02 December 2008

Devotion Finally Rewarded

Not everyone has as vivid a memory of my adventures in downtown D.C. eight months ago as I (for me, the nightmares have only increased in magnitude), so let me refresh your memories of the harrowing tale. I dragged Stephanie and our children into D.C. to the National Air and Space Museum to get a glimpse of the Stephen Colbert portrait that wasn't there as promised. The end.

I made a point of describing my loathing for my dear friend, Trina, for her having seen it (in the Portrait Gallery no less, back when it was up in between the bathrooms over the drinking fountain) while I was left in agony after so many (2) failed attempts.

And then she kindly posted about the Portrait's Return to the Smithsonian--this time to the National Museum of American History. She is hereby forgiven for her previous lack of empathy. God bless you, my lovely friend.

I hauled PW and PN on the train the day after Thanksgiving to downtown to see if the Fates would favor my quest. And the first thing I noticed was the mob of people in D.C. HOLY CRAP I haven't seen that many people in D.C....ever. There were more people than I've seen the week of the Fourth of July, if that gives you any indication of the mass of flesh pounding every square inch of that city.

You'll also be completely unfazed to know that they are busily building the inaugural platform on the Capitol steps for this January's festivities. I got a photo. No, you may not see it.

We headed over to the American History Museum and were greeted by THE LONGEST LINE I HAVE EVER SEEN FOR ANYTHING AT ALL. A line just to get through the museum's front doors! You see these photos of all the people in line there? The line that is four-people wide and stretches down the steps and out to and continuing along down the sidewalk out of view?

We cut in front of all of those people.

Now, I'm not usually one of those folks who think the rules are for everyone but them. Usually. I was there to see one thing and one thing only and I had two little potential nuclear bombs, one of which had valiantly and choicelessly sacrificed his nap to be there. I was not waiting in line. And so I wandered with my stroller up the wheelchair access, leaving those other suckers in line on the steps. And no one said a word as I joined the line/mob at the door. And no one said anything as I shot forward to the empty metal detector as everyone else waited in line behind the other two (am I the only one who notices these things?). And I raced up the escalator, across the building, and to the IMPOSSIBLY LONG LINE TO GET INTO THE POP CULTURE EXHIBIT. SCREW. THAT. Fortunately for the museum (I was not going home empty handed again), they had the foresight to put Colbert's portrait on the wall just heading into the exhibit so it could still be seen by those of us not in line to get into the exhibit proper. So I didn't get the perfect shot I wanted, but I saw it dammit and I got a picture to boot.

I would have stayed longer, but my gosh there were tons and tons and tons of people. What on earth?? Aren't these people supposed to be in Florida or something?

Then we trekked down towards the White House to retake some of the photos I conveniently erased from when my brother was here for a visit. As a bonus, we caught the National Christmas Tree being decorated. Here's a free shot for you.

Plus the White House being decorated for Christmas.

And thus ends my Colbert Portrait Adventures. Bless you Trina, for providing me closure to this chapter in my life. All in all, a good experience. I hope I can say one day that it was worth the three tries just to get there.


Jody said...

I hate crowds, too. When we would fly back to the States, the customs officials would pull my mom and us six kids out of line because of that same "potential nuclear bomb" that we were. I think it helped that we all carried barf bags and half of us were crying. (I'm still in awe that my mom would fly half way around the world, alone, with six kids!) But it sure cut our wait in line to next to nothing.

Heidi said...

I'm very impressed! And I'm glad you were finally rewarded for your insane courage in tackling such a trip with your kids.

Bonny said...

Oh my gosh, just reading that post made me exhausted. Not that your writing was tedious (just the opposite, as usual), just that the day sounded unbelievably stressful and tiring. Good for you for persevering, though! And hopefully Peanut and Peawhistle won't have been too scarred by these experiences. :)

Ryann said...

I am really surprised that you went to the AMerican HIstory museum. Even over here in England, I know that it just reopened after a two year closure. But good for you for getting ahead of the line! And you saw your painting!

Holly said...

Saw this, thought of you...got some extra $$?


Janie said...

Thanks Ryann, I was coming here to ask what the line was for - here in Texas (a whole other country:) I didn't hear anything about the reopening!
Glad you made it!!

Jacob and Mindy T. said...

You are so funny! I have been to Washington D.C. once and it was incredible. There was so much to see and I didn't see half of it. Everything you do makes me laugh. :)

Kristin said...

Way to go! Next time I plan to go to D.C. I'll be sure to call you!