Saturday, December 5, 2009

Great Day but Not for Photography

Just a couple days before leaving Alaska we heard back from our Congressman on our request for a White House tour while we were in DC; we were scheduled for 11:30 this morning. One of the requirements of the tour was the only things you could bring into the White House were keys and a cell phone - no pictures of any kind. Since we are just relying on public transportation while in all our cities - that's one of the rules we made for ourselves when we were planning our vacation - we were going to have to walk out the door of the apartment with just bare bones essentials.

My little pea brain decided my minimum requirements were jeans, a dress shirt, the key to the apartment, my subway pass, and my ID. Goldfish added a nice puffy parka to her ensemble. VERY quickly it became apparent I was underdressed as DC got a nice wet snow. By the time we walked from the subway to the line through security I was basically soaked. One kind old lady shared her umbrella with me until she got hyperthermic and had to be ushered to the front of the line. I'm guessing we were in line for maybe 40 minutes, and by the time I was inside the White House I was one cold individual. Despite dripping all over the White House floors the whole time I was in there, Goldfish and I had a great time. So much history, and all decorated for Christmas - a really unique experience.

When I got home it was hot fluids and under the covers where it took a couple hours to get warmed up again. We cooked dinner at home and watched the Alexandria Parade of Lights from our balcony as boats of all sizes - from 20 feet to 120 feet - went up the river decked out in amazing Christmas light displays. I couldn't get a good photo to save my life - it was almost dark, so it required a long exposure, but the boats were moving, so they were blurry. The one above is kind of the best one, unfortunately. I took a little video that is a tiny bit better but not worth posting.

After the Parade of Lights we chilled out "at home", making some calls and getting caught up on news from home. Unalaska just had a HUGE storm with sustained winds of 120 mph and unconfirmed gusts of 170 mph causing all sorts of mischief, including blowing over the huge APL crane used to load and unload container ships. Friends that have lived there over 20 years say this is the biggest storm they have seen out there, so it was a bit above the average winter storms, common out there for the next few months.

It was good news/bad news for Goldfish and I - we were very happy our house came through unscathed, confirming its excellent construction, but a bit sad we were not on the island for the storm - we LOVE a good storm, and would have enjoyed snuggling inside listening to the violence rage. I like bundling up and going for a walk in it - sometimes Chico is game to join me but more and more he elects to do his business and get back to the comforts of home.

For details and photos on the storm check out several of the excellent Aleutian Blogs linked on my sidebar, the Anchorage Daily News or KUCB website (for the best coverage).

1 comment:

Gigi said...

Bless your heart! The wet and cold part does not sound like fun at all but otherwise it seems like you are having a wonderful time. I have been to DC a few times but have never been to the White House; would love to go. And, like you, I am sorta sorry we missed the big storm back home! Glad your house was okay; everything was fine at ours as well.