It always feels good to get back home, even if it’s just home from work, but this morning, I’m especially grateful to be here.
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.
Half the fun of the travel is the aesthetic of lostness.
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.
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.
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.
I had today off. I have tomorrow off too. So I’m trying to enjoy it as much as possible, because my opportunities for relaxation will be very limited in the next couple of weeks. Today we went to the craft store and looked at a few things…I have some ideas for wedding lunch decorations now, and I just need to get the supplies. And, um, make the time to do all this do-it-yourself stuff.
I’m so glad this week is over. It’s been incredibly stressful, and both my physical and mental health have suffered. I will admit that it got better over the last couple of days, which is good, because I couldn’t handle much more of the earlier part of this week.