Brother JoeMother Ethel


I finally met Charles, who we were supposed to get together with after the Holocaust Museum but missed each other. He joined us for Thanksgiving Dinner. As always, Patty is a terrific cook and hostess, and the meal was excellent.

Zan and HarryCharles
Zan and HarryCharles

My brother Dan and sister-in-law Joyce used to live in Gulfport MS, and are still a bit rattled from the upheaval after Katrina. He is a doctor and very much in demand. He's still working in the VA hospital in Biloxi, but is looking for other VA job. Nephew Jake is in the hospital and now in a special school. I'll make him a copy of the good pictures

JoyceThanksgiving Dinner

Back at the hotel, I took the time to mail a post card to Michael and Marian's day-care, and Hope in Toronto, whose e-mail came too late for a printed label but I read my mail from Joe's house and got her address. Mom, of course, was in fine fettle. Still writing her book on management, and editing others.

Friday 11/25. Have to leave early so set the hotel clock's alarm to 6 am. But the aarm didn't ring. Fortunately, I woke up anyway 6:15, made it to Joe's house, two blocks away, by 6:30 to take a taxi with mom. I was in DC for about two and a half days, including time spent at airports and in taxis.

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.