Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A New Year....A Fresh Start!

All my adoring fans (Tony!) are a little bitter since I have been completely absent from my blog since October. So,therefore, as we begin the new year, it's time to get back on that horse and "blog on" I say! I have much to talk about as we are just finishing a busy and somewhat crazy holiday season. We started December with a trip to Washington DC, so I felt it only appropriate to ruminate on that for a bit.
Mark and I spent 4 days ambling through our nation's capital. Through that we learned several things. One, it pays to join the Omni Hotels Frequent Guest Program, so you get free coffee delivered to your room every day. Two, the Metro is a great way to get around DC, and the escalators are a great way to conquer one's fear of heights and crippling vertigo. Three, no commerce is transacted in DC with the exception of stores and restaurants. What I mean is; thousands and thousands of people work in DC but they don't produce anything. They all work for the freaking government.
Everywhere you go, it's an exercise in bureaucracy. I was amazed that when we visited the Capitol building and went to the House gallery to view our lawmakers in action (I should say "inaction") We had to check our electronics to ensure we weren't taking any illegal photos of "San Fran Nan" or Barney Frank (right!). Then when we went down the hall to go to the Senate Gallery, we were directed to go downstairs and pick up our electronics, then go to the "senate security office (50 feet away) and check our electronics there. Why? So 17 more government employees can have a job.
There are two gift shops at the Capitol. They are 100 feet apart and they both carry the same items. Is this necessary?
We walked all over DC....every building was a government agency of some kind. Hundreds of them. The EPA, The ATF, The FBI, The bureau of toilet tissue. You get my point. The thing has gotten out of control. As you can imagine, Marker Parker was a hoot through this whole thing. I have a great picture of him in front of the Capitol giving the finger and a big FU to our elected officials(with a special shout out to Pelosi) His Obama jokes were great and I think he really enjoyed the trip. We were a bit concerned about the Phillipine Embassy. As we were walking by, we noticed it appeared as if the Philiipine Delegation had abrubtly moved out with now forwarding address...weird.
But, did I mention the restaurants? We had some great meals (and copious cocktails) in DC. I think the Old Ebbit Grill was probably my favorite. They make a mean dirty martini and their steaks were great. We enjoyed strolling through the Ellipse and looking at all the Christmas Trees including the big one. They had a fire pit where some poor bastard from the Park's Service had to keep loading logs to keep the tourists warm. (Although Mark was convinced that they were burning documents). Speaking of documents we went to the National Archives and had a lot of laughs recalling that Democratic doofus who stuffed the "docs in his socks." (Sandy Berger).
Finally, on the last night we were there, we had dinner at the Darlington House with some friends who recently moved to Baltimore. Dinner was great, although, Mark was having difficulty with the Obama "HOPE" paraphernalia that covered the walls. It was a lovely dinner and a great way to round out the trip.
Overall, we had a great time despite our somewhat jaded view of our government. Oh and did I mention that I was there for a business conference? But I won't bore you with the details of the Student Loan Industry. I'll save that for another blog.

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