Author Topic: A quick jaunt to the National Mall - mini TR  (Read 7811 times)

Offline shwarmabob

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A quick jaunt to the National Mall - mini TR
« on: November 04, 2015, 05:37:59 PM »
“The story of the coat and a quick jaunt to the National Mall” - would be a better title

Happy folks who have a female spouse by your side – I have an advice for you: your wife comes home one day and inquires how you like her newly purchased winter coat. Naturally, before you would give your well-thought out opinion on this important subject matter you would love to find out how much she paid for this new addition to her wardrobe.
No, she won’t tell you. That is top secret for now. First you have to give your answer. So
if this happens to you and you actually don’t like the coat, you should start by: Oh, it is lovely but ….

This can be an excruciatingly long theatrical act but it works. It shows that you care more about her (coat) than whatever important matter you were engaged at the moment. Because her coat and her are one.

Yours truly did not follow this advice and dispensed his direct, rash and foolhardy judgment on the coat. And things went sour after that… because in a marital journey you can either be right or you can be happy.

Well, this time I was right… that darn coat had an ugly color.

So a couple of days later I thought it would be good to surprise Mrs. Shwarmabob (in a positive way). Then the sad news came about short range Avios reward flights becoming more expensive from February. I put the two together and decided that we should visit DC on a day trip. It would have been nice to go for longer but I couldn’t take more time off from work. Flying in the morning, coming home in the evening, using the metro, no car rental needed. I kept checking the weather forecast and picked a Tuesday that promised a sunny day in the 60s.

Sunday morning, I clandestinely reserved the tickets – one leg online and PUTPAC BA for the return. I struggled a bit before managing to add our AAdvantage numbers to our reservations. The Royal Jordanian website helped on this one but I also had to type in all of our passport info which was superfluous for this trip. This gave us Priority Access. There was no need for the luggage check-in privilege as we only had one small carry-on.

I also asked the Shwarmabob teens if they mind their parents being away for the evening. They thought Dad is crazy and they will be quite all right. This sounded extremely promising.

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: A quick jaunt to the National Mall - mini TR
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2015, 05:41:31 PM »
Love how you take a simple journey (although flying just to get a new coat!?) and make it really entertaining! Keep it coming!

Offline shwarmabob

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Re: A quick jaunt to the National Mall - mini TR
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2015, 05:43:05 PM »
Monday, I pack a small backpack, throw in a sweater and a couple of sandwiches and tell Mrs. Shwarmabob that we are going a trip and we have to get up early Tuesday. I think at some point she figured out that we are going to fly somewhere. It was probably the sandwich preparation that gave me away or she may have seen the screen as I am adding the GE or AAdvantage numbers.

Tuesday early morning the alarm wakes us up. Shower, brachos, tefillin, no time for coffee. I drive to La Guardia, park the car at 7AM at terminal C. Our flight is at 8AM. Unfortunately, the Centurion Lounge at LGA is at terminal B and I don’t want to risk missing the flight by going between the terminals. We end up buying coffee while having my Platinum is my wallet, shameful it is.

Most of travelers appear to be business commuters going to DC or Boston. The majority has TSA-Pre, there is a line at security but it moves fast. Many of them greet the TSA personal by name.

As we stand in the Priority Access line to board the plane, Senator Lieberman is a couple of people behind us. Is there a minyan on the flight? But no, this is not Monsey Trails.



We land at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) at 9:20AM. A pedestrian walkway connects the terminal directly to Washington Metro station. I lighten my wallet by $20 by purchasing two Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority SmarTrip cards. We are at the Navy Memorial at 9:40AM. We have our sandwich breakfast next to the statue of the Lone Sailor, than walk to the National Gallery of Art. We arrive a few minutes before they open the doors at 10AM.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2015, 05:54:31 PM by shwarmabob »

Offline shwarmabob

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Re: A quick jaunt to the National Mall - mini TR
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2015, 06:08:58 PM »
At 10:30AM we join a guided tour: “West Building Highlights: An Introduction to the Collection”. When the tour is over, we get two audio guides and check out various parts of the museum’s huge collection.

Farbrengen in the Low Countries:


Winter fun:


The rebellious young lady reading!


Still life for Cézanne. Kosher lunch for me:



Offline Sholom123

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Re: A quick jaunt to the National Mall - mini TR
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2015, 06:36:04 PM »
Awesome so far!

Offline yitrap

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Re: A quick jaunt to the National Mall - mini TR
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2015, 07:16:01 PM »
Loving it!

Offline Aaaron

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Re: A quick jaunt to the National Mall - mini TR
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2015, 07:39:16 PM »
I love flying in and out of DCA, especially at night. Great views.

Offline shwarmabob

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Re: A quick jaunt to the National Mall - mini TR
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2015, 08:25:00 PM »
the Lone Sailor that we had breakfast with (this is out of order)

Offline tzifanya54

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Re: A quick jaunt to the National Mall - mini TR
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2015, 08:55:20 PM »
Very entertaining.... Once Avios devalue, your gonna have just tell her you like the coat  ;)

Offline shwarmabob

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Re: A quick jaunt to the National Mall - mini TR
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2015, 09:34:27 PM »
After spending a couple of hours at the National Gallery, we walk around the National Mall. Well, everything is National here so I may just as well skip the adjective. The only thing local is the city's local government and if you ever thought that the Feds are not running things to your liking, then you should acquaint yourself with local DC politics. It will cheer you up! At some point Washington boasted to be "the worst city government in America”. That's quite a statement to make, the competition is fierce for the title. However, that was a while back and things supposedly improved. We didn't come here for the politics so as long as we don't get mugged, I don't give a hoot.

