So, I'll see if it all stays with me enough to write some more, but here's a list for now - probably incomplete because I'm going strictly from memory - of what I did, followed by some general thoughts:
1. Bus tour, where we saw the following:
- Washington Monument
- White House
- Capitol Building
- Lincoln Memorial
- FDR Memorial
- Jefferson Memorial
- MLK Memorial
- Vietnam War Memorial
- Korean War Memorial
- WWII Memorial
- US Marines Memorial
- Arlington Cemetery
2. Return to the Capitol for a tour
3. Library of Congress tour
4. Dogfish Head Alehouse (c'mon, I'm a beer geek)
5. Monticello (Jefferson's home)
6. Amish Country
7. Smithsonian - Natural History Museum
8. Alexandria, VA (very brief stop)
Obviously, we are pooped. We were going to go to the Air and Space Museum on the last day, but we just didn't have it in us to brave the humidity once more and get on the Metro. Some other stuff we would have liked to see: Holocaust Museum, Mt. Vernon, some more of Alexandria, some Civil War battle sites, Baltimore, etc.
So, some random thoughts:
1. I don't know enough about the Presidents to be considered an expert, but I think my favorite has got to be Thomas Jefferson. (What a daring choice, I know.) I pick him simply because I find him to the be the most interesting, in spite of and because of his flaws. He also had the most impressive memorial. (FDR being a close second.)
2. East Coast Pale Ales aren't as hoppy as their West Coast cousins.
3. Humid air makes me feel like I put lotion on my face, and I'm sure that the eczema from which I suffered while living in San Francisco, but disappeared while moving to the East Bay, would return if I moved to a place as humid as there.
4. Virginia and Pennsylvania are gorgeous - at least from the highways.
5. There aren't many black people where I live. I think this was the first time in my life that I ever found myself consistently as the minority while blacks were the majority. I've been the minority while surrounded by Asians while in S.F. (or gay people, depending on the neighborhood I was in) but this was a new one.
6. There sure is a lot of pagan imagery in our Capital. Seriously. I counted Poseidon twice. Jesus? Not even once. Moses and St. Paul were in the Library of Congress, but if aliens every examine the remains our civilization, they'll get kinda confused about the dominant religion when they visit D.C.
7. Amish country was somewhat disappointing. Don't get me wrong, it was beautiful and we had a great time, but they're getting more and more modern. I expected to feel like I went back in time or something. Besides, the guy who drove our tour buggy was a Mennonite. Splitters! No, wait, the Amish are the splitters. Still.
8. Creationists (as in, the ones who completely deny evolution) should be locked up in the Natural History Museum only to be released when they finally pull their heads out of their asses.
9. I really missed my son. Don't worry about him, he was spoiled rotten by his grandparents, whom he loves.
10. As much as I missed my son, I was glad that we didn't bring him. He's not old enough to appreciate any of this stuff, and it would have just taken away from our enjoyment.
11. I continue to get along with my wife after spending that much time with her. We had a little, minor, tiff that was probably more the result of us being tired than anything, but I honestly can say that she doesn't get on my nerves like pretty much anybody else eventually would. (Hopefully she can say the same.)
12. This was probably one of the best trips I've ever taken. It filled me with a positive sense of patriotism.