Cautious optimism

In less than 48 hours, I’ll be back in my home state of Michigan, for what could (if we’re being generous) be called a “long weekend”. My dear husband got himself invited to a conference and I’ll be splitting a few days between my parents. I wish it was more time, so I could see all of the people I love who are spread out across the state, but at least I’ll get to see my parents.

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A pretty okay stretch of days

Dallas and I have just returned from Tallahassee, Florida–we took a short trip so he could attend an American Historical Association workshop on teaching and learning in the field of history, including curriculum design and helping students get the most out of their college history education.  While he sat in sessions all day, I explored the city on foot.

Continue reading “A pretty okay stretch of days”

Gotta see it all!

The reflecting pool is actually really gross.

Half the fun of the travel is the aesthetic of lostness.
–Ray Bradbury

We’ve been in our nation’s capital since Sunday afternoon. In that time, I’ve seen quite a bit, but there’s a lot I still want to see before we leave Friday night.

It’s been great fun exploring a new place, especially since I’m not all that nervous about going out and about on my own. Even a year ago, I could not have done this without feeling like I could have a total breakdown at any moment.

On Sunday, our flight was short and relatively comfortable until the very end. I’ve never really had a problem with motion sickness, but I almost threw up as we started descending to land…maybe because it looked like we were heading straight into the river. Dallas had warned me about it, but it was still a bit of a shock. I also took my first taxi ride. I’ve taken buses, trains, planes, and even ferry boats, but never a cab. So now I’ve done that. 

Yesterday I saw the Washington Monument, the Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt memorials (FDR is my favorite president, so I had to go, and I was not disappointed), and the National Museum of American History. I’ve been looking forward to the American history museum for ages–I read a book about the First Ladies exhibit when I was little and I’ve now finally gotten to see it. I also saw Dorothy’s ruby slippers, John Coltrane’s saxophone, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s typewriter. 

Pretty good advice about writing on this typewriter.

Dallas and I had dinner at Nando’s, which he’d been dying to take me to since he first went this past winter. I walked a total of 10 miles over the course of the day; I guess that was a decent workout.

This morning I got on the wrong train and ended up in Maryland, so I guess I can say I’ve been there now. I had planned to go to the Air and Space Museum, but it was really crowded. I ended up having lunch with Dallas and some of the other Kagan Fellows at the USDA cafeteria. It was actually really good, down to the slice of Black Forest cake I let myself have for dessert. Then we all went back to the Holocaust Museum for Dallas’ research presentation. He gets better at presenting his work and answering questions about it all the time.  


One section of the Children’s Tile Wall at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The whole museum is very moving but some of these tiles brought me almost to tears.
He went back to work in their library afterwards, while I came back to the hotel, changed (I had a dress on all morning because it was necessary to dress up for his presentation, very serious business and all), and went for a walk. I ended up talking to a student who was out for the ACLU to talk with people about the Voting Rights Act, so that was interesting.

Hopefully tomorrow I can see the Air and Space Museum. I’d also like to stop into the Natural History and American Indian museums. I have until Friday evening to get all that done, so here’s hoping I manage it.