December 5th, 2011

New Tilley Hat

Thanksgiving '11 in DC

LJ's been down for a while, so I haven't posted a trip report. Herein is the short version. My public Facebook gallery 201123-27 Thanksgiving in DC has 171 images. Images posted here are from cavandal's camera.

Thanksgiving is our family holiday, and once again it was at my brother Joe's place in Washington DC. This trip was a bit different in that a) it was the first time most of my family has met Carole and b) my niece Antonia is now 4 -- "Four and three quarters!" as she defiantly proclaims -- so I can actually talk to her... between tantrums. No longer "Tua" (a diminutive from her baby talk attempt to say "Antonia"), she's daddy's "Pearl Girl".

The flight out was uneventful. Despite two of us traveling and checking luggage through, it was still an hour from my front door until we were past security into the airport proper. Not too bad for the day before Thanksgiving! The dynamics of two travelers are different at both ends, and it was worth taking the Supershuttle from the airport to the hotel once we were in DC. Not much more expensive than two Metro fares and no wear and tear on the back.

I haven't seen Antonia since last Thanksgiving. She greeted me with, "Uncle Dave, are you taller?" No, but I was thinner. Nice to have that confirmed.

(click on picture for larger picture)

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Antonia playing on the marble edging at the MLK Memorial.

Thanksgiving day was marvelous, as always. Patty, Joe's wife, is a terrific cook. Brother Dan and wife Joyce, Patty's sister Sandra (Sandy) and Antonia rounded out the table. A splendid repast in good company. Carole was quickly accepted into the family, and a rollicking time was had by all. We're really not a football family, so Joe kept us up to date on some of his climate change projects.

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At the MLK Memorial, mom took a picture of us at the base of the MLK statue at his Memorial. A popular place to have your picture taken.

While not immune to the lure of shopping, didn't indulge on the ill-named Black Friday. Instead, we went to the newly opened Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the Washington Mall. The only individual who was not a president so honored. A fitting tribute: A large statue: Slightly angry but mostly determined, holding a scroll. The statue is surrounded by a large plaza with quotes from his speeches, overlooking the Tidal Basin. Very nicely done.

Then we went to The Muppets movie. While Antonia (and other kids who I asked) liked the movie, it really wasn't for the young set: It's for those who were young in the Muppets heydey, late 70s to early 80s. Such as myself. If the Muppets took themselves seriously for even one iota, the whole thing would fall apart. But they don't, and everything worked. I laughed. I cried. I sang along to songs that don't use words for lyrics. If you grew up with the Muppets, you will like this movie. If you didn't, just relax and let it wash over you and you'll have a good time.

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Carole's picture of ducks in the Tidal Basin of Washington DC, near the MLK Memorial.

Saturday was our one touristy day. After some discussion, Dan and Joyce went off on their own to various Smithsonians while mom, Carole and I stayed together. Mom wanted Carole, half native-American, to guide her through the National Museum of the American Indian. (For some reason, I keep thinking of it as NAIM, the Native American Indian Museum, which explains some of the annotations and confusion in searches.) So we went, and had lunch at the cafeteria (four different mezo-American styles of food).

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Mom, Carole and I at the National Museum of the American Indian. Taken by a friendly passer-by with Carole's camera.

Mom wanted to see everything at the American Indian Museum, but I wanted to see the Warhol display at the Hirshhorn, curated by one of Patty's friends. As I say in the annotation to my FB pic, I'm glad I saw this, so I can poo-poo another Warhol. The Hirshhorn is a very nice place, close to the Guggenheim in curved spaces for non-standard exhibitions, with some interesting (if not always to my taste) statues and art.

We re-hooked up with mom. Thence to an Italian restaurant (where I had seafood, of course) to greet Adrianna, another of Patty's sisters, a brief stopover at Joe and Patty's, then back to the Marriott.

Sunday, neither Carole nor I were up to dragging our luggage into town after checkout, so we went to the Ol' Wazoo: The Washington Zoo. Saw pandas and cheetahs and such. You'll have to go to my FB for those pics.

As always, a great time. I've traveled with Carole to some of her events, but this was the first time she came to one of mine, and the farthest and longest trip for the two of us. Whee!