Monday, January 4, 2010

45 hours in the car

(only the greatest awning ever... located on some awesome street in DC)

10 states, 2500 miles and 45 hours in the car over Christmas. Holy Moley. We drove north to Iowa to see the fam (Hi Anne! Hi Aunts!) We then drove eastward until basically the end of the continent. 19 straight hours on the way there encountering (luckily) very little snow. We did however miss a few turns in the mountains of Pennsylvania in the middle of the night during the thickest scary movie fog you've ever seen (whispers: lady in the water).... but eventually we made it. How cute is Bret's place?

It's right next to where Obama lived as a Senator.. and just a few blocks from the Capital!
Speaking of the Capital, we got a personalized tour. Although I was slightly dissatisfied the guide wasn't wearing more flair. Next time Bret, I think a bullhorn would be a nice touch.
..... and see how in painting Thomas Jefferson's foot is stepping on John Adams.
We're walking, we're walking...
The room where Kennedy announced his bid for the presidency. The podium's Seal of the United States was held on with scotch tape. My tax dollars at work.
...... If I win student council president, every day will be pizza day!
Learning of the wonders of the Rotunda in the Russell Senate Office Building
Oh yeah, and mom was gratuitously gushing over Bret. Barf.
It's a good thing we have each other during trying times like these.
Gate crashers.
Just kidding, they just stood outside the gate. Meanwhile Alisa and I were joining a protest.
And blending in with the scenery.

Mom had the gumption (gumption?) to get up WAY early in the cold and get tickets to go up in the Washington Monument... I didn't even know you could do that!
Ohhhhhhh............ Ahhhhhhhh. Look, I can see my house from here!
I spy.... the White House.Food-wise we tried to be smart with our meals. As in, one whopping trip to Trader Joes (oh how I love thee, please come to Kansas City) for breakfast and dinner meals, and then greasy iconic lunch places for midday mid-sightseeing meals. Copious amounts of fruit and greek yogurt for breakfast basically cancel out chili dogs... right?
Bret's house was amazing! He and his coworkers rent it from a guy sailing with his family and MIA. It's fully equipped and in a beautiful location. House swapping (or squatting) is totally the way to go on vacation.... I don't care how homey hotels claim to be, nothing beats being in an actual house.NYE was definitely a highlight of the trip. What could we possibly do in an urban area that would work for both an 18 year old and 60 year old? The theater! Yes! It just so happens that at the Kennedy Center there was a broadway reprisal of Mel Brooks classic, Young Frankenstein (which we watched ALL of the time growing up, hilarious). Sweet seats too.
I'm not going to lie... I thought we looked like a million bucks.
My mom in her sassy new cocktail dress (first in forever, definitely since before she was sick) from Anne Taylor, my sister in her freshman homecoming attendant dress from three years ago (that girl is tiny, she never grew.... like circus people) that we got at Nordstroms, and me in a limited dress that I got 7349875% off on black friday from the Limited for.... wait for it... $25. Oh yeah, I'm high-fiving myself just thinking about it.
Photo courtesy of an 8 foot tall usher named Bob. Nice work Bob.
After the show everyone at the Kennedy center convened in the lobby for the symphony and some NYE excitement. Obviously, we picked up the available flair.
See... I told you he was an alien.
Alisa did my hair... I was loving it. What a guy
Don't mind if I do.
They were cute, despite their gag-inducing lovey doveyness
(does that make me immature? I'm kind of okay with that)

It was fun, one of my favorite NYEs for sure :)

So where was I? Oh yes, the food. Well... all of those places Obama (and many presidents) have gone to, the hole in the walls? Not so healthy. Nary a vegetable to be found. For evidence of this I present our feast from Ben's Chili Bowl. Truthfully I tried to split meals and eat smaller portions of the delicous/disgusting stuff when possible.... but sometimes.. those chili fries kept refilling themselves and well.... that was all she wrote. That's what new years resolutions are for, right?

Another holiday miracle was an imprint of the Virgin mary in some bread (I'm thinking it would work better in toast). Holy Sandwich.
The trip was great and we made it without major delays due to impending snow, a small miracle considering Kansas City is getting hammered right now (a thin wall from where I sit here at my desk are several inches of snow accumulating on my car... exciting, no?). When we did make it back to the parents' house however, we got stuck in the snow on the lane up to the house (thanks for nothing 4-wheel drive) and discovered a pipe had burst in the basesment. Those disasters aside, it was a great trip. Thanks to my Dad for taking so many fun pictures with his amazing camera, and thanks to my brother for hosting us!
On the way back to KC I listened to an Alice Waters Yale University Podcast on the ethics of eating and am ENTHUSED for cleaner eating for 2010 (no more chili dogs, seriously). And Emily and I have already made plans to lose our holiday badonkadonks and meet each other in the morning for exercise. Sounds like a good plan, right? Happy New Year!