Monday, November 1, 2010

A quick visit to our nation's capitol, day 1

Last Friday, S and I and our friends M and J took our kids out of school and drove 4.5 hours north to the Smithsonian's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located next to Dulles airport and complements the Air and Space Museum on the D.C. Mall. It houses the Enterprise space shuttle and the Enola Gay, among other icons of national and international air and space history.

M had seen a lot of airplanes recently, having just returned from a business trip to Liberia that involved an unplanned day-long stop-over in Newfoundland due to a smoking first-class seat, and a runway diversion in Belgium to deboard a disruptive shouting passenger; the trip was capped with a drunk Liberian police officer who set up a roadblock somewhere between the airport and Monrovia at 4am in order to coerce bribes from drivers.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, J had needed to make a bajillion party favors for kids at her neighborhood's Halloween shindig, where the grownups were unveiling "The Legend of the Golden Hairy Toe"; so she made plaster necklace charms cast from her very own feet. How's that for thinking on your toes?

Anyway, the airplanes 'n' stuff at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center were pretty neat, but for me, the greatest thrill was showing my inner acrophobe who's boss by walking the entire upper catwalk All By Myself. (OK, so my inner acrophobe and I walked it together). I regret to report that no one else was particularly impressed by this accomplishment, but it's a far cry from where I was pre-Germany. (I don't want to boast here, but I've also been over the suspension bridge at Eno River State Park not once, not twice, not thrice, but four times this fall--a task that was previously so nerve-wracking that I'd avoided the Few's Ford branch of the park for a whopping five years.)

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