This is day 12 of Nicky and Mike's "30 Minus 2 Days of Writing"...and I'm incredibly late again...but better late than never. Don't forget to head on over there and enjoy today's ludicrous prompt: The Day I Met Abraham Lincoln.
Fade back in from yesterday...and cue music again...
Can it be? Finally...we are here. The bus has stopped. Now we'll get to shower up and rest and -- are they serious?? They are taking us directly to Mount Vernon? I heard of stretching your legs after a long trip, but this is ridiculous.
So, we have three whole days in Washington, DC. Our itinerary is packed fuller than my suitcase and as easily followed as Ikea instructions in Japanese.
Let me get this straight - we spend like six hours at the Holocaust Museum, about five at Arlington Cemetery...and a whopping two at the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History?
THE Smithsonian. The crown jewel of the Smithsonians. There's only about seventeen of these things and this is the one which houses all the stuff anyone in their right mind would want to see: dinos, the Hope diamond, one of those heads from Easter Island...c'mon...two hours?
Whoever wrote this game plan has undoubtedly never been to DC before.
So, they break us into two groups...male and female...like on the bus...and assign each a tour guide. "Lucky" us - we get the tour guide who likes to ask 500 questions and asks them all next to a trash can...but then races us past everything else like we're in some Olympic marathon. She yells at us for attempting to take photos...imagine that...we drove like 23 hours straight...just to get a snapshot of a pigeon eating a French fry next to a garbage can. How preposterous of us to want to take one of our kid in front of some historical monument.
As fortune would have it, my daughter and I were in a sub-group all to ourselves as we trekked from place to place. Instead of being tasked to watch five other kids like all the other parents who tagged along were made to...I only had my daughter. I guess that's the "perks" of having a heart condition - they think you're going to keel over at any moment and it's best to have it only witnessed by one child instead of five. Anyway, because of this we got to see things like the Magna Carta and the Ruby Slippers...while everyone else had to see the back of some kid's head as they ran off in the total opposite direction of the other four.
As the end of each day approached - the tour guides dismissed themselves and then we got to see a bit of DC's monuments lit up...something I never managed to do when I lived there when I first got married as, well...because someone in my family liked sitting on their butt in the house instead of going to all the nifty free stuff DC has to offer.
But I digress.
Now, I'm no super special photographer and I only had a crappy 3-pixel digital camera...but when I want to take a photo of a special thing...I don't want someone's stupid head in the way. I don't want half a blurry body blocking out my primo shot. I don't want some life-sized cutout of Obama right in the way of my Washington Memorial looking like he just casually strolled out to get a few photo ops with the DC touristy peeps.
But...I didn't mind at all when I "accidentally" managed to get one guy I was following around - in about a dozen of my shots. In fact, when I think about it...that was the day I met Abraham Lincoln. This Italian guy kept walking directly in front of my camera...over and over and over again.
And I know it was another dead president who said it...but this guy was proof positive that not all men are created equal...and as an American, I was Constitutionally bound to take photographic proof...you know, to exercise my rights as a citizen or something.
Anyway, when I look back at that eighth grade class trip in April of 2009, even with the suicide ride and boot-camp tour guide, I'll forever look back at it with fondness - because I'm so incredibly glad I got to share that time with Lincoln, "Roberto" and...uh...whatshername...oh yeah, my daughter, Giselle.