Carl in DC

Carl came to DC last week­end.  He arrived here on Wednes­day from Munich and left for KC on Sun­day.  It was a whirl­wind week­end, but it was so good just to see him again.  Here’s a run­down of what we did:

Wednes­day: I met him at my house after work.  We went out for din­ner and walked around Arling­ton.  It was­n’t very excit­ing, but it was very nice.


  • Carl tried to meet me at one of the Sen­ate build­ings, but alas, the markup was can­celled, and so…
  • We had lunch togeth­er (he found my office!), and then I went back to work and he got very lost and end­ed up at the Library of Con­gress, which he lat­er described as one of the holi­est places he’s been.
  • We thought about walk­ing through the Sculp­ture Gar­den, hes­i­tat­ed a minute too long, and got com­plete­ly drenched in the down­pour that sud­den­ly hap­pened.  DRENCHED.  I was wring­ing out my skirt all the way home.  We seri­ous­ly looked like we had jumped in a foun­tain ful­ly clothed.
  • After dry­ing off and chang­ing, we went back into the Dis­trict to meet up with Car­l’s friend Jen­ny for din­ner at Old Ebbitt.  They had­n’t seen each oth­er for a while, so that was fun.


  • We meant to get up ear­ly, but no dice.  We final­ly left my house around 11, I think.  As a note, we rode the metro twice on Fri­day — once at 11am and once at 8:30pm (okay, that was sort of twice, because we got off at one stop look­ing for some­thing that was­n’t there, but still) — so keep that in mind.
  • First, the Nation­al Botan­ic Gar­den.  I had for­got­ten that Carl is an afi­ciona­do of plants.  He was very excit­ed about all those plants.  Very excit­ed.  Seri­ous­ly.
  • Sec­ond, a friend of mine gave us a tour of the Capi­tol.  We even got to go onto the House floor because it was­n’t in ses­sion.  The tour was great, and the Capi­tol is just a very impres­sive build­ing.
  • Third, lunch at the Nation­al Muse­um of the Amer­i­can Indi­an.  Mmm.
  • Fourth, a stroll through the Sculp­ture Gar­den.  I showed him the trip­py house sculp­ture and we rumi­nat­ed over the horse sculp­ture that appears every­where in DC.  It is so odd.
  • Fifth, the Nation­al Archives.  We saw the big doc­u­ments, of course — the Dec­la­ra­tion of Inde­pen­dence, the Con­sti­tu­tion, and the Bill of Rights (and a por­tion of a draft of Mar­bury v. Madi­son, which is excit­ing for me) — and then we went through the oth­er exhibits as well.  There was a pub­lic doc­u­ments exhib­it that includ­ed groups of records on var­i­ous things includ­ing the Nurem­berg Tri­bunal, UFOs, and Water­gate.  It was a great exhib­it, and there was also a part that had immi­gra­tion infor­ma­tion and fam­i­ly gene­ol­o­gy things.  Anoth­er exhib­it was of polit­i­cal car­toons, called “Run­ning for Office.”  That was Car­l’s favorite part, I believe.  The satire and wit that can come through car­toons is quite amaz­ing.
  • Sixth, we laid in the grass for a few min­utes because it was so darn hot.
  • Sev­enth, we did the mon­u­ment walk.  The Mall is decep­tive­ly long.  I tried to warn Carl, but it’s some­thing you just have to expe­ri­ence.  It’s loooong.  At the Lin­coln Memo­r­i­al, a man asked a guard if there was a metro sta­tion close by (ha) because his wife was exhaust­ed after the walk was much longer than she expect­ed.  Any­way, we start­ed with the Wash­ing­ton Mon­u­ment, then the World War II Memo­r­i­al, then Viet­nam, Lin­coln, Korea, FDR, George Mason, and Jef­fer­son.  At FDR, a bunch of high school­ers were run­ning around, which was ter­ri­bly annoy­ing.  We left the memo­r­i­al just before they did, and we man­aged to get far enough ahead to see the George Mason Memo­r­i­al and then get to Jef­fer­son (very very quick­ly) before they did.  It was awe­some.  And I just love the mon­u­ments.  I real­ly think FDR is my favorite one, but Lin­coln is just so clas­sic.
  • Eighth, we went to Hell­boy at a movie the­atre near my place.  It was quite enjoy­able.
  • And final­ly, we col­lapsed, because it was a seri­ous­ly packed day.


  • We start­ed even lat­er than on Fri­day, arriv­ing at the Spy Muse­um around 1.  We got tick­ets for 3pm and went to Clyde’s for brunch.  Chi­na­town is a pleas­ant place to walk around, and we took the scenic route (delib­er­ate­ly) while I talked up the Nation­al Por­trait Gallery/Smithsonian Amer­i­can Art Muse­um (which is cur­rent­ly hous­ing an Aaron Dou­glas exhib­it put togeth­er by the Spencer at KU), but he just would­n’t get excit­ed about muse­ums… except spy muse­ums, of course.
  • The Spy Muse­um was quite inter­est­ing.  My favorite part was this three-seg­ment video on dou­ble agents, two of whom were high-lev­el US gov­ern­ment offi­cials.  There was also a room on spy­ing in Berlin, which was great, but I was sur­prised it did­n’t men­tion Teufels­berg.  Naja.  I think Carl was most fas­ci­nat­ed by the beau­ti­ful women who were spies and got away with it.  I’m not sure if he liked those sto­ries because they were beau­ti­ful or because they got away with spy­ing.
  • After that, we went to the Old Post Office Pavil­lion.  We took the ele­va­tor up to the tow­er, which has a great view of DC.
  • And then we went to a play.  It was a one-man play about the his­to­ry of the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty.  He talked a lot about the fear and the pan­ic that the gov­ern­ment and busi­ness­es that pan­der to the gov­ern­ment require.  It was thought-pro­vok­ing and real­ly real­ly fun­ny.  Jen­ny and her boyfriend joined us, so that was fun.
  • We went out for a drink at a bar near­by, which was just a nice end­ing to the week­end.

I’m done writ­ing for now.  Maybe I’ll write more tomor­row.  Oh, but I think DHS is screen­ing my phone calls.  I’ve been try­ing to con­tact one of the press peo­ple there for a few days, and at first, they answered when I called, but no one answered today.  I told Maria, the oth­er intern, that I think the gov­ern­ment must have some secret fed­er­al hol­i­day.

Three more weeks in DC!  I’ll be sad to leave the Dis­trict, but I do kind of want to be home… in my own space… with my cats.  🙂