Mr. Lynch Goes to Washington: The Vacation Blog
If you are a lucky working man or woman you take at least one week out of the year as your own to not worry about your work (if you even do) and do whatever you want. Sometimes it involves a trip to a distant land that you wouldn't normally spend a week going to. We all know this as vacation. The unbalanced schedule of the restaurant business has caused me to forego vacations for random weekends away but since I have moved to a steady 9 to 5, I was able to schedule July 1-9 as my vacation. Independence Day falls on a Tuesday this year and some companies are giving their employees Monday July 3 off as well as their designated "Floating Holiday". Mine is not so to avoid the dillemma of whether or not to work on Monday (the day before my friend "Coach's" wedding) or use a personal day, I have decided to take this whole week as my vacation. I have chosen Washington, DC as my destination because:
1) Its proximity to Northern New Jersey where "Coach's" wedding will be.
2) The gracious offering of accomodations by my friends Josh and Erin Hughes.
3) Like most bad Americans I haven't toured my Nation's Capital since I was in the Fifth Grade.
All this week, hopefully with the help of the Hughes' computer, I will be blogging my vacation in blog format. This will be separate from the Mike Friedlander Wedding Blog which will be done hopefully Friday. So enjoy the adventures of my vacation, only on The Pizza Parlor.
Saturday, July 1 5:45am: I am three hours away from my departure flight and am wide awake because while there is no worse feeling than missing a flight, there is no better feeling than being at the beginning of your vacation. Knowing that work might as well be on the other side of the earth and before you ever step foot in your office you will have done so much cool stuff. I have packed heavy for this trip, two suitcases, one for clothes and one for shoes, electrical cords, toiletries, my belt and hat with room purposely kept in case my larger suitcase is over the weight limit, a garment bag and a man bag with my magazines and books for flight reading. In other words I am ready to go, in fact I should probably get in the shower.
Saturday, July 1 5:15pm: An extremely lengthy security line caused my plane to take off 15 minutes late. I did however feel a whole lot safer knowing the four year old with snap button overalls was having to go through the metal detectors in the name of the war on terror. I spent the flight thumbing through the Sporting News College Football Preview as I start to put my College Football Preview Blog together for August. I won't give away too much but damn! Florida and Penn State have monstrous schedules. OK, enough pageantry. After a smooth landing of a quick flight, my friend Josh's wife Erin is waiting for me curbside. Now I love all my friends' wives and soon-to-be wives but Erin will probably be the only one that plays fantasy football with me and my friends that's all you need to know about her, but you'll find out more throughout the week. Erin is five months pregnant which means two things:
2) In four months time, her and Josh will welcome God's greatest gift, a beautiful person to raise and watch grow up for the rest of their lives.
1) She can't get drunk this week...big hit to the blog.
Erin's a bridesmaid in a wedding next month and needed to return a dress at the nearest David's Bridal. This was shockingly painless. Finally we meet up with Josh but more importantly Josh and Erin's miniature dachshund Kevin and Josh's co-worker Catharine. Catharine flies in the face of those that say that a human form of Barbie can't live on Earth. Guys I will do my best to get pictures up here but first we must go to the reason I picked this destination downtown Washington, DC...
