This year Spring break for the boys coincided with my attendance at the American Association of Geographers conference in DC. We decided to make it a family vacation. We flew out Sunday night after Sarah's mission report in Sacrament meeting earlier that day. We flew into BWI airport where we rented a car. Next morning we headed north to Forth McHenry to see and learn more about where our national anthem came to be.
As a 62 year old I found out I was eligible to buy a National Parks Senior pass for $80 which permits lifetime visits to all national parks at no additional expense. Heck of a deal.
Randolph House. Tuesday we spent the day at Williamsburg. We visited years ago when Sarah and Joel were five and three. At the time Sarah was a big fan of American Girl Felicity.
Then and now I was interested in the gardening.
A reminder of where Joel will be serving his mission.
After lunch we visit the upper levels which are devoted to African American Culture. I had never heard the phrase: "Making a way out of no way", but I have come to learn that it encapsulates the African American experience where, amid almost insurmountable challenges, blacks have made their mark and offered lasting and significant contributions to all parts of our history.
"To bind up the Nation's wounds."
"There is no place you or I can go, to think about or not think about, to summon the presences of, or recollect the absences of slaves; nothing that reminds us of the ones who made the journey and of those who did not make it. There is no suitable memorial, or plaque, or wreath, or wall, or park, or skyscraper lobby. There's no 300-foot tower, there's no small bench by the road. " (Toni Morrison, The World, 1989).
Thursday and Friday were conference days for me. The Thursday Keynote speaker was former Attorney General Eric Holder. He spoke about his efforts to repair the sectarian damage done by rampant gerrymandering through the National Democratic Redistricting Committee. Impressive man. https://democraticredistricting.com/
Friday afternoon I presented my paper:
Tsunami Awareness and Mitigation Efforts in the Tourist Environments of Bali and Lombok
The conference meetings were held in the Marriott Wardman Park and the Omni Shoreham hotels. The Omni Shoreham has hosted lots of dignitaries over the years including a full wing set aside for the Beatles.
The beautiful gardens of the Shoreham are popular for ritzy weddings.
In route to join the family for dinner on Thursday I happened upon this memorial to the black soldiers (listed by regiment) who served in the Civil Way.
In honor of and preparation for Joel's mission call to serve in the Ghana, Cape Coast mission, for dinner we enjoyed some delicious (at least to me) Ghanaian food at the Appioo Bar and Grill on 9th street near U street.
We had plenty of opportunities to ride the Metro. The Woodley Park/Zoo Metro stop has an extra long exit escalator.
While I was conferencing, Marie and the kids visited the Supreme Court, Library of Congress and a good dose of the Smithsonians. They also rode scooters along the Mall and then rented bikes to ride back to the hotel.
Saturday Morning we visited the National Gallery. The above favorite is a familiar scene in our home.
The kids recognized Winter Harmony by Twachtman because a copy of it that I bought years ago at the National Gallery hangs in our basement bathroom.
Back at the hotel we watched the morning session of LDS General Conference. Rumored changes to the Word of Wisdom (LDS code of health) did not materialize but that didn't stop my siblings from having some fun texting about coffee no longer being forbidden.
Saturday Afternoon we enjoyed beautiful weather and a cool new stadium for the DC United vs LAFC soccer game. DC lost (0-4) and Rooney (who some say Will looks like) got a red card.
It was a long steep climb up to our seats.
I was inspired by this special exhibit: The Struggle for Justice.
Sunday morning we joined Marie's brother Matt for a walking visit to Arlington National Cemetery.
We then watched the morning session of Conference a Matt's hotel room before our evening flight home out of Reagan national airport. It was a great week.