Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Memorial Day Weekend
Memorial Day weekend was great. Friday, after the briefings with the MCC and some political fella, we went with a group of friends to Wisey's (Wisemiller's if you want the original name) for their famous chicken sandwich. It used to be one of Bill Clinton's old stomping grounds. It's fantastic and we highly recommend it if you're looking for some good sandwiches etc.
Saturday I dragged Ryan to Eastern Market where they have a flea/farmers market every Saturday and Sunday morning. It was really fun and there were tons of vendors. While we were there we stopped by a used book store. It was a two story house with a basement that was seriously floor to ceiling books two to three rows deep in every crack and cranny imaginable. It was insane. The owner also editorialized on various subjects which made the whole experience extra entertaining - for example in a Harry Potter book he had a sticky note that said "Ron Dies". He was a funny guy.
After the flea market, we walked around all over Eastern Market (it's a region - like Georgetown, Pentagon City, Capital Heights etc). We also stopped in Popeyes for a Louisiana lunch experience. It was a fun relaxing day. After exploring Eastern Market we headed back home for a quick nap before going to the Rolling Thunder candlelight vigil. The vigil was really really neat. A bunch of Vietnam vets and bikers all went to the Wall where there was a processional with bagpipes, colorguard, and a torch. Everyone was pretty much silent while the bagpipes played moving songs like Amazing Grace. It was incredible to see the men around you bonding while reflecting on their experiences as soldiers and fellow friends who didn't make it home. After the processional continued passed the wall, it went to the two statues in the area where they recognized women who served as nurses during the war. The women, who were all dressed in white, stood in a circle and passed around the torch. It was really beautiful. The vigil was incredible.
Sunday we attended an early church ward so we could later go to the Rolling Thunder Rally. We read that there were about 400,000 bikes in town for the event so you can imagine how long and how loud it all was. There was a constant flow of bikers from the Pentagon to the Lincoln Memorial for about 3+ hours. It was crazy. The Rolling Thunder cause is really neat - here's a quote from their website "All are united in the cause to bring full accountability for POWs and MIAs of all wars, reminding the government, the media and the public by our watchwords 'We Will Not Forget' " The name for Rolling Thunder comes from the roaring sound of the motorcycles which mimicks the noise from the constant bombing of North Vietnam in 1965 which was given the name "Operation Rolling Thunder". I loved seeing all the different types of people who were there - there's such diversity. I also loved seeing all the bikes - it was cool. And I think Ryan just loved it all.
Monday we ventured out to the National Aquarium. This was, well, interesting. Despite the official sounding name, and the $7 per person charge, the aquarium was a major let down. Our first clue should have been walking to the basement of the Department of Commerce Building, however, we missed this first clue and continued on. Our second clue should've been the floating fish together a little bit too near the top of the tank. That clue followed by the "little too still" snakes curled up in various places of their cages topped it off. At least we donated to the cause - maybe now they can buy some new fish and snakes. After the aquarium we ventured to the old Post Office building now converted into a shopping center of sorts - it was a really neat looking building. Then we headed outside right in time to watch the Memorial Day Parade. It was all great fun.