|Lee, Ann, and Ben on the Mall, fighting to keep their lunch from the seagulls|
Four years ago, Aaron accompanied us to Washington, D.C., taking his first trip on a jet and allowing his grandma and grandpa to experience the wonders of the city anew....it was a great trip for all of us, though not without the kinds of anecdotes that make travel endlessly fascinating and eventually become family lore.
My folks chose the summer of 1964 to take our family pilgrimage to DC. We rode the train east, taking the B&O Capitol Limited from Chicago to Washington. Instead of the Pullman sleeper, I believe we slept in a roomette where the seats facing each other folded down into beds. What I remember most about the train trip are the green green valleys of the eastern mountains and the gritty backyards of the steel mills in Pittsburgh, all part of the same state. We were so anxious to get to DC that industrial Baltimore seemed to go on forever....
Washington in the summer was a combination of the white heat of sidewalks and the cool interiors of museums.
Fast forward thirty plus years. Millie and Charlie knew someone who knew someone who got us inside the White House one evening for a tour of the West Wing. (This was before Millie got so close to Vice-President Biden).
Blake just got back from a Learning Tour of Cuba, hearing from Cuban officials and touring some Cuban farms. But years ago, our entire Farm Bureau entourage was invited to supper by the Cuban Interest section stationed in another nation's embassy. We filled our plates with shredded pork and beans and rice under the watchful (and hungry) eyes of some of our hosts for the evening. After our group had listened to the speeches and made our goodbyes, everyone, including the kids, received a souvenir of the evening....a long Cuban cigar! As we left the premises and boarded the bus, we saw the guards making short work of the leftover beans and rice from our supper.
Who knows what adventures, what famous people, what glorious sights, will find their way into family history from this week's trip to Washington, D.C.? Lizzie already has a long list compiled; we will do our best to complete her every wish! You can bet there will be pictures aplenty and souvenirs galore.....and I'll let you know all about it....next time....