I took a crew with me to DC this time…

4 minute read

August 3, 2006, 12:36 AM

First of all, welcome to August, boys and girls. July is just so last month.

And August 1 saw me taking the Sable on its sixteenth DC trip, and this time with people in tow. Mom and Sis went with me on this particular trip. Mom came along because she was seeing a friend from high school, and then Sis came along as a what-the-heck kind of thing.

And amazingly, I did my whole routine. I made both my up-stops, though we got to Vienna really early compared to my usual arrival time. But not to worry – we made up that “early” time with what I’d call a “drop job”. Usually when I take these trips, my first stop is Rosslyn, without exception. I can’t think of a DC trip that I’ve taken since I started doing this regularly in 2004 where I did NOT stop at Rosslyn first thing. This trip would be that exception. Since Mom was meeting her friend at Union Station at 10:30, we did that first. So thus instead of Rosslyn, we went straight to Metro Center, and then took Red to Union Station. And once we got Mom to her friend, Sis and I got to have some quality time together.

So what did we do? Back to Rosslyn, duh… I had errands to run, and it was also right about my Rosslyn time, too, so it worked out. Sis also had a snack at Tummy Station in Rosslyn Center, so it worked out.

Then Sis and I went into DC again. We swung by the Code Pink fast that was going on in Lafayette Park, and then caught the train again at Metro Center. We ended up going to our first “official” destination, Largo Town Center, where “The Boulevard at the Capital Centre”, a town center-style shopping center, exists. We went shopping. Well, more specifically, she went shopping. I didn’t buy anything.

And the rule for shopping was this: I am not personally going shopping. I am not carrying any packages for anyone, and so be mindful of how much you get, because you will be carrying it yourself. This is the rule ever since a summer trip in 2003 where I ended up carrying a heavy bag of bath mats from Macy’s around in addition to my regular camera bag and tripod (I no longer regularly carry the tripod with me).

So that was fun. And we found two mistakes in the signing there. Look at this:

Misprints resulting from careless errors on the rules sign

As you can see, #8 prohibits any act which “cloud” result in physical harm and blah, blah, blah. And then #9 prohibits breaking any “stat” laws. Oops. And by the way, taking a photo of their stupid little sign is a violation of #7, which prohibits photography or videotaping on the premises. So sue me.

And then from there, Sis and I hit the train again. We went to the Infoshop for a quick visit, and then met up with Mom again at Gallery Place-Chinatown station.

From there, it was back to Virginia to make a stop at Crystal City, and then from there, to Huntington. And let me tell you… it takes talent to make it to two terminal stations in one day with non-railfan family members in tow (by the way, my record for terminals other than Vienna in a day is five). Of course, Largo had the Boulevard as an attraction, but I managed to find a reason to get Mom and Sis to go to Huntington. I was going to show Mom the Exeloo. And to prove we were there:

Mom and Sis pose next to the Exeloo

Yes, I am the biggest nerd on earth. So sue me.

After that, we went to Old Town Alexandria, where I visited my friend Tristan, and Mom and Sis went over to Old Town. At least I thought. I was talking to Tristan, and the two of them came back, after admitting that they had just been sitting at a nearby Whole Foods just cooling off. And they came in carrying fans made from ecologically-sound materials: Recycled paper and some sort of certified wood. So fun.

And lastly, we went to Pentagon City. There, I got to sit and read my “grown-ups’ newspaper” while the two of them went shopping. And the same no-carrying rules applied. I’m not carrying jack. By the way, I used the term “grown-ups’ newspaper” quite a bit on Tuesday. I got the term from The Simpsons, where Krusty the Clown once said, “You won’t be missing anything funny. I’ll just be sitting here reading this grown-ups’ newspaper. (Pause) Go now!”

And when they finished shopping, I was still absorbed in my paper.

After that, it was off to Ballston for dinner. We went to IHOP.

And from there, we headed home. Funny, though, was to hear Mom and Sis arguing over me. Both of them were tired, but I insisted that at least one person be awake on the ride home. I didn’t care who it was, but one person needed to be up to keep me entertained on the way home. They decided that one person would talk from Vienna to Woodstock, and then the other would take from Woodstock to home. Sis ended up taking the first shift (that’s what they called it!), and Mom talked for the second shift. And then the other person slept in the back seat. Mom is a light sleeper, and woke up asking if everything was all right three times. Sis, on the other hand, slept like a rock. You didn’t hear a thing out of her the whole way home.

So all in all, it was a fun trip.

And let me leave you with this photo, of Mom and Sis acting the part of tourists:

Mom and Sis act the part of tourists on board CAF 5082 at Vienna

Reminds me of the line from the song “In the Metro”, where they say, “Will the Red Line take me to the Blue? Do I look like a freakin’ map to you?”

Web site: The Big Screen Store, which Sis and I found interesting at Largo

Song: Llama Song, which I had stuck in my head all day. I wish someone would make a Schumin-related version of it for me. Can't you see it? "Did you ever see a Schumin, kiss a Schumin on the Schumin..."

Quote: "You talk to him first! No, you talk to him first!" - The two of them arguing about who takes the first talk shift and who sleeps first

Categories: DC trips, Family, Retail