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Trip Report

Old May 16th, 2006, 10:23 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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Trip Report

Good Afternoon People.

Left for DC May 11. Took NWA from Detroit into DCA. Used the Metro to The Ritz Pentagon, worked out perfect. It cost 1.50 and it was one of the very few bargains you can find in this City.

Ended up staying at the Hotel all afternoon and evening since it was pouring and tornado watch warnings all evening. I was on the Club level, so I sat there and ate and read a book about Honest Abe. Went to bed early for a good nights rest.

Got up early, had a great breakfast and 10 cups of coffee. Got my coat and hit the road. It was sunny and about 65` I took the metro to union station and took the trolley tour. The booth is located right in the main doors of the station. It was 32.00 for adults. I thought that was pretty steep considering I was in Rome recently and it was 13.00 euro's for it's tour bus. Hopped on the trolley afer waiting for about 20 minutes. Our guide HW (stands for Hard Workin)was Awesome. He gave a great review and info through out the tour. You go by all the major sites and it really helps getting your bearings straight about the way the streets are laid out, which by the way IMO are very confusing and make no sense to Me. Anyways, I rode the bus through the entire route and back to The Lincoln Memorial where I got off and stayed for about 3 hours. Not only is the Lincoln Memorial there but so is the Washington Monument, the reflection pool and the Big House in the background. I got some Awesome pictures from the steps of the Lin. Mem. That was a dream come true by the way. I have wanted to see Honest Abe my Whole life, and I was weeping as I walked up the stairs to The Main Man. It was so Beautiful and somber. There was not too many tourist, so I was able to really enjoy my time and take some great pic.s. Afterwards I headed to The Wall. I have been wearing a MIA braclet since I was 12 and My one mission while in DC was to get a pencil stencil of His Name. There are books to look up the location of each name. So that really helped, I was worried about finding it. When I got to the spot of His Name I was overwhelmed to the point of crying. The Wall is Beautiful, and the sun was out and the sky was blue with these huge white puffy clouds, and You can see the skies reflection in the black granite and it was so moving for Me. I found Capt. Henry Hooker Strong Jr. PA on The Wall and it was Bitter/Sweet. All up and down the wall are little memento's left by People. Children from a school in the DC area left all these letter's that were laminated and they were so cute, and some of them just made People stand there and cry.

I could not reach My Capt.'s name to stencil it. I'm 6 foot and it was about 7 feet up from the ground, I was starting to get really frustrated and upset. Then suddenly this Man walks over with a Latter and set's it up for Me. Wow, that's great, He told Me He found on the grass. So I was able to get to His Name and stencil it 2 times, let Me just add real quick, that there are little stands along the route to these memorials and they sell paper and pencils just for this reason, it cost whatever You wanted to donate, after getting His name 2 times, I took pictures of the wall, His name and My braclet next to His Name. I also left a note and a flag for Him. There was a group of People who asked to use MY latter, I told them go right ahead, it's not mine, and they did the name they were there for, and it made Me really cry listening to them cry and go on that it still hurts after all this time. Out of no where this Man comes up and takes the Latter, telling Us it belongs to the park and was not for anyone's use. But how lucky were we to use it while we could.

Walked through the whole War Memorial area. It is really Beautiful, considering the death and destruction that surrounded what it's all about. But what a tribute to all who fought.

Caught the Trolley to head back to some of the other attractions. But the Lines to most of the places I wanted to go were huge. I ended up just walking around them, that was good enough for this trip. I really wanted to bring My Granddaughter Here when's she's old enough, so they kept Me from being too disappointed.

Got back to Union Train station to head back to Hotel. The Metro was jammed. It's rush hour and wow just crazy (but minor compared to Rome and Paris' Metro)I was shocked when I got to Pentagon City Station, I took the escalator to the Mall to get back to the Hotel and The Mall had been invaded by Kids. Tour bus after Tour bus were dropping off Kids there on break. It was a mad house just trying to get to the door that goes from the Mall into my Hotel. But the Ritz was quiet and I went to the Lounge for a snack and a drink, but not before dropping off my bags in My room, when I got off the elevator BAM Secret Service everywhere. The hallway where my room is (17th Floor) has Security and camera's set up in the hallway. Now I'm not a paranoid Person, but I was very uncomfortable with the fact that everytime I go in and out My room I am faced with these Guys and Cameras. I drop my stuff off and wash up and head to the Club Lounge. There are SS there too. Great. I sit down and get a coke and a snack, I ask the Conceigre what's the deal, and it seems that there is a President there from another Country, but they can't tell Me where. Great, just what I need, this and all these Men with Guns and straight faces. I eat My snack, read the Post and head to my room to rest.

