Aaaaand we're off. Don't you feel more patriotic just for reading this? We do.
After an easy plane flight and picking up this year's Plucky Mobile (a sparkly new, fully loaded Ford Edge with so many buttons and geegaws that we actually had a hard time figuring some of it out), not to mention braving a little Washington DC metropolitan area rush hour traffic, we entered our nation's capital with a nice view of the Washington Monument.
We have a serious crush on our First Family, so much so that every time we passed an interesting/historic/just plain gorgeous building or street Mary found herself thinking, "I wonder what President Obama thinks of that place? Has Michelle gone to that one? Did Sasha and Malia eat there? Did Bo poop nearby?"
Our accommodations for the evening (and for our evenings in DC next week as well) are at The Dupont Hotel, located on the picturesque Dupont Circle, handily adjacent to both a Metro stop and a Krispy Kreme (yeah, the hot donuts sign was flashing and yeah, we took advantage of that). It's also all sparkly new - so new that parts are still under construction, although none you need to worry about during a stay here. It has gotten a a handsome redo, turning what was previously certainly non-descript and uncomfortable into an up-to-the minute, modern streamline design from the chic lobby to the simple but eye-catching rooms. The latter are full of pleasing details such as mini-reading lamps by the beds, flat screen TVs, iPod docking stations/radios, bouncy beds, thick frosted glass separating the bathroom from the main room, and best of all, if you're a known amenities junkie like Mary, generously sized Kiehl's bath products.
Parenthetically, Mary was about to embark on her usual raid of Rick's amenities when she remembered she doesn't actually have any hair and therefore doesn't actually need any more shampoo at this moment.
It is worth noting that rooms come in different shapes and sizes and some of the smaller rooms are, well, smaller so if you need personal space you may want to request one of the ones that has a little bit more floor-space.
The hotel features a comfortable (and obviously popular judging from the amount of people in there on a Wednesday evening) glass walled-lounge and restaurant overlooking the fashionable neighborhood. In the basement is a very nice fitness center complete with treadmills and stationary bikes that each have their own video screen.
It's all quite nice and we're looking forward to staying here again next week.
We took a early evening stroll directly across Dupont Circle, noting pairs of folks playing chess, a street performer on drums, and lots of people sitting on benches admiring the towering marble fountain at its epicenter. And we were reminded once again how Los Angeles lacks the organic neighborhoods and gathering spots so many other big cities seem to have.
Checking out a number of promising awnings along New Hampshire Avenue, we decided to dine at Otello, where the service people appeared to be from Italy but the menu leaned a little more closely to Italian-American - which, by the way, we're big fans of because it's the comfort food from our childhood. In fact, Rick's spaghetti bolognese and Mary's Italian sausage penne had us acting like Proust's Madeleine and we were instantly 11 again.
Somewhat more mature conversation was going on at the next table where a first date was evidently in progress. We wondered if such an occasion is the appropriate time to dicuss one's topless sunbathing in Italy. No, there were no pictures, much to the gentleman's dismay.
It was late-ish by the time we finished eating and after a long travel day, we decided to put off seeing the momuments and memorials until we return to Washington DC next week.
In the meantime, we start early tomorrow after Rick's ritual screaming about discovering that he is a year older and then it's on to The White House!