Archive for July 30th, 2013

We interrupt your regularly scheduled furlough pattern for a spontaneous Furlough Monday.

Yep, I took Friday and the following Monday as furlough days, resulting in a four day weekend. Since my brother and his family were coming through town on a vacation, I decided I’d leverage my day off to the beginning of the week so I could hang out with them.

Hosting my brother, sister in law, and their three teen/tween kids was the largest group we’ve ever had stay with us before. Thankfully, our rental home is quite spacious, so with our two spare rooms upstairs and a cot plus air mattress in the basement, everyone had their own bed and plenty of space. Laura, my SIL, says I missed my calling as an owner of a bed and breakfast. Maybe she’s got a real idea there…renting rooms to tourists might be a way we could help subsidize a mortgage out here. 😉

They arrived Sunday evening and had dinner with us. We grilled chicken on the Egg, and I also made some chocolate oatmeal cookies, the final recipe from Pat’s cookbook that I’ll be sharing with you…watch for that soon!

Monday morning after rush hour we headed into town with my brother driving and me navigating. I’ve got the drive to the observatory down pat, but the last couple of miles to the national mall aren’t so familiar to me. But we made it and found a parking spot in a garage on 15th Street near the national aquarium and the White House.

Our first stop was the archives, where we waited in line a little while to see the founding documents, but it wasn’t too bad. Then we meandered toward the Capitol, grabbing some lunch along the way. This was the closest I’ve been to the Capitol since I moved; I still haven’t been in yet, but I’d love to take a tour one day.

We started back down the mall and spent a little while at the Air and Space Museum. Then we took in the sights of the national mall as we strolled toward the White House. We got a view of the front amongst a throng of other tourists. I think you can get a slightly closer view if you go around to the back, but we didn’t have the time.

We opted to not continue walking down the other half of the mall to the Lincoln memorial, as we’d have to walk all the way back to the car afterward, and it’s really quite a hike, especially if you’ve already walked the first half. We opted to head a block back to the car and drive over there. Parking was a little scarce, but my brother found a spot a ways down the street. I volunteered to sit with the van while they went to the Lincoln memorial; that way I could save them the hike back when they were finished, and we cut some time off our exit (very important, as we were approaching the beginning of the evening rush hour). That worked out just right, and we made it home from downtown in practically record time.

Evidently, some loser chose yesterday to vandalize the Lincoln memorial, the National Cathedral, and a statue outside the Smithsonian Castle with green paint. It was evident on Lincoln, though we didn’t see the other two. She was eventually apprehended yesterday, but not before defacing those objects. Not super cool on her part.

So, I enjoyed spending my furlough day with family. It seemed like the perfect way to spend forced time off. I should be back on schedule next Friday, but it’ll be hard to top that!

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