Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spring Break in DC

Spending a few days in Washington, DC for spring break, visiting some former co-workers.  Passed through York, PA on the way and saw the York Barbell Company right on the side of the interstate.  The sign said they had free tours of the USA Weightlifting Hall of Fame, and their Olympic lifting equipment is the stuff of legends, so of course I had to stop.  I know that sounds pretty pathetic, but I love York gear, and seriously, how often am I going to pass through York, PA?

Anyway, got in to DC last evening, and it was my friend’s husband’s birthday.  He is serious about his Irishness, so we to a Gaelic Mass in honor of his birthday and St. Patrick’s Day.  Had never heard any significant amount of Gaelic spoken before, but it was most impressive.  The priest even took out his mandolin and serenaded us in Gaelic after the Mass ended!  This morning my friend and I did an hour of yoga, which I was completely not ready for, so I have been dragging myself around all day.  She had to go to work, so I went into town and met another old friend, and we spent the day running around town: National Zoo, Holocaust Museum, Washington Monument.  The zoo has an “O Line,” ( a series of towers with ropes attached running from the orangutan home to a research station, allowing the orangutans to be out of their pens without danger of them getting away (there are electrified platforms below the ropes to keep them from climbing down from the towers).  How cool an idea is that?

The last time I was in DC (about 8 years ago), the Holocaust Museum ( was the one thing that stayed with me above all else, so I knew I wanted to get back, and it did not disappoint.  We spent about three hours there, but of course I could have stayed for days.  It was encouraging that the place was jammed to the rafters with visitors the whole time we were there – the power of that place is palpable, and it seems like people are really drawn into the presentation.

Finally, dinner with both friends and their spouses at an unbelievable tapas restaurant – how had I gone 32 years without ever having tapas?!

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, of course, and even though I’m not Irish at all, I feel like an honorary Irishman for the day, and if tomorrow's hour of yoga or whatever other torture my friend can come up is like today's was, I think I’ll be looking for a wee drop...So, to all lads and lassies, genuinely Irish and Irish for the day, a happy day.

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