We are back from vacation in Washington, DC! Apparently while we were gone, Typepad got hacked and my blog was down for a few days. I appreciate those of you who emailed and tweeted me to make sure I hadn't given up blogging for good—not a chance!
A couple of weeks before we left, I woke up with lower back pain. The next day I woke up having a very realistic dream that someone was testing out a super-powered cattle prod on my left leg. You guessed it: sciatica. At this point I'd like to apologize to anyone who ever told me they were suffering from sciatica and I just kind of nodded, like "Aw, bummer." It is incredibly painful, and there is no position that relieves the pain. (Ice, ibuprofen, Arnica, and alcohol all help a little, though.) I went to my chiro twice that week and twice the next, and by last Saturday I was feeling nearly normal. That was the day we left for Washington, and I was miraculously pain-free until I got the lower back pain again yesterday. It didn't occur to me that it was about to start all over again, and luckily we flew back home last night anyhow. By this morning I was miserable and couldn't even find a comfortable position to curl up into a ball and cry in. So it's back to the chiro tomorrow, and I'll have to miss going to Fenway tonight to watch the Sox pummel the Yanks again. But I am grateful that I somehow managed to make it through our entire vacation, because we did a ton of walking and I never would've been able to do any of it in this condition.
We only decided to do this trip about a month ago, so we didn't have time to make any real plans beyond the flights and hotel. We contacted our rep, Joe Kennedy, but learned that he wouldn't be in DC because he'd be up in Boston running the marathon! And it was too late to get passes for tours of the White House and Capitol, but that was OK. If you are ever inclined to take a spur-of-the-minute trip to DC, I'm here to tell you that it can be done. There's so much to see that you can't do it all anyhow, so you just pick your spots and go with it.
So, today I'll give the Day 1 update:
Last Saturday I woke up feeling as though I'd slept for only a few hours, because ... it was 3:30am. Our cab came at 4:30, the flight took off at 6:20, and we landed at National before 8:00. We took a cab to Dupont Circle to dump our bags at our hotel, the Renaissance, even though it was too early to check in. This is as good a time as any to say what a great experience we had at the Renaissance (now owned by Marriott). The staff couldn't have been nicer, and we were made to feel like regulars there. We had adjoining rooms that were very nice and comfortable. They have a very funky lobby with lots of different sitting areas to hang out in too, as well as a fitness room that Pete and Andy intended to use but never did because we were so cooked every day after all the walking we did!
The weather was already shaping up to be lovely, so we headed out toward Foggy Bottom and on to the Mall. (No, that kind of mall, as I explained to the kids!) We walked around the exterior of the White House, then to the Washington Monument, then the World War II memorial, the Vietnam memorial, and the Lincoln memorial (and site of MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech). At the Vietnam memorial, there was a group of vets from New Jersey presenting a wreath and saluting their fallen vets. (I ended up in tears at some point every day of this trip; that was the first time.) Here's the kids at the Lincoln memorial, with a view of the reflecting pond and the Washington monument:
We then got a late lunch at Circa in Foggy Bottom and trudged back to the hotel to collapse. Later we had Chinese food at Meiwah directly across the street, then promptly fell asleep. Stay tuned for Day 2!