To the Nation’s Capital!

1 November 2010

So even four months after I quit my job at the National Weather Service, I was flown to Washington DC for an award I received while working there. I found out about a month after I quit that I was the recipient of the NOAA Administrators Award, the highest honour you can receive while working for NOAA.  In three short years of working there (including my internship for the first two) I was able to receive an award only a few hundred will ever.

So on Wednesday morning I headed for the airport with Erin (as they were paying for a guest to attend with me) and flew to Washington DC. We spent Wednesday night at Dupont Circle at an Indian restaurant with my fellow younger co-worker catching up, before getting to bed at a reasonable hour. We were staying at the The Mayflower hotel, most well known for hosting the Inaugural Ball every four years. While not a modern Marriott, it was very nice and classy.  That night our wall vibrated and squeaked some, and the next day we asked if there was any possibility of moving rooms.  Instead of just moving us, the front desk man upgraded us to a junior suite for the next three nights, it was amazing!

Thursday was my only day I had to actually officially be anywhere. I spend the morning talking with the old co-workers over breakfast before accepting my plaque on stage.  We then had a quick luncheon where we talked with the heads of the agency and socialized with others. I also took the time to head up into the offices to see some of my co-workers that had moved to the DC area and say hi to them. We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around the mall and seeing a few museums before they closed. Afterwards, we headed to Erin’s favourite restaurant, Dubliners, near Union Station for some Guinness (and Magners) and fish and chips.

Friday we spend getting as many museums done as possible because of the rally on Saturday.  However, the first stop was the most amazing ever. We got a tour of the White House that morning! And to make it even better, while we were there we got to watch President Obama wave to us before boarding Marine One to head off to a rally in Maryland. I felt so luck to have the chance to get a tour of the White House let alone see the President of the United States while there!  We then ended up at the Air and Space, The National Gallery, the Capitol, National Archives and Library of Congress. That was also the day my ankle decided it no longer liked my body and I began limping my way around DC. We then headed to one of Obama’s favourite restaurants near our hotel Georgia Brown’s and it was amazing! Afterwards we went for the typical night wander around DC, hitting the Washington Monument (and watching Marine One land) and the Lincoln Memorial.

On Saturday we headed to the mall with 250,000 others to the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.  It was chaos and we spent a good hour just trying to find a spot somewhere close where we could somewhat hear. After listening to some of it, and catching glimpses through the trees, we decided to get a jump start on the crowd and headed to the Holocaust Museum. A bit of a change. Afterwards we made our way through the crowds and attempt to go to one of my favourite restaurants, The Capital City Brewing Company, but with the crowds the wait was over two hours. We instead fought our way onto the Metro system and went to a African restaurant near Dupont Circle. It was amazing, made more amazing by the $2.85 endless ice cream on their menu. That night we decided to make the hike (on my bad ankle) all the way up to Adams Morgan to see the chaos of ‘Halloween’ night and a bar, Tryst. It was insane and Erin and I counted a total of ONE girl out of thousands where they were not a complete tramp.

Finally Sunday we headed over to Georgetown for a bit of shopping and relaxing. We hit up H&M and an amazing cupcake shop, Baked and Wired. Afterwards we rented bikes and biked all the way down Pennsylvania Ave to the Mall for a bit of a change and visited one last museum. Then it was off to the airport for the flight back to Denver.

It was my longest trip since I went to the UK and it was much needed. Saw so many things and had so much fun! Now only five days back in Denver before I am headed off to SLC to watch the Utes play TCU on Saturday for the game of the century!

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