Saturday, July 5, 2014

Adventures with Ivory: My Own Nation’s Capitol

It started as a trip to visit Mzzzz Jones (who’s no longer Mzzzzz Jones, but will stay so on here), and morphed into a giant adventure.

Mzzzz Jones is going to have a baby!  And the baby is due when Mzzzz Jones and I were going to be our 5 year law school reunion.  I clearly needed a new way to see her.  Add to that a sale on Amtrak, and a trip to DC was hatched.

me on the train (1) The Capitol Limited from Chicago to DC feels super short after so many California Zephyr trips, less than 24 hours.  It was a pleasant ride and I was easily able to navigate my way from DC’s main train station to a park near Mzzzz Jones work.

(—> me on the train)

Mzzzz Jones and her husband graciously let me stay with them an entire week.  Originally, I was just going to visit for the weekend, but as I mentioned, my trip morphed. 

Soon after planning the trip, I noticed American University was offering a number of IP courses for lawyers and law students from around the world.  There was one that particularly caught my eye and it was to be held the week I was going to leave DC.  I decided to go out on a limb and apply for the course.  I got in!  And my weekend trip became a week trip.

Mzzzz Jones and I had lots of fun.  We went to (catered!) happy hour at her aunts’ house, sampled delicious foods from many restaurants, accidentally wandered into an African street festival where a steel drum band was playing “Moves like Jagger,”  checked out a new church in Maryland where they sat us in the handicap seats cuz Mzzzz Jones is expecting, and watched 3 movies.  I finally saw Coming to America.  We also watched the remake of About Last Night with Kevin Hart at her place and went to a cute little theater to see Belle.  I really liked all of them and am glad I went to Africa before seeing Coming to America.  I was shocked to learn that the lead actress in Belle, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, is in one of my favorite movies, Lost in Austen.

Canadian paper (2) Mzzzz Jones also sent me off exploring on my own.  I went to the Newseum, which is huge and pretty neat.  The Pulitzer Prize Photo exhibit is intense and very emotionally draining.  I checked out a few of the Smithsonian Art Museums (because I needed to use their restrooms) and walked, like a dumb-butt, from nearly-at-the-Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial because I didn’t know how far it was.  Then I had to get my tushie back to Chinatown for dinner with Mzzzz Jones and her husband.  (<—Canadian paper example at the Newseum)

I missed the MLK memorial on my long trek because I didn’t realize it was far from the paved path.  WP_20140613_006But, thanks to a very nice gentleman I was able to see it before I left.  Mzzzz Jones and her husband threw a BBQ while I was there and lots of their friends and people from their wedding who I had met but didn’t really know came, including the best man.  I met up with Best Man my last night in town and we went exploring.  He took me to see both the MLK and FDR monuments.  It was so, so, so awesome to see them at night under a full moon with the warm summer air and a light breeze.

(—> Back of MLK monument and the moon)

The whole trip was absolutely delightful and one of the few times I wasn’t ready to go home by the time it was time to go home.  Mzzzz Jones and I spent a lot of time hanging out in law school and it was wonderful to get to hang out like that again.  I also loved DC.  I’ve been there before but never this long and in a manner where I’m getting around by myself.  I realized one day as I was walking down the street in the downtown area that I’ve spent more time in both the capitols of Zambia and Nigeria (Lusaka and Abuja, respectively) than I have in the capitol of the US.  That struck me as very crazy.  I hope I get to go back soon and spend some more time in DC.

me and Eleanor (4)

Me and Eleanor Roosevelt.  She makes me look so tiny!

Oh, and in case you were wondering – the class was excellent.

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