Sunday July 2 11:02am- Today is the day the Declaration of Independence was written, it was not sent to England until two days later so HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA! Yesterday Josh, Erin and I walked the Washington Mall and did we walk. Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, World War II Memorial, Korean War Memorial, White House, Treasury Building, Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol. Unfortunately I won't have pictures uploaded until I get back but if you haven't done this trip I recommend it. The new World War II Memorial is awesome! Actually all this historical architecture is awesome and I felt like I was in a movie the entire time. Erin asked me some historical questions like "Was (the Korean War) what 'Good Morning Vietnam' was about?". Took a break for dinner at Chipotle's but on the way we discussed names for Josh and Erin's daughter. You can cross Destiny, LaShonda, and "37 Dicks" off the list. I had the best burrito of my life at Chipotle's and now I'm pissed there isn't any near Boston. Despite throbbing feet, Josh and I went to O'Toole's for a beer. Expecting a quiet draining two beer dive bar visit turned into a fascinating night of trashiness. I could've hooked up with any one of a number of girls there but alas it was time to call it a night. Today we are doing the Smithsonian :o) -
Monday, July 3 12:05pm- Every museum in the Smithsonian was everything I thought it would be (for those that haven't been, the Smithsonian is not one museum but 14 large museums located mostly along the Washington Mall). We stuck to the two major museums (American History and Natural History). While every woman in the Museum of American History was on eye-lock to the "Dresses of the First Ladies" exhibit, the biggest reason I'm glad my sister and mom aren't with me this week, I thoroughly enjoyed "The Price of Freedom: Americans at War" exhibit which took you threw a fascinating timeline of American conflict history (Revolution, War of 1812, Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Cold War, Vietnam, end of Cold War, War on Terror and War in Iraq) I was expecting the same from the American Presidents Exhibit but they chose a random selection of artifacts which was a little disappointing I did not get to see the winter coat William Henry Harrison didn't wear when he caught pneumonia during his Inaugural Address. The original "Star-Spangled Banner" is awesome and allowed me to tell Josh my Betsy Ross slept with the enemy general the night before the Battle of Trenton story (she was a strategic asset or a whore, take your pick). The Museum of Natural History is exactly what you think it is, dinosaur bones, a zoo that doesn't smell because all the animals are stuffed, and the Hope Diamond. We only got to go to the Air and Space Museum for a half hour before it closed and spent that time in the Flight Simulator Ride spinning around like a top and crashing our plane before being brought down unexpectedly. A great Italian meal and awkward manager conversation at Bertucci's on our way home was a satisfactory dinner. We got blizzards for dessert and watched "A History of Violence" on DVD. Its almost impossible to review this movie without spoiling any of the main plot points but bottom line, I didn't buy any of the characters whatsoever. Graphic sex and violence though, if you're into that sort of thing. This morning I got my elliptical hour in and saw Catherine again. Time to get ready to go up to New Jersey for Coach's Wedding..
Wednesday July 5 2:45pm- We are back from Coach's wedding. The blog will be up Monday along with the illustrated version of this blog. Today is a "recovery day" Josh is working, Erin, the newly home Kevin and I are watching Maury and you won't believe this but on this show they are taking lie-detector and paternity tests. Krista and Smokey are back from Pennsylvania, met them at the gym. Not much planned for today until 8 when we go to see "Superman Returns" at the IMAX Theater. I am VERY excited about this. I've been captivated by skiing videos and movies about sharks on IMAX screens I have the highest expectations for Superman...
Thursday July 6- Superman was AMAZING!! The opening credits made the IMAX experience worth the difference in price (tickets were only $10, and they were compliments of Josh so what did I care anyway!). Scott's observation of Superman's portrayal as a Christ figure was dead on, blatantly speaking of the world's cryings for a "savior". I won't ruin any of the plot for those that haven't seen it. I sure wished I had briefed myself by watching the first four movies, that lack of knowledge kept me from sharing in the "Best Movie Ever" praises Josh, Smokey and Krista's brother Scott.
Thursday morning Josh, Smokey and I got to walk through Arlington National Cemetary. It was a humbling experience and one I recommend to those who view America as arrogant or imperialistic. While the JFK and RFK burial sites and the Robert E. Lee Arlington House were highlights, nothing is cooler than the the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It happens every half hour and those that are lucky enough to witness it view so in silence, out of respect to the ceremony. We went out of our walking way to see the Iwo Jima Memorial which is the national monument dedicated to America's Marines. It is much bigger than I rememebered from when I saw it almost twenty years ago. One interesting fact on the memorial there are 11 hands even though there are five people holding the American flag. The 11th hand symbolizes the hand of God...So Cool!
After visiting the Jefferson Memorial, we got tickets to the Washington Nationals game against the Florida Marlins. Here is the difference between baseball in Boston or New York and baseball most everywhere else. The week before I paid $90 for tickets bought on eBay in January to see the Red Sox and Mets from the center field bleachers in a 10-2 romp by the Red Sox, thankfully. Today I paid (correction, Josh paid I owe that kid HUGE!) $7 to see the Nationals and Marlins and sat wherever we wented as the sparse attendance meant no ushers had to intervene in any disputed seats issued. We sat five rows up by the right field corner and by game's end we were in the front row. Ironically, after we moved a foul ball landed right in the seats we sat in most of the game. As Josh would say "Ain't that some shit!" The Nationals won in walk-off fashion as Ryan Zimmerman (or "Diet David Ortiz" as I like to call him) got the game winning hit for the third time in two weeks.
We leave Washington, DC for the final time and after another steak burrito and some anti-American discrimination towards Josh. I get the worst feeling ever. No not diarrhea, that would come later. That feeling when you realize your vacation is over. We eat at Krista's apartment and take in a couple episodes of "The Office" (nominate for five emmys including Best Comedy). After that it was time to pack as my flight leaves EARLY on Friday.