Tag Archives: #travel

Solo in D.C.

Recently, I had the good fortune of visiting one of my favorite cities, Washington, D.C. I tagged along with Hubs, who had to be there for several days for work.

Whilst Hubs was occupied with giving presentations, attending meetings, and working his IT magic to serve his agency’s mission of saving American lives from weather calamities, I took the opportunity to explore the D.C. area solo despite my anxiety about getting lost in the city or getting mugged or kidnapped.

I was inspired to embark on sightseeing in D.C. solo in part through reading Caitlin Kelly’s blog, Broadside.  Caitlin is far more worldly than I, to say the least.  She inspired me to get out into D.C. all by my lonesome, instead of staying in the safety of our hotel room in Silver Spring, MD, where I would no doubt be reading, writing, taking a dip or two in the pool, and watching movies on cable. All things I can do at home. I figured, if she could travel solo outside the U.S., I could certainly manage a couple of days on my own in D.C. And…YOLO, right?

I, of course, took a number of pictures on my D.C. adventure. So here’s my little “show and tell” of my time spent in our nation’s capital:

This is a picture of a picture in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. I happened upon it in the Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice exhibit. It appears this lovely sea otter is praying. Or perhaps simply meditating?  Either way, this picture speaks to me spiritually. It’s very Zen, don’t you think?

 

 

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This one is from the American Democracy exhibit found in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. As a proud feminist and firm believer that women should play a much larger role in American politics, I couldn’t not share this picture.

 

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Let’s please put a woman in the white house in my lifetime mkay?

 

This is the first regal looking building I laid my eyes on after stepping off the metro. When I realized what it was, I wished with all my heart that I had a dozen eggs on hand.

 

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Trump International Hotel

Anyone recognize this staircase I’m about to climb? I was told on good authority (our friend John with whom we were dining in Georgetown that evening) that this was the staircase from which the priest was thrown at the end of the movie “The Exorcist”. It’s safe to say that I was more than happy to be climbing up it as opposed to down.

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My backside as I approached the famous staircase

This picture was taken from my perch at a nearby table in Martin’s Tavern. It has a rich history and is known to be the oldest dining establishment in the D.C. area. JFK proposed to Jackie here. The host, Mike, mingles around the tables of diners telling tales of the place. Dining here was indeed one of the highlights of our trip.

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Martin’s Tavern, Georgetown. Standing is Mike, the host with the most

This one was taken as I, covered in sweat due to the ridiculous heat and high humidity (not to mention having just reached 11,000 steps on my fitbit by 3 p.m.), leaned against a cement block and delighted in watching the youngins playing in the water feature without any cares in the world. A delightful break at that moment in time. I was thisclose to jumping in and frolicking around with those kiddos. But I figured it was weird enough for the parents of these children that I was all by myself taking this picture. 

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Georgetown Waterfront Park

And then there are those pics I only took in my mind. Like the one I saw through the window on the metro of graffiti framing the foliage on the other side of the track. To me it represented the beauty of nature and the grit of the city living in harmony. Or the one of my fabulous meal of lump crabmeat, fresh mushrooms, and squash in hollandaise sauce atop english muffins (known as the “Tavern Treat”) at Martin’s Tavern. Or the one of the beautiful mahogany bar housed at J.Paul’s in Georgetown. The bartender shared that the bar itself was formerly housed in the Chicago stockyards and rumor has it that Al Capone himself had enjoyed a beverage or two at it back in the day. J.Paul’s also features antique brass elevator doors brought over from New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Simply gorgeous.

Monday Money Musings

There is a multitude of tracks I could take this one on. This may or may not be a regular feature on this blog. But it is a topic on which I have much to say, truth be told. Thoughts in my head re: money right now…..

  1. ) How much do I want and for what? And why? Always remember that how you use money shows what you value, what your priorities are.
  2. ) Smart financial moves/timeline for me and the Hubs.
  3. ) Totally bi-polar thoughts about winning the lottery.
  4. ) Compare current national budget/priorities and what I would change if I had the POWER
  5. ) Money as a means to an end.
  6. ) Somewhere in the Bible it says that money is the root of all evil. And I will not be evil. Spiritual lessons/deep theological thinking of money and it’s place in my life.
  7. Follow the money (you’d be right if you suspected this was related to the current shit show going on in our nation’s capital).
  8. ) I want to have just enough money. Having too much money would just make life unnecessarily complicated.

Okay, I have decided to pick #8. It’s my favorite number for a boatload of reasons. The best version of myself, the one that is emotionally intelligent, humble, and peaceful at heart, fervently wants “just enough” when it comes to the almighty dollar.

But the question is what, for me, is “just enough”? Is it enough for all the monthly bills to be paid with a bit of spare change left over to buy the simple things in life, like a reasonably priced bottle of vino, or a cup of coffee and a cupcake to enjoy while chatting with my new Colorado girlfriends? Is it “just enough” to fund all of my fanciful vacation dreams (Hawaii, Germany, Canada, Cuba, Sonoma, I could go on and on and on)? Is it “just enough” to financially contribute to causes I believe in that need the cash now more than ever (i.e.,Planned Parenthood, the millions of Go Fund Me campaigns for folks who had the misfortune of being poor and sick in Trump’s America)?

These are all questions, for me, to struggle with.

I think it is highly important that I am honest and clear about my privilege when it comes to money.  First off, I am a white American. That is an advantage that I believe I may never fully comprehend.  How I was raised and the trials/tribulations (aka good and bad choices) of “adulting” have informed my relationship to these pieces of green paper. I grew up in a middle class household. Both of my parents worked. Hard. They had iron-clad work ethics. They were great at saving, so much so that they were able to fully fund 4 years of college for me, for which I will be forever indebted to them. I married a guy who is a very smart, hard-working scientist who over the course of about 25 years has worked his way to a very comfortable salary. Because of this, I was able to be a stay at home mom for the better part of the first 5 years of our children’s lives. As a family, we went on a few nice vacations. We have had the financial ability to purchase 5 homes and sell 3 (making a profit each time). My primary reason for obtaining paid employment for myself was because I wanted to. I enjoyed learning new things on the job, making new friends, and my confidence as a woman grew tremendously from bringing home a little extra bacon. I’ve been so, so lucky.

At this point in my life, however, I have the luxury of being unencumbered by paid employment. I get to make my own daily schedule. Essentially, I am time wealthy but not financially wealthy. It’s hard to say which one is better. Honestly, it depends on the day.

Yet, the thought of raking in my own dough again is totally beckoning me right now. I know that sounds gross and greedy. Two things I don’t wish to ever be called. Maybe I should just increase my volunteer hours at the food bank and/or find another volunteer gig. That would be so rewarding.  But then I may not be able to fulfill my vacation fantasies. This is a first world “problem” obviously. I come from a place of privilege in comparison to my peers in most other countries. And that I must not forget.

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