Tourism is cheesy, so you’ll have to indulge me.

7 Oct

Want to know why I haven’t written recently? Because I’ve been busy entertaining. I know, hard to believe, but it happens.

For the record, I’ve had visitors the last two weekends – first my sister,  then two childhood friends – Steph and Kelly. And although my OCD-self was running the washing machine twice as much as usual to stay on top of the bedding situation (and my environmental-self was stressing about the excessive energy consumption), it was really great to have such a slice of my history under this roof for a few days.

Yeah, Ben Franklin cautioned that visitors and fish stink after three days. Apparently everyone who visited me must have known that rule, because no one was with me more than 72 hours, so they left before they stunk. My washing machine and I salute them. And wish the rest of you would make a note right now. [Seriously, write that down – I’ll wait.]

Here’s a quick run-down of the highlights of their visits:

Between the two sets of guests, I walked 37 miles. I love that DC is such a walkable city. Also? My sister and I turned in a 17 mile bike ride. She’s five years older than me, but she smoked me on the final uphill climb. [I’d like to point out that she weighs approximately fifty pounds, whereas I am shaped like Jessica Rabbit and need to rest my breasts on the handlebars so my back won’t give out. Or something like that. Let’s just agree: she was better equipped for the ride than I.]

Bummed we didn’t think of this.

Speaking of rides, Steph, Kelly and I rode the bus to Eastern Market to give our feet a rest. The bus, as always, was *quite* the experience. One man who got on smelled so strongly of urine that all the passengers started clawing for windows, trying to get some fresh air circulating. It was so bad that I saw Kelly discreetly breathing through her hair (like a mustache) to help filter the oxygen through the calming scent of hair products.

Eastern Market was fantastic, as always. Steph and Kelly bought jewelry, and we all had pretzel dogs for lunch. [Who doesn’t love an all-beef frank wrapped in a pretzel? I think even vegetarians would go for it, since we all know hot dogs are just, like, toenails and nipples and stuff.]

The weekend before, when my sister, Alan and I had walked up to Eastern Market, we managed to stumble upon a nearby street fair – the Barracks Row festival, hosted by the Navy Barracks, as well as the DC State Fair, which – as best I could tell – primarily involved a donkey walking down the street on a leash. But then again, DC really isn’t a state, so we can’t really be offended that they don’t take something like a state fair seriously.

My sister, Alan and I logged a few hours at the Library of Congress Book Festival. As always, I was inspired to hear authors such as John Green, Jeffrey Eugenides and Tayari Jones speak. The tents were packed, so we were spread out in different rows. I’d catch my sister’s eye periodically and she’d give me an enthusiastic thumbs-up.

“Did you like it?” I asked as we walked home.

She nodded emphatically. “The sign language interpreter for Jeffrey Eugenides was AWESOME,” she gushed. “I wish we could invite him to dinner!”

Leave it to my sister to attend a book festival and be impressed by the signers rather than the authors.

Although really, I’ve given up  trying to give up what will make a mark on people. During Steph and Kelly’s visit, we saw a cyclist almost slice a squirrel in half with his tires. I’m pretty sure that factored into Kell’s Top Ten List of the weekend.

And as for me – what was my over-arching impression from these visits? It wasn’t an animated ASL interpreter or an almost-disembodied squirrel – as memorable as those would be. It was a feeling of gratitude. Grateful to have a sister who has become a friend, and grateful to still be friends with people who knew me before I had breasts to heft onto the handlebars of my bike.

Because, as they say: you can’t make old friends.

Pretty sure *I* am that friend.

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6 Responses to “Tourism is cheesy, so you’ll have to indulge me.”

  1. thesinglecell October 7, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

    Mmkay, well, first of all? Tthe giant swab cleaning Lincoln’s ear is freaking priceless and I need it to hang in my… um… bathroom? YES. Bathroom. Do they sell that print at the Smithsonian gift shop?

    Also, I’m super-glad that your entertaining went so well and that you got to enjoy it as much as your guests did. I love DC and that’s one of the great things about it – the good stuff never gets old. Although another thing I love about DC is the W Hotel in Dupont (and my friend’s Starwood bonus points) and their Heavenly Beds (TM) and Heavenly Showers (TM) because I nearly died in them after a particularly long weekend of walking. Hooray for entertaining in the Nation’s Capital!

    • pithypants October 8, 2012 at 8:51 am #

      Sounds like I need to check myself into the W. Pronto.

      Separately, isn’t it GREAT that even Abe practices hygiene? Reminds me of when my sister and I were walking through some Parisian sculture garden and the crew was out polishing the brass sculptures of naked women. I’m pretty sure I have more than one shot of them shining up their boobs.

  2. k8edid October 8, 2012 at 4:59 am #

    DC is a great place to wander about – I need to go back without my children who kept saying “Yeah, Yeah, all this historical stuff is great but can we go back to the hotel and play video games?”

    Here in Florida I don’t get many visitors in the summer or fall, but come winter my frozen friends and family like to come for a thaw. I love when my sisters come, and kids and grandkids are always welcome, and even if we have to sleep on couches or airbeds, everyone has a good time, even after 3 days. I love to see them come, and I love to see them go. I am used to a quiet little nest.

    Your pictures are priceless.

    • pithypants October 8, 2012 at 8:49 am #

      Have faith… your kids will appreciate DC at some point. We came here from MI for vacation when I was in 5th grade and I HATED it. And I was even a nerd. I just couldn’t handle the crowds. If you’d told my ten year old self that I’d eventually call this place home, I would’ve pulled a “WhatchewtalkinboutWillis?” on you.

  3. skippingstones October 8, 2012 at 7:06 am #

    I’m glad you had some great visits! I love posts like this – it almost feels like I got to do all that stuff. You know, without having to actually hike anywhere or ride any bikes up any hills.

    • pithypants October 9, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

      It’s almost like a vacation – but relaxing!

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