The Club Lounge at the Ritz serves 5 small meals a day, I like that. It's very convienent to go up and grab something through out the day, while your in and out. I don't always Love the seafood stuff they serve, but they are very good about getting things You like with no problem. So that evening I went there for a little meal and coke. As I leave My room there are 4 Men in the Hallway and they move out of the way as I walk by, they are speaking what sounds like russian, I get to the lounge and it's jammed with People. I'm about to leave and just go next door to the Mall and grab something until I decide what to eat for Dinner, but The Host stops Me and get's me to sit down, seems that all the People are Security for the One Guy that's in the Lounge. It's the President of Bosina. He seems like a Very Nice Man from what I observed. 2 of The SS men ask if they can sit with me, and what am I going to do refuse, Yeah right. So they sit there while I eat and read a Book. They are very polite and whenever I got Up to get more food or whatever, they stood up too. WOW, who does that anymore. There were mixed SS there. Ours and Theirs. And it was adorable to listen to these guys compare language, history and Foods. Each side making notes in their little note pads. I left after about an Hour and took a nap.

More later, if I'm not boring You all do death.
THERESA10 is offline  
Old May 16th, 2006, 01:19 PM
  #2  
bluestructure
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I'm bookmarking this and can't wait to read the rest of it. So far, this is a great trip report! I was wondering if Jack Bauer was going to show up.
 
Old May 16th, 2006, 02:45 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Wow, you drank 10 cups of coffee before taking a tour?!? Am I ever impressed! Hope to read more.
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Old May 16th, 2006, 05:01 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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Great report! Thanks for sharing your adventure with the SS.
wtm003 is offline  
Old May 17th, 2006, 02:23 PM
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Friday night in DC, crazy. The Metro was busy and People out and about everywhere. I wanted to be in the middle of it so I headed to the White House, of course no one would let me in. If only my name was Monica

There are Police Officers from all over America in DC. They are there for a ceremony which adds names to the Wall of fallen Officers from the Year before. So I get a kick out of reading all the T-Shirts with the City they Serve.Some had funny sayings on them My Fav was "Runnin only makes Us Madder", most are in Uniform, and Hey Girls, You know what they say about a Man in a Uniform, It's true. Very Handsome. I had planned on eating at a Swanky little place, but I was so full from all the junk I'd been comsuming, I ended up eating a hot dog off one of the stands, and it was so good, I ate another one. I stood in line with a bunch of cops, and they were trying to buy my dog for Me, and I was trying to buy for them. I really appreciate the Police and all they give to the Community. I own a Restaurant outside of Detroit, and the Police Force in My Area are Awesome and would do anything to help someone out.

I really Loved DC at night. Everything's all lite up and it looks better in the dark. During the day, it's just like anyother big city, but at night it's really cool. I end up back at the Hotel at 1 a.m. and Man I'm pooped.

Saturday in Washington, Forgetaboutit. You better get up real early to get into the museums or public buildings. I ended up going to Georgetown to check out this Gourmet Food Store that is really popular and highly recommended. I am sweating bullets by the time I walk from the Foggy Bottom station to the Georgetown Mall area. The streets are packed with People. You had to push Your way through to get down the streets. I finally find the Store Dean and Deluce and head to the Bathroom to pee and wash up, and the bathroom is beyond digusting. It stinks like U know, and there is no hand towels just a roll of brown paper on the floor to dry your hands with. It looks as thought it had not been cleaned in weeks. Not a good sign to someone in the Biz. I'm hoping this is not the employee's bathroom too. The outside patio is packed with People. Not just customers either, Homeless and Hoods too. I go inside the store and it's not real busy, but the Employee's are too busy talking to eachother to wait on Customers, and the prices, they must have bumped their heads. A samll box of Raspberries $6.00, Blueberries too. Cheese was no less than 11.00 lb. Sandwiches and prepared salads were outragous. I'm no skin Flint either, but I sure don't like getting ripped off. I thought, well I'll get a roll some salami and cheese and go outside and eat. I end up leaving empty handed. I walk back to the station looking at Menu's of other food places, but everything was too busy or very expensive. I got back on the Metro and went to a Gyro Joint I saw earlier, and it was soooo good. And they Guys runnin the Joint were so funny......(think,PickUpShishkabob) and We ended up BS'in for an Hour. Got back on the Metro and off to the Ritz to rest and shower up. I feel funky after all that walking. Many Locals told Me it's hotter than ususal for this time of Year.

