July 18-20: Listees, logistics, picking up Loralee, and Washington, DC

Evidently they've been doing some work on the U.S. Capitol building.  The scaffolding gradually disappeared over the five days of our visit.
Evidently they’ve been doing some work on the U.S. Capitol building. The scaffolding gradually disappeared over the five days of our visit.

The 18th and the 19th, with only a couple of exceptions, were mostly logistics, and I have no photos from those days, sorry [g]. The first exception was the Bujold listee dinner, which was wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Karen, Nicholas, and Kenton, and the six of us (me, Katrina, and Teri, too) ate at an Indian restaurant. Given that this was only the second time I’d ever eaten Indian food in my life (the first time was at a James Bryant curry party at the Denver WorldCon in 2008), and the first time I’d ever ordered Indian food in a restaurant, which basically meant I was doing the equivalent of closing my eyes and poking a finger at the menu, then asking please no cilantro or coriander (same thing, different names), it was quite amazing how good my meal was. I had a very herby tomato soup, then a stew based on chickpeas that tasted basically like a really great beef stew. With the stew came what I can only label as a sopapilla (sans honey) on steroids. It covered three quarters of the plate, puffed up a good six inches, and when I tore it open a huge cloud of steam emerged. But it was all delicious. Thank you so much, Nicholas, for pulling this all together, and for paying for my meal, and to everyone else for coming. I had a marvelous time.

The next morning I said good-bye to Katrina and Teri, packed up, and headed out to run a few errands, then south to DC to the motel where Loralee and I had reservations. It’s an – interesting, yes, that’s the word – motel just over the line into Maryland from DC, and its main attraction is that it’s close to a metro station. But it’ll do. I kicked back until about three, then drove back up to the Baltimore airport to pick Loralee up.

It’s good to see her again (we live just a few miles from each other). She and I have been friends for almost a quarter century (hard to believe that!), and I’ve been looking forward to her trip here to spend time with me in DC since before I hit the road almost two months ago (you’ll note I’m not calling it Washington – it’s too confusing in my backbrain because to me Washington is on the other side of the country – so DC it is).

We made it back down to the motel (without traffic a half-hour drive – during rush hour, more like an hour and a half), went out to dinner, got her registered at the motel, and crashed.

This morning, we made something of an adventure of finding the Metro station (why not a single map in our possession marked the Metro stations I do not know), but we did, thanks to an incredibly nice lady we met in the drug store where we stopped to ask directions, who had us follow her car to it. I don’t think we’d ever have found it otherwise. Then, when we were trying to figure out the electronic ticket kiosk, a gentleman who works there helped us poor, befuddled tourists buy our pass. People have been much, much nicer here than I had been led to believe.

And at last we were on our way to the National Mall!

We ended up spending most of the day in the Museum of the American Indian, which was fascinating. That one’s been on my list since I first heard about it. It didn’t exist the last time I was here. I learned a lot about both North and South American Indians, as well as Native Hawaiians, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I also got to eat frybread with my lunch [g].

The wonderfully fluid outside of the Museum of the American Indian.
The wonderfully fluid outside of the Museum of the American Indian.
What Loralee described as a rather salacious sculpture inside of the Museum of the American Indian.
What Loralee described as a rather salacious-looking sculpture inside of the Museum of the American Indian.
One of the many gorgeous textile pieces.
One of the many gorgeous textile pieces.
Believe it or not, this is a violin.  Cool, huh?
Believe it or not, this is a violin. Cool, huh?
This is a 500-1000 year old Inka (that's how it was spelled in the museum, not Inca) cloak made out of *macaw* feathers.
This is a 500-1000 year old Inka (that’s how it was spelled in the museum, not Inca) cloak made out of *macaw* feathers.

Then, for something completely different, we ducked into the Air and Space Museum, which was extremely crowded, so we didn’t stay long.

The original USS Enterprise model, from TOS show.
The original USS Enterprise model, from TOS show.
This life-sized (so to speak) Yoda was in the gift shop at the Air and Space Museum.  He can be yours for the low, low price of $1000,
This life-sized (so to speak) Yoda was in the gift shop at the Air and Space Museum. He can be yours for the low, low price of $1000,

Loralee moves a bit more slowly than Katrina and Teri (she’s 15 years older than I am and had back surgery last year), and I have to say that was not a bad thing. We both have a few must-sees on our lists, and if we get to see most of them I’ll be happy. I’m just so glad she’s here that that’s more than enough, frankly.