This is in no way shape or form a political post, nor is it about Batman or Wonder Woman…it is a love letter to a place I adore.
We began using DC as our go to vacation spot when our kids were little. Inexpensive, drivable, culture, lots of walking, history, science…and an Embassy Suites with a pool and 4 o’clock cocktails and munchies. Score. The joy of a weekend with a king size bed, kids on a pull out couch, two tvs, a different restaurant each night, food choices from all over the world…with the bonus of meeting family and friends from the area…swoon.
Toddler Jacob sitting before the waterfall of inscriptions at the FDR Memorial…quote after quote touching our hearts as he asked us to read another, read another. Olivia following a map to finally reach Bert and Ernie…who had clearly been awaiting her arrival. The Women’s March and Climate March…days of connection, compassion, and love (that is as political as I am getting and I hope beyond hope it is not too political for you). The museum exhibition of crime scenes, all made as little doll house displays, used by forensic scientists as teaching tools. Portrait after portrait of leaders…those we feel lead us well, and those we think failed us, hanging right next to each other…for eternity.
Spaceships hanging with the Spirit of ’76, living together with the constant smell of french fries from the cafeteria. The Holocaust Museum, Daniel’s Story, a gentle way to teach a horrific subject. Olivia so overwhelmed she napped on a couch in a lobby between floors. Too short to see the really graphic images, she still felt the evil.
Renting bikes to experience cherry blossoms…returning bikes because there were so many people there to see the cherry blossoms. The glory of the pink carpet of petals. Olivia taking a photograph…of someone painting a picture…of someone painting a picture…pictures within pictures, a never ending loop.
Feeling the power of positive leadership and respect…monuments blanket the horizon. Name after name…touch them…watching men find their fallen friends, tears, gifts, a prayer and a goodbye. Awe for the young woman who understood that a memorial for those lost…should be about every single one of them, not a chosen few. A place for families to be with their loved ones, a place to reflect and note the volume of humans lost. Memorials. Walking through the path towards the unfinished marble…white and so very tall, reaching the sky, so very blue. Around the front MLK Jr is emerging from the stone pillow…defiant yet so tender.
Together time…mini vacations, 4th of July, weekend breaks from college, a vacation instead of a Sweet Sixteen…family. One year ago today…our last trip to DC, our last vacation, just the two of us. Museum after museum. Bourbon bar. Lovely meals. We had no clue what was ahead, no understanding of masks, no appreciation for holding hands while we ate a meal in a restaurant. No appreciation of the freedom we had…to travel, to see family, to explore our favorite places…to just be us.
Wishing one of my very favorite places strength and peace.