Ahoy! I have emerged from my subterranean, temperature regulated cheese cave for a jaunt to our nation's capitol. Cherry blossoms, chili, and Obama!
It was an oddly symmetrical journey from one end to another. Walk to BART, ride BART, catch AirBART to airport, takeoff, land (Salt Lake City), takeoff, land (Chicago Midway), takeoff, land (Washington), catch Metro bus to Metro, ride Metro, walk to lodging. BART and the Metro even function identically. I almost lost my luggage in Salt Lake City. I didn't get too much sleep the night before, so I settled into the very back row of the airplane for a snooze. This also gave me a front-row seat to luggage hold comings and goings, where I saw my trusty rucksack going when it shouldn't be. What the? I gotta hand it to the Southwest flight attendants who scrambled to get it back, and seemed more upset than me about the whole issue. I got to walk out of the back galley door of the aircraft onto the lift of the food services truck to yell at the luggage handlers on where to find my bag - "Under the flowery suitcase!" Awesome. Two hours into vacation and I'm already having fun!
The leg from Chicago to DC was packed with a womens soccer team, all of them wearing identical Puma tracksuits and toting Puma gym bags. It's either in their contract to advertise, or maybe that's just how they find each other, like tiger cubs recognizing mom's stripes and ear patches. When I think if Pumas, I think of those 80s sneakers with zippy pockets on the side. I guess it sounded like a good idea at the time.
Arriving in DC very much in a state where I shouldn't operate heavy machinery, my host took me out to the local institution of Ben's Chili Bowl for dinner. We sat at the counter eating veggie chili, chocolate shakes, and a bushel of fries drowned in cheese sauce, and watching the patrons come and go.
More on where I'm staying later, but there's a resident budgie here. Gatsby flies around landing on shoulders and heads, likes to take baths in water glasses, and grooms humans.