The weather is sunny and beautiful. The kids are not with us so we skip the Air and Space Museum, although I am inclined to go in. We walk across the Mall, peek inside the Smithsonian, check out a weird statue garden, and proceed to The Sackler and Freer Gallery of Art which is the National Museum of Asian Art.



This is where memories of our journey through Japan return. We spend the next couple of hours looking at every single Japanese painting, folding screen, woodblock-printed books, and lacquerware the museum has on display. There is a special exhibition of Tawaraya Sotatsu of the Rinpa school. However, what I was looking for, Hiroshige's woodblock prints are not on display. Apparently, the museum has a much larger collection than what's on display.

Waves at Matsushima by Sotatsu


5PM
As if we were the teenagers, we stop at the Washington Monument to take some selfies and send them to our teens. We receive a not very verbose thumps up sign as a response.

We walk around World War II Memorial, then to the Lincoln Memorial.


Offline shwarmabob

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Re: A quick jaunt to the National Mall - mini TR
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2015, 10:40:43 PM »
The sacrifices they made... we would not be here without them

"Uncommon valor was a common virtue." Admiral Chester Nimitz






Offline zow

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Re: A quick jaunt to the National Mall - mini TR
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2015, 10:41:52 PM »
This is a great mini-TR. Just the right amount of detail and photos. And pretty funny, too.

You didn't tell us yet about how you disclosed to Mrs. S. exactly where you were going.  And, in the end, did the trip make up for the comment?

(I'm sending you a PM, too)

Offline zow

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Re: A quick jaunt to the National Mall - mini TR
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2015, 10:45:08 PM »
It's after 5PM and you're in DC...is a visit to Char Bar coming?

Offline shwarmabob

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Re: A quick jaunt to the National Mall - mini TR
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2015, 11:00:52 PM »




We watch the sky and the reflecting pool change colors at dusk from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. 
I tell Mrs. Shwarmabob that if she was not with me I would have to quote the haiku of Kobayashi Issa who had to face the night without his bashert:

My grumbling wife -
if only she were here!
this moon tonight...

A lovely thing to see:
through the paper window's hole,
the Galaxy.

The first firefly...
But he got away and I...
Air in my fingers.

O snail
Climb Mount Fuji
But slowly, slowly.

Summer night -
even the stars
are whispering to each other.


Now, that's romance the way of the samurai!
;D

6:20PM
B”H I don't face the same fate as Issa, so after mincha with Old Abe Lincoln, we walk to the metro and take it to Foggy Bottom. We have diner at Char Bar.

We decide to experiment:

White Fish Ceviche with avocado and homemade tortilla chips $12
The experiment failed - pardon me but it was not to our taste - ain't gonna order this again


Char Bar Green
Grilled steak, Mixed Greens and Tortilla Strips with Honey-Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette $18


Country Style Chicken Fajita w Grilled Vegetables, Herb Brown Rice and Beans, Guacamole and Pico de Gallo $25


Coffee to keep my eyes open so I find our way home and to be able to read the cheque


Did they charge $7 for water? I don't remember any liquor - unfortunately

Offline shwarmabob

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Re: A quick jaunt to the National Mall - mini TR
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2015, 11:01:41 PM »
It's after 5PM and you're in DC...is a visit to Char Bar coming?
Some are gifted with prophecy

Offline zow

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Re: A quick jaunt to the National Mall - mini TR
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2015, 11:09:43 PM »
Some are gifted with prophecy
As Dan says, "I am not a prophet."  But, having been there, with my wife, I knew what your next move had to be!

Offline shwarmabob

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Re: A quick jaunt to the National Mall - mini TR
« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2015, 11:28:15 PM »
8PM
We walk around the neighborhood for half an hour. Mrs. Shwarmabob checks in with the kids to make sure things are OK and we still have a place to come home to. We take the metro and in 30 minutes we are going through security. The TSA-Pre lane is closed for some reason.

9PM we are waiting at the gate.

10PM we take off, the plane is packed unlike in the morning when it was half empty. We both fall asleep.

10:50PM we are approaching NYC.



11PM we walk off the plane at a “Third World Airport” named after Mayor La Guardia. We can't tell if they are demolishing the airport or fixing it, but B”H our car is still there. By midnight we are sound asleep at home which is in surprisingly good shape despite our temporary absence.

Offline zow

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Re: A quick jaunt to the National Mall - mini TR
« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2015, 11:34:02 PM »
8PM
We walk around the neighborhood for half an hour. Mrs. Shwarmabob checks in with the kids to make sure things are OK and we still have a place to come home to. We take the metro and in 30 minutes we are going through security. The TSA-Pre lane is closed for some reason.

9PM we are waiting at the gate.

10PM we take off, the plane is packed unlike in the morning when it was half empty. We both fall asleep.

10:50PM we are approaching NYC.



11PM we walk off the plane at a “Third World Airport” named after Mayor La Guardia. We can't tell if they are demolishing the airport or fixing it, but B”H our car is still there. By midnight we are sound asleep at home which is in surprisingly good shape despite our temporary absence.

Great TR. Sounds like you and Mrs. S had a terrific day.  Did you really quote poetry to her?  Very classy. If that doesn't make up for the coat comment, I don't know what does.

P.S.  I especially like your closing photo.  iPhone ?

Thanks for the TR. Very well done.

Offline yochiek93

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Re: A quick jaunt to the National Mall - mini TR
« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2015, 11:49:22 PM »
Amazing

Offline Emkay

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Re: A quick jaunt to the National Mall - mini TR
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2015, 03:21:32 AM »
I thought you were going to get a new coat. Is she still walking around with that ugly colored thing?