Well folks, by the time you read this I will hopefully be making my way towards our nation’s capital-- that would be Washington D.C., not Austin for all you Texans. Last year when I went to New York for auditions I got bumped from my flight back and was compensated with a free round trip ticket. I kept thinking I would have a reason to use it, but as the expiration date began to loom I decided I’d just book a weekend vacay to Washington!!
“Why D.C. in February?!?!",” you might ask yourself. Let me count the ways:
1. It’s a city full of free museums and monuments!!!! If you read my blog with any consistency then you are probably aware I’m a bit of an art geek so… it’ll be heaven.
2. However, freedom doesn’t come without a cost as Thomas Jefferson once said. Or maybe I’m thinking about Toby Keith? Spiderman? At any rate, our nation’s museum is a huge tourist draw so I chose February for three reasons, all of them equally selfish:
a. It’s not cherry blossom time!!! As beautiful as it may be, I don’ts have times for it or the crowds.
b. I’m taking a guess that the cold weather will also deter any big school trips from non-D.C-ers
c. Congress isn’t in session. I don’t know if that has anything to do with anything except fewer people at work?
3. None of my very close friends live there. Ergo… none of them can be upset I’m not going to see one and not the other.
4. If I had to make a list of favorite cities in the States, D.C. would be at the top top! And why not visit a favorite city?
I’m also counting this trip to Our Lady of the District of Columbia as my first time to go there as an “adult” (technically not true, but more on that later). I went several times in high school with my parents and once for a program and loved every. single. moment! One of the huge bonuses of going at the time was that our then U.S. Congressman, Jim Turner, also happened to be a family friend from Crockett and his wife, Ginny, remains eternally as the epitome of a consummate hostess. (Case and point… when a young Pleasant Baker was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she would always offer an emphatic “GINNY TURNER!!!!!!”)
On the steps of the White House!
The last time I was there was five years ago almost to the date (I know because it was Mardi Gras at the time) when Jennifer and I went up to Boston to audition for Boston University’s school of music. Unfortunately, there came up a big cloud of a blizzard and we were stranded for an extra day in Bean Town. Luckily for us we were crashing at our friend, Sarah’s, a BU student at the time who had gone to Baylor with us and didn’t have to worry about finding another hotel room.
THERE WAS NO WAY WE COULD HAVE KNOOOOWWWN!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here’s the “technical” part I mentioned earlier. The flight they were able to put us on later had a lay-over in D.C. and when departing from there to Dallas an announcement was made that we weren’t going to be able to take off due to malfunctioning blah blah blah lame excuse left on the runway for an hour. Because of all the previous weather related cancellations we wouldn’t be able to leave again until morning so I said to Jennifer:
Me: Hold on, let me call my congressman!!!
Jennifer: (Not knowing I know ‘em) Ha ha okay, RIGHT!! … … … Wait, seriously? I don’t think that’s exactly how “contacting your local representative” works. You can’t just call the Capitol switchboard and make a hotel reservation.
Me: No no, I got this.
Jennifer: I’m so confused right now.
So… Jim came and picked us up on his way home from work, Ginny had a fresh meal waiting, and they even took us down to all of the monuments to do some quick sightseeing, seeing as how Jennifer had never been to D.C. before.
It was a bit of a whirlwind of a trip, but memorable nonetheless. Now I can’t wait to go back with all the time to spare, the patience of an adult, and a much greater interest in art and history than ten years ago.
Artist: Michael John LaChiusa/ Album: First Lady Suite