That’s what friends (and family) are for

I always love being in the DC area and being able to hunker down for a full five days at Tom’s place was awesome. Tom actually left Tuesday morning to head back to San Francisco for two weeks so I had the place to myself the last three days – however, he was kind enough to leave me the following: a fridge full of food, the keys to his truck and a loaded revolver in the bedside table.  Yep – that’s what friends are for…  I did partake of some of the Oreos in the cupboard and the celery in the fridge but I didn’t have any need for the truck keys or the gun.  Maybe next time!

After battling ridiculous traffic driving from Arlington into DC, I picked up my mom and off we went to Annapolis for the day.  The first goal was to get a picture of the Welcome to Maryland sign. Then it was off to check out this lighthouse I had read about at the Maritime Museum.  Good news – I got a picture of the sign.  Bad news – the museum was closed the lighthouse was something like 5 miles offshore and not even visible.  All I saw was a model of the lighthouse.  Sad face.

Things improved though as we headed to the capital (aka Maryland’s state house). The building is so beautiful that I’m including a couple of different angles.  Also some historical info for those of you who are interested…

After lunch and a stroll around downtown, we moseyed over to the Naval Academy.  The campus is quite striking.  A woman giving a tour of the campus remarked that Juno looked like the new Navy goat!  We wrapped up our visit just as the rain started to fall and headed back to Arlington.

Yesterday my mother and I had the opportunity through Alec, a very distant cousin, to get a private tour of the Capitol!  Alec works for Senator Markey of Massachusetts and even before we set out, I learned something new.  The senator has bowls of Necco wafers and Ocean Spray Craisins in the waiting area.  Both are made in MA and (here’s where I got excited), Necco stands for New England Confectionary COmpany.  Boom!

Okay, so down to the basement where we took the world’s cutest tram from the Dirksen Senate Office Building to the Capitol Building.  We could have walked five minutes but where’s the fun in that?  Unfortunately, cameras weren’t allowed in the Senate and House chambers so I thought I’d include a picture showing the rules & regulations posted on the backs of the passes.  Note: the statue of Reagan is roped off because it includes pieces of the Berlin Wall and people kept touching it.

There wasn’t a ton going on in either chamber when we arrived (we had just missed a vote in the House) but we did get to see a new bill being introduced in the House – American Food for American Schools by a congressman from California.  In the Senate chamber, I saw John McCain and Mitch McConnell walking around but that was pretty much it.  There seemed to be a lot of schmoozing going on and not much else.

I finally departed from the DC area yesterday, en route to the city of brotherly love.  My first stop when I arrived in Philadelphia?  No, not the liberty bell (that was my second stop) – cheesesteak!!  I pinged a friend that grew up here and he recommended Geno’s in South Philly. I opted for Provolone over American and Whiz, onions and I added my own peppers. And while the sandwich looks gigantic, I still managed to eat the whole thing. Soooooo good

From there, I went downtown where I walked by Independence Hall en route to the Liberty Bell.  Can I say that the bell looks a bit smaller than I thought it would?  Still really cool though…

From there, it was time to head out to Media for the weekend where I’m staying with my friends Karen and Linda, who I met last summer when we all climbed Mt Kilimanjaro. I think the plan is for us to go for a hike later this morning – it’s supposed to be in the 70s today.  Woot!

Final note, I did drive through Delaware for about 15 minutes so I’m including the picture. Will spend more time there at a later point.  Also including a picture I took by Independence Hall – keeping hope alive for Bernie!

State count: 27

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