Monday, May 14, 2012

May 9th - Wednesday in Washington

The weather forecast called for rain today, boy were they wrong. It was hot and muggy.

Peggy is a quilter so whenever you travel with her, you must expect to go shopping for material. It has its perks though – I have purses, bags, airline carry-ons, book covers, cushion covers, a cover/holder for my Kobo, table runners, placemats and wall hangings. Many of these are from material that I picked out around the world. Several are with a rooster motif but I also have the New York subway system cushion and special designer material from Paris made into an Eiffel Tower design cushion. This all brings us to our trip to Maryland on the Metro to go to a quilt shop.

Washington Metro is based on the time of day you travel and how far. At the other end of your trip the machine scans your ticket to make sure you have enough money on it and if it is fully used up captures it and doesn’t give it back. I guess that stops littering. We got used to peak fare, normal fare and reduced fare (9:00 until 3:00) and could navigate the machines after the ticket man showed us how. The buses take exact fare and have dollar bill sucking machines.

The Metro Central Station is two blocks from the hotel. Off we went to White Flint Station to find Rockville, Maryland and G Street Fabrics. The driver calls out the stops and tells you what side the doors open on. That is a good thing as the interior stations are uplit (indirect lighting) so when the train pulls in it is like going into a dark room; you have to let your eyes adjust. Some of the drivers talk low or are garbled but the man on the way to White Flint was great. He sounded happy to be alive and his voice was sing-song and it made you perk up every time he said “This is the Red Line train to Shady Grove! The next station is Dupont Circle. The doors will open on the right!” I almost expected him to say “Have a nice day.”

We got off the train and then had to figure out where we were going. We asked a lady for directions and about 50 feet later we found a map. It was a good 10-15 minute walk but we found the place. It was a little disappointing as they didn’t have as much quilting fabric as the website intimated and I couldn’t find any roosters or anything definitive of Washington. Peggy had as little luck but she bought a little material and several spools of Egyptian cotton thread which is hard to find, including some variegated thread for some of her applique quilting.

By this time it was getting quite hot especially since we brought rain shells and umbrellas in case it rained. By the time we headed back to Washington it was time for lunch and a beer. We had planned on staying near the hotel in the evening as there are several restaurants around there, so we decided to have lunch downtown at President Obama’s or is that O’Bama’s favorite Irish Pub; the Dubliner. It is just a few blocks from Capitol Hill (there isn’t really a hill just a bit of a rise). So back we got on the Metro to Union Station and a block over to have a corned beef sandwich on the Dubliner patio and have another Smithwicks (don’t pronounce the “w”).

After lunch we walked up to Capitol Hill. We took a lot of pictures; the place wasn’t crowded except for the suits who had followed us from the Dubliner. Then we went down stairs to see about going inside. No water bottles allowed. I went in first to use the facilities and get a look at whether we should abandon the water and Peggy stayed outside. The place was swarming with at least 500 school kids. I checked out the bottom floor from the balcony and voted to skip this one for now. I don’t know any members of Congress or the Senate that I would want to run into especially with the crowd of kids in there. Peggy took her camera in and got some pictures; we rested up for a while and headed back up the elevator. Got my picture taken with the Capitol Hill Gang (see below) and started walking home. We realized how tired we were and grabbed a cab back to the hotel. Love the hotel it is right in the middle of everything.

After taking a break and catching up on e-mail etc. we walked up to Capital City Brewery for dinner. That is when it finally decided to rain. Luckily we were close to the restaurant and had the trusty umbrellas. It was a Sports Bar and rather noisy but the food was good and we were in the far corner so it kept down to a dull roar. We left before the Hockey game started as I’m sure the noise level would have risen in the sea of red shirts from the Washington Caps. The rain had stopped by the time dinner was over. I had a quiet night reading my Kobo after I yelled at the school kids in the hallway to keep the noise level down.

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