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Leisure and Socializing and Uncategorized21 Jul 2008 12:47 pm

I’m not Jimmy Stewart and they did not make a movie about me. But I did go to Washington with my wife.

We made it to Midway without a car or taxi but it took a while and it took some planning.

We lined up neighbors with keys and instructions on the pets and the plants. We gave both pets and plants attention this morning and earmarked the 9:26 AM Metra train as the one to catch. Without too much stress or scrambling, we made it.

It was late.

It’s entrance to the station was dramatic, though: very fast. So fast, it looked like he was going to breeze us all at Central Street. Only when the first car or so was at the platform did I hear the burst of air indicating a brake application. With the acrid smoke of brakeshoes filling the air, the train finally stopped far to the south, with about a car and a half beyond the end of the platform and a conductor keeping running passengers from running to the open door over the Lincoln bridge.

His stops at subsequent stations were considerably slower, I note to my wife.

We got downtown and headed up two blocks to the Green Line el station where we waited a little while before the train came. Just one stop and we were off again waiting for the Orange Line train to Midway.

We waited. And waited. And waited. Pink and Green and Brown line trains paraded by.

This is not too impressive airport service, methinks. I’m glad we had extra time built in.

The Orange Line train finally squealed through the junction at Lake and Wells, rounded the corner and picked us up. It poked and poked and poked through the Loop and the South Loop and Chinatown. This is not the way it’s supposed to be.

Finally, it picks up speed and gets us to Midway, where we walk and walk and walk to the terminal. Looks like the cab and bus companies made sure the train was not convenient to the terminal. Keep yourself in good shape for this walk.

After all this, we are through security at 11:04 AM for an 12:08 PM flight. Time for food and reading material.

The Southwest flight is on time and is hosted by a lead flight attendant named Scooter who is a small woman of mighty comedic proportions: she is flat out the funniest flight attendant I have ever had. Great lines, great delivery. We arrive on time in Dulles.

Never been to this one out in the boodocks. Dave has already volunteered to pick us up by car. My wife didn’t realize that National (don’t tell me to call it “Reagan”) is the close-in airport with a Metro stop. Oh, well, this happens. She knows for next time.

While waiting for Dave, I notice intercity-size brown buses marked “West Falls Church Metro”. File these away for next time. Dave drives us to his house by the East Falls Church Metro station. Ah, that’s better: we’ll need that tomorrow for sure.

Dave needs to stay close to home to be around his aunt so he can’t go out to dinner as we offer. So, we offer instead to do carryout car-free and walk up the hill to the gigantic Vietnamese plaza with the gigantic parking lot to find dinner.

We have great success. Even buy a six-pack of Vietnamese beer, heartily recommended by the man at the cash register.

It was indeed a fine accompaniment to Vietnamese dinner as he suggested. We head home burdened with out booty. It is a downhill walk mostly.

I stay up way too late talking but hey, I’m on vacation and it’s fun catching up.

I pay for it tomorrow.

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