Senator Specter offered the White House and Congressman Thompson came through with a tour of the Capitol. The Terra Cotta Warrior exhibit topped the boys’ interest since studying China’s history, as well as the Air & Space, Art, and Natural History Smithsonian Museums.
Luggage, coolers, and books were packed when news flash -- DC received thirty inches of snow. A conversation with reservationist Erika confirmed that the snow was over, the roads were clear, and the conference center was ready for us.
We set out stopping only briefly at the end of our driveway to ask God’s blessing on our exciting adventure. All was clear in Pennsylvania, but it soon became evident that Erika must walk to work. The roads leading into DC were a foot thick with slush, snow and ice. Accidents and abandoned cars were as common as front end loaders and dump trucks loading snow, while Map quest directions were as horrific as Rusty’s hasty wrong turns. After seeing all sides of the Pentagon on five different passings, he decided driving in the city may be the cause of the high urban homicide rate.
The hotel appeared before any murder occurred; bed never felt so good. We arose rested ready to take on a new day. Claire headed to class and the boys ventured out. They boarded the National Geographic shuttle to view the warriors that surrounded the tomb of China’s fiercest emperor. As it turned out, this was the only sight open in the paralyzed city. With all government shut down, they hiked the rest of the day to view various memorials from afar. The snow was knee deep and no amount of walking warmed the boys’ frozen toes.
The next day was similar, except the White House was open for tours. We jumped on the Metro and jogged down Independence Avenue; we were on the fast track to see the President. With moments to spare we arrived out of breath to be checked off on the security clearance. Discovering that backpacks were prohibited, Rusty volunteered to wait outside until his family returned for his opportunity. Michele Obama’s “Let’s Move” press conference closed the doors early, but Rusty enjoyed watching the VIPs arrive at the gate.
Our remaining time at the hotel was spent with 2000 conventioneers attending sessions on building positive opportunities for youth, exploring the tropical rain forest in the hotel’s massive atrium, and watching Michael Moore’s latest movie– Capitalism: America’s Love Affair.
The boys loved the trip but diplomatically suggested visiting in the summer next time.