Seven State Highpoint Trip, part 2

The last time we met, I left you here. Superman and I had been to Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Delaware. Next stop is Washington D.C. for a little sightseeing.

We arrived Sunday as the sun was setting. After dropping our bags in the hotel room, we walked a mile or so to see the Capital building glowing in light. No matter what your feelings are about the goings on with the administration, I think we can all agree that this building holds much power and awe. I had chill bumps standing there looking at it from across the reflection pond.The next morning, Superman and I put our walking shoes on and got out early. Flags were at half staff remembering the victims of the Las Vegas shooting. Here we were with a thousand other people from all nations, backgrounds, religions, races and different thoughts and ideologies. We were walking freely around our nations capital. There were no heavily armed guards or tanks or threatening warnings….we all walked freely around.Superman made reservations for a private guided tour of the American Museum of Natural History. Our guide, Glyness, was great! If you ever get a chance to do a private guided tour, Do It! Maybe you are like me, you begin walking through the exhibits reading the placards in front of the items on display and eventually get to the point of just walking by, glancing at the items. Or I really pay attention to uniforms, lockets, dishes, books and other historical artifacts, but I can’t seem to put it all together into one story. Glyness painted that picture for us. She told us stories of the presidents, backgrounds of different situations and fun unknown -to-us little ditties about different situations and people. She allowed us to roam at our own pace and ask questions freely.

After saying goodbye to Glyness, we decided to bomb our gut with a cold hotdog for me and a mystery meat burger for Superman. Yum. We only had one day here, so we had to make the most of it.Next on the agenda was a guided bike tour of the national monuments. (Again, I have no idea how to take an unblurry selfie.) It was an absolutely gorgeous day and perfect for a bike ride in the capital city. We visited Jefferson, Washington and Lincoln. Again, having a guide makes all the difference! He pointed out things you would never know just by walking up to the statue. Did you know that the Washington Memorial is 555 feet high, thus no other memorial or statue can be higher than 555 feet tall? In 2011, the fourth non president memorial, Dr. Martin Luther King was installed. We approached the memorial through the symbolic mountain of despair to see the stone of hope, Dr. King. Oh, how I wish he could be here now, continuing to lead us with his non-violent philosophy striving for freedom, justice and equality. Having been born after his death, I have only heard about his “I have a Dream” speech. I wish I had known more of his ideals and vision. I was truly touched by the excerpts from some of his speeches that were engraved on the walls behind him. We visited the war memorials…World War l, Vietnam, Korean, World War ll. Again, having a guide there to tell you about the symbolism of each memorial was so enriching. For example, in the picture above, the Korean War Memorial, I learned so much more with our guide. The low growing bushes and reflective stone represents the rice patties the soldiers had to walk through. No matter where you are standing at this memorial, a soldier is looking at you. The number 38 has much meaning to this war. It was fought at the 38th parallel for 38 months. Because of limitation of space, there are only 19 statues in the garden, but on a sunny day, 19 more are reflected in the granite wall, thus bringing the number to 38. I think this is so cool!We found our state of SC in the WWll memorial. (Please don’t be offended by our smiles at this memorial. We are so thankful and feel so blessed to live in this nation of ours. Because of the men and women who have fought and died for this country, we have our freedom.)Our beautiful day ended with an amazing dinner at Acqua Al 2. It is located in the sweet east district. The hostess led us to our table for two. As in many fine restaurants, the tables are situated very close together. We sat down and I noticed one of the gentlemen at the table beside ours, using his hand to shield his face. Now…..I may not be completely politically knowledgeable, but I’m not an idiot either. We are in Washington DC. If you have grey hair and are wearing a suit and trying to hide behind your hand, I’m going to make the educated guess that you are a senator. Guess what?!? I don’t care! I’m here to eat some amazing Italian food, like this appetizer, (YES! Just an appetizer!), rolled Eggplant Parmesan. Now this meal was originally to be about delicious food, a great glass of wine and romantic conversation with the hubs.

Welll…the objective turned quickly from food to….

Politics.

My husband is a HUGE t.v. news/talk radio junkie. The guy majored in political science in college, the Military School of SC, The Citadel. He interned in Washington for a couple of months. He’s a card carrying member of a political party. The guy loves to bike, hike and argue politics.

So, as I enjoyed my appetizer and wine, Superman asks if I had seen the text he had just sent me. Huh?!? Me: Remember, I’m right here 16 inches away from you. A text?

Him: Yeah, read it!

He is freaking out because the guy and his wife who just sat down with “hand-over-his-face” guy is Chris Dodd, who was a senator for 30 years, now president of the motion picture association. Then comes along Robert Kennedy’s senator grandson. People are coming by the table back slapping and shaking hands. A few minutes later, Former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, pulls up a seat at the end of the table. Superman’s phone is pinging and buzzing back and forth with all of his peeps.

I asked our waiter for another glass of wine.

We paid our bill, walked past Mrs. Pelosi’s bodyguard and got into a cab which idled beside her big ol’ black SUV. Our driver dropped us off here…America’s White House. Isn’t she beautiful?

The last two days were spent going back in time, learning more about this country’s history. Listening to the National Park Ranger tell us about the differences of opinion the founding fathers had in Philadelphia, visiting the monuments of Washington, Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King and then being there listening to the conversation of the folks sitting beside me at dinner, I realize that as much as we have changed as a nation, there is so much that has stayed the same. No matter which side of the aisle you sit, I truly believe we all have the same goal to uphold the goals and values of Washington, Jefferson and Madison…to have a country where we have the freedom of worship, respect and dignity of life, and opportunity to pursue happiness. We differ in the way we as a nation should go about this. This always will be.

