Easter in Washington, D.C.

Nap time at the National Zoo

Five days into the new quarter, Linda and I flew to Washington for Easter with Robin, Dylan, and Carson.  We landed at Dulles at six, and the welcoming committee included Henry their dog, fresh from the groomer.  It was a tight squeeze, me wedged between two kids’ seats in back, Henry jumping up and down and licking my face. A nice welcome.  We got the kids in bed, and I took Henry for a long walk – the lovely spring weather lasted the entire weekend.

I needed to do some work on Friday, so I headed to a nearby Starbucks until one, then back to the apartment for lunch.  Unpacked the Dahon folding bike that we now keep on Robin’s balcony, and zoomed north to the Washington & Old Dominion trail, on a former right of way of the railroad of the same name.  I’m getting to know it well, and headed west, from milepost 19.5 to 29.5, then back, a good workout.  Dylan wanted a cheeseburger, so we headed to dinner at the nearby Reston Town Center.  Then bath time; I was out of practice, and had forgotten that the tub is like recreation – getting clean seems to be merely a byproduct!

We needed a good outing on Saturday, so set off relatively early for the fabulous National Zoo (part of the Smithsonian).  High points were the famous pandas, the lions, and a variety of cute little critters in the Small Mammal House.  We zipped over to the Glover Park neighborhood for a burrito lunch, then down to the very crowded National Mall (a park in the center, not a place to shop!) and the National Botanical Garden, just down the hill from the U.S. Capitol.  I had never been there – small but interesting.  Then home.

There was just enough time for a quick bike ride before dinner, so I took the Dahon east on the W&OD Trail, then to Home Depot to buy Robin a Vise-grip (a very useful tool, familiar from stand-building in Hamburg two weeks earlier), then to Vapiano, an Italian eatery in Reston Town Center that has become a fave.  Rode home, gave the girls a bath (even more splashing and ruckus), took Henry out for a good walk, and clocked out.

Up at 5:40 on Easter Sunday, everyone fresh and well dressed in an hour, and into Washington for 8 a.m. worship at the National Cathedral.  The kids were exceedingly well behaved during the nearly 90 minutes of hymn and reflection.  Dylan spoke two gems: during the sermon, she asked Robin, “Buried, and now he’s still alive?” (she was obviously paying attention to Bishop Marianne, a terrific preacher); and after receiving a Communion wafer she declared, “I’m still hungry.”  We’re grateful that Robin is introducing her daughters to Christianity.

We celebrated with a caloric brunch at Chef Geoff’s in far northwest Washington, then motored back to Herndon.  Took Henry for a walk, played with the girls, and we headed to the airport.  It was a nice visit, but a bit short.  So Mother Nature found a way to lengthen it: storms in Texas forced cancellation of our Sunday-afternoon flight, so Robin and the girls picked us up, took us home, and we had another evening and morning to have fun.   And Henry got two more walks.

"Ex Nihilo" (roughly "Out of Nothingness") by American sculptor Frederick Hart (1943-1999), above the main center door of the National Cathedral. A brilliant artist, many critics snubbed him, because he preferred realism over abstraction. I find his work wonderful and moving.

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