Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Longest Trip


It started normally enough, with a 480 mile journey from one home to another.

The first leg of the route

A Great Idea ensued.  One that was postulated earlier in this very blog.  The luggage did, indeed, stay in the freaking car.  We drove straight through Arlington, and attempted to cross the Arlington Memorial Bridge.

Along with everyone else in the United States of America.

As we sat, stuck in the traffic, watching clouds roll in, Dr. SmartyPants suggested that I  jump out and head down to the Tidal Basin on foot, so I could at least get a few pictures before the forecasted rain showed up on Monday.  So I did. 

Right into the path of a mini van.

A very slowly moving mini van.

Cell-phone in one hand, camera in the other, I started walking, along with everyone else in the United States of America, and a few from every other country on the planet.  I made it down to the Tidal Basin, where the cherry Blossoms were in full, peak bloom.  Breezes caught petals and the fluttered to the ground, creating a magical landscape of, well, teeming throngs of people.

Tidal Basin with Cherry Blossoms

Of course, in between all the people were these lovelies...

Cherry Blossoms

And this...

Jefferson Memorial with Cherry Blossoms

So.  There I was.  I had my pictures.  We've driven for 8 hours.  I'm ready to head home.  Dr. SmartyPants was going to try and loop around and pick me up.  I called him.

"Where are you?"

"I'm stuck.  I can't go left, I can't go right, nothing is going anywhere."

"Okay.  I'm just going to walk to the Smithsonian Metro and get home that way.  Get home by whatever means necessary."

"Good Luck." **

Off I go.  Past the Jefferson Memorial, up 15th the the Mall, over to the Smithsonian Metro, where I'm informed that THAT station is exit only today, I'll have to go one block south to the other entrance and go in there.  So, the cattle and I moo our way over there.

"One hour wait," I am told.

One more block south and then west a couple of blocks and now I'm on 14th, back to the Mall - across to Constitution, quick nip into the Museum of American History for a bathroom break.

Yes.  I did.  I went into the National Museum of American History for the express purpose of using the bathroom. 

I went through a metal detector and a bag search just to pee.

Finally, I made it to the Federal Triangle station and managed to get onto the platform without incident.  I waited with the multinational cattle for the next train to come along, but when my orange line train arrived it was packed with all the cattle from the Smithsonian station and I COULDN'T GET ON. 

Then I cried a little.

Then I got on the next train, which was a blue train, which doesn't go to the station near my house.  No.  I'm not stupid.  It does get me a little closer, and that's all I really needed.  I made it to the transfer station that should have gotten me on the right train, but of course it was packed to the gills, too, I so made an escape and decided to walk some more.

My journey from hopping out of the car to hopping on the train was almost 4 miles.

It was 2 miles to the restaurant where Dr. SmartyPants and the boys met me, fed me and ordered me a Blue Moon with an orange slice.

Another mile and I was back home. 

Four hours after I jumped out of the car.  12 hours after we drove out of the Krispy Kreme parking lot in Knoxville, Tennesee.

But I got the shots.

And that's all that really matters, right?

**This conversation has been shortened and reduced to one rather than the 25 calls that actually took place and the multiple uses of certain expletives that are not allowed in this blog as we run a G-rated establishment here, folks.