I love this country that I call home.

Thanks for dropping by!

Seven State High Point Road Trip, part 1

Superman has this list of things he needs to do….No, not cleaning out the garage, that’s on my list of things for him to do. One of the things on his list is to go to the highest point in every state in the country. He has done over half of the high points so far. It is quite the task to not only climb to the top, but to actually make the plans to get to each of the states. Now some of them are just drive ups or just a place in someone’s backyard, but many are require hours or even days of hiking. Superman came up with the idea to do a little road trip. We would hit seven states in four days in order for him to check off the northern states. Was I up for it? Yeah! Sign me up!

Day 1. So we hopped on a plane and flew from South Carolina to Burlington, Vermont. Rented a car and drove an hour and half to Stowe, VT to hike Mount Mansfield.

Can I just say here, that Superman and I live in a conservative, button down, sorta preppy little town in the south and we landed in the land of granola? Don’t get me wrong! Vermont is a gorgeous state and people are lovely, I just felt a little out of place. We began the first of seven hikes for this trip, Mt. Mansfield. It was a crisp day and of course I didn’t pack very well. The temperature was about 30 degrees below what I had left first thing that morning in SC. In the parking lot I pulled on some hiking pants that were too small, so they crawled in all sorts of uncomfortable places. Superman did all he could to not laugh at my situation. He claims if I had “proper” hiking pants this wouldn’t be a problem. I say that if I hadn’t gained all this weight I wouldn’t have to be writing this at all!

Oh Look! There’s the summit!

As we reach the top, we see that, nope, it’s just a false summit. Hike on.Oh I see it! There it is! Just kidding. Another false summit. (Superman thinks this is hilarious.) Hike on.Finally, after steep climb we made it to the summit.We grab a bite to eat, get a sip of water and enjoy the view, but we have to get down and on to the next state!Hey, did I show you the itinerary Superman wrote up for this trip? This is why I don’t get too worried about what the plans are, because he thinks of everything! Now, what he didn’t plan for was a tour of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory! (And I haven’t figured out how not to take blurry selfies.) This little side stop was worth every lick of goodness, but it did get us off schedule.This way to Lake Placid ,New York. Unfortunately, the drive took a wee bit longer than we expected, so we arrived at the lodge late at night. We walked into the Adirondack Loj (Yes, that’s how you spell it) to a warm fire in the fireplace and this sweet group of people gathered around the piano singing. There were others who were reading and a few playing a game of cards. After a long day of plane rides, car driving and mountain hiking, and cold rainy weather, this lodge felt wonderful. We drag our bags upstairs to our room and try to figure it all out. First off, the guys bathroom is upstairs and the girls is downstairs, which isn’t as bad as you would think. Some rooms have single beds, others a couple of twins and a couple have multiple bunk beds. Luckily we got the one bed option. I’m all about singing around the fire and having a communal bathroom, but I’d really rather share a bedroom with family. The walls are thin, so if your neighbor is a snorer, please feel free to grab some earplugs downstairs.Day 2. After a hot breakfast, Superman started his 15 mile, 3500 foot climb to the top of Mt. Marcy in the cold rain. I, on the other hand, sat with my feet up in front of the warm fire reading a book. Superman made it clear before we left SC, that I could stay in the lodge and not have to do this baby. Yup! It’s on the schedule!😊I had a lovely day reading, drawing, reading, drinking hot tea, reading, checking out this gorgeous lake and reading until Superman got back in the afternoon. No rest for the weary, We had to get a move on. We had more states to see. We drove as far as we could before Superman just had enough for one day. Day 3. Early the next morning, we hopped in the car and drove a couple of hours to High Point, New Jersey. This fortunately was a drive up, literally we drove right up to this monument. Next stop…Philadelphia. Superman planned a quick visit here to see Independence Hall and the Revolutionary Museum.I had never been to Philly before, so I am so glad we stopped. Especially in this day of our country it’s good to hear the truth about how our country was brought to be.Can’t go to Philly without having a Real Philly CheeseSteak sandwich. Being from South Cackalacky, I didn’t realize there was a difference in CheeseWiz. Did you? In my part of the world, cheese wiz comes in a neon orange kind of hew. Here in Philly it is white! Now if I had known that! Needless to say it was delish without the melty goodness. It’s been fun Philly, but we’ve got to get to Delaware!I know it doesn’t look that far, and you’re right! It was only about an hour away. Here is Superman at the high point of Delaware, Ebright Azimuth looking quite pensive. This was an easy one to mark off the list. The hardest part was when we drove past it and had to turn around and park in some neighborhood. Ok, check✔️Now on to Washington D.C. Let me remind you that this is only day 3. Old Mar here has a bag of caramel popcorn and the google maps in my hand, so we were good to go. I am an awesome navigator if I say so myself. 😉

We arrived in DC, quickly dropped our bags in the hotel and got to walking. If you have been on a trip with Superman, you know there will be walking or hiking involved. Well, here we were in DC, one of his favorite cities, so we started walking.I think this is where we say goodbye until tomorrow. Part II of this adventure continues. Oh, we aren’t done yet folks!

Thanks for dropping by!