Well there is more Security then ever at the Ritz. Some other Important People are in Town. As I walk up the Driveway to the Hotel a Door Man asks My Name, I don't like this, it really bothers Me, but before I can say My name He says Welcome Back Ms. Marino, someone must have told Him I was a Guest through His earpiece, and He let Me up the Driveway. Thanks. Maybe these Delegetes should be staying at The comfort inn or something, If their Country is paying for them to stay at the Ritz (I hope USA ain't footing the bill)they must have some major surplus, but Bosnia, I find it hard to believe they got that kind of scratch to pay for several rooms at a High end Hotel like that. Just IMO. Now the Saudi's, they can afford it.

The Club Lounge is not too busy, seems most of the People are out and about so I have some Peace and Quiet. But I have to admit I miss MY SS Dudes. They are not too bad on the eyes.

I had searched High and Low on the internet and all the travel pages on Restaurant recommendations. I really wanted to try some Crab Cakes while in DC. I asked the Host at the Lounge where I could get the Best Crab Cakes in the area, and She said "right down stairs". What? Where? She said "The Grill" it's one of the best Restaurants in the Tri Area and She could honestly say they serve the best Lump Crab Cakes. So I mosey on down and check out the Menu, and yep, Crab Cakes served with Mashed Potatoes and Sauteed Spinach in Garlic, I was drooling. So I really don't want to eat alone in the Crowded Restaurant, but what the Heck, I'm Hungry, My Legs are tired and I still have to go to a Local Shelter and do some work. So I end up sitting down and ordering the Crab Cakes, and they were OUTSTANDING! I didn't think they'd be that good. They were the size of hockey pucks, crispy on the outside, and packed with crabmeat. The Mashed Potatoes were pipping Hot and Yummy and the Spinach was to die for, garlic and olive oil what could be any better. I am Hungry thinking about it. The Bread they serve is so good too. The Service was Excellent and I didn't have to take the Metro Home. The Meal was 30.00 and worth every dime. No doggy bag for Me, I ate it all. Took a rest before heading to a Shelter to help out.

Got back very very Late. But felt very Blessed and Highly Favored. And I don't think I deserve this Great Life that I have. If You are reading pretty good. Kiss Your Kids, and Mate and Thank God for all You have. Healthy Kids and all...OK knock Me off My soap box or skip the rest of this paragraph. When on Vacation, maybe You outta think about donating Your time or Money to a Local Shelter, or stop by the Red Cross and make a donation. Does Your Kid or Niece need another T-Shirt or Key Chain?

Sunday Morning it's rainy and nasty. Dang, I wanted to go out and about and just look around before I have to Leave. I end up running next door to the book store and checking out the DC travel books.

More Later....
THERESA10 is offline  
Old May 17th, 2006, 03:20 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
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THERESA, I always enjoy your trip reports, your style of writing, your humor and your thinking!!! Brava!!
LoveItaly is offline  
Old May 17th, 2006, 05:24 PM
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Theresa - Would you mind finishing your Montecatini trip report too????
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34785718
kybourbon is online now  
Old May 17th, 2006, 06:03 PM
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great report!! very touching about the wall.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 06:09 PM
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The part about the Wall touched me. My MIA came home and I was able to give him my bracelet.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 06:39 PM
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KY Yes that is the Place we stop and chow down. I'd love to hang in there all day and try all the sandwiches and salads..

I did do some more on the Monticatini page, sorry it's taken so long to finish, I've been on 3 trips since then, and I'm trying to do 3 pages at once. I lost the second half of the Monticatini page after screwing up, I almost died when I did it...Ahhhhhhhh I hate when that happens.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 06:41 PM
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oooooooops sorry just wanted to give a shout To Loveitaly. How are You? Thanks I love to tell You all what happened it makes me feel so happy and I can kind of relive it. If I could only relive the smells and tastes for real.......
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