The most striking thing about DC is how clean it is. Honestly. It’s almost overwhelming. I dropped a mint on the floor of the metro and ate it anyway. Just kidding. Not that clean. But it’s pretty here- the streets are taken care of, and the NW quadrant has a decent amount of greenery. DC has been treating me pretty well.
Most of you know, but for those of you that don’t, I will take a moment to brag again for just a second: my Momma won a (global! Worldwide!) award for her work in Learning & Development at her company. Other winners included L&D teams from Sprint, Verizon, and IBM, just to name a few. Needless to say I am super proud of her amazing accomplishment, and beyond grateful that I was able to be there at the Best Awards to see it all go down. To see what she does, follow her on Twitter @laberle !!
We also took the opportunity to do a (very) little bit of sightseeing- Alex came down from New York, so the whole gang was together. On Friday we went to the American History Museum which was really wonderful! My favorite exhibit, of course, was Julia Child’s kitchen which she had donated to the Smithsonian years ago. I feel justified in buying some more pots and pans, I think. She had at least 80. Do you think I could get away with… 20?
We went to the International Spy Museum which I had never been to, and it was adorable! Here we are being complete goofballs:
The following day we took a lap around the National Mall to check up on the White House and a few of the monuments. I’m trying not to bask in the negativity of this situation too much, but I feel like I have to say something about what occurred.
Many of you know my back story with the Lincoln Memorial. For those of you that don’t, I was there in a trip with a group of my peers in High School. We were competing at a regional choir competition (yes, I was that kind of nerd) nearby, and took some time to see the sights of DC. While at the Lincoln Memorial, the amazingly wonderful Dr. Patrick Finley (grand choir director of everything choir) led us in an arrangement of America the Beautiful. Tourists in the area loved it, the guards did not. We got interrupted and kicked out of the monument. I’m assuming there is some law about congregating, but I don’t remember being informed of it.
That story may or may not even be relevant to what I saw this trip, but at any rate I feel like perhaps it made the situation I stumbled upon even more disappointing. There was, in fact, a choir singing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial when I was there. I’m assuming they had a permit of some sorts, and that’s why they were able to be there, but it wasn’t so much that they were there that was bothering me. First, the choir was singing religious material only. I can take that in stride. I believe in freedom of expression, and I believe that religion falls under that. What was truly surprising though, is that they were using the opportunity to hand out religious materials (pamphlets, etc.) that were full of hate and narrow mindedness.
Don’t get me wrong, I realize we are allowed to do this in America. I’m glad we can. But I wish that we could express ourselves without spewing hate, or marginalizing others. It is possible to have religion, or even a private devotion to God or Gods or Goddesses or the Devine or to the Self that also comes with acceptance, is it not?
Let’s end on a happier note, shall we? Here we are, looking cute: