Last week I found out that my best friend, who lives in Belgium, would be coming to the US for a week. First she’s visiting her daughter in Massachusetts, then coming to Washington, D.C. with two of her boys. This week I decided to fly out to D.C. for a visit. I’ll be there next week Monday to Thursday, but I’ve got a post or two saved up, so you’re safe from endless photos of airport lounges, wine glass holders, and my old Hartmann suiter. For now.
I have very little idea what to do in D.C. National capitals scare me. The roads are always so wide. You can tell those long-ago architects wanted to prevent revolutionaries from storming the gates. At least the important gates. I’ve felt that way about New Delhi, Budapest, and then D.C., the one time I visited. When I didn’t see anything of note. I don’t quite remember why.
This time I am going mostly to visit my best friend. But how could one go to D.C. and not see some stuff? To say nothing of the two boys, aged 10 and 13, that we are going to have to entertain.
What should we do? I want to see the White House, and take a look at the Visitors’ Center. Too late for a White House tour. Did you know one has to request a tour via one’s congressperson? At least 15 days in advance? Ooops. I also want to see the Library of Congress and the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King delivered his “I have a dream.” speech. My friend wants to visit Arlington Cemetery. That’s all we have so far. Maybe it’s enough.
Surely you all know more than I do? Sitting here, on Saturday morning, I have one question in particular. The family relationship to which I have alluded is to Gouverneur Morris and his half-brother Lewis. If I wanted to find artifacts of said gents, is there an obvious place to look?
Ordinarily I would have planned everything down to the nth detail. Researched for days on the best agenda. With Plan A and Plan B, of course, and various options C-E for controlled spontaneity. Created a binder. I’m not kidding. I wish I could show you the notebook I made when we took the kids to France and traveled with another family through the Dordogne. Maps, reviews, and Guide Michelin pages all neatly hole-punched.
But my best friend will be there. Her kids, not mine, are coming along. Although I’ve known these boys since birth, although my friend and I raised our older children together, to me does not belong responsibility for care, feeding or management of small slumping spirits. So no binder required. Suggestions, however, are welcome.
Have a wonderful weekend.