You know that moment you realize that everything is going pretty well yet you are not doing what you should be doing? Â I had it Monday morning and strong. Â When I woke up EARLY I had that feeling. Â Loud and clear. Â And we hightailed it to Cleveland. Â Well, sort of hightailed it. Â Turns out I don’t really do anything fast and the time changes have been working against me. Â I had made plans for us to have dinner with a friend who happened to be in Cleveland for a bit and, although late, dinner we had. Â He was kind enough to offer us a place to stay that night as the only thing on my mind entering Cleveland was getting to the place with the food, the friend, and the beer. Â Of course, after driving what seemed like forever this was a godsend and much appreciated. Â It was a relaxing evening and an inspiring morning. Â The property we were staying at was beautiful and, upon hearing that we were headed to Pittsburgh, my pal said “Oh, you can go to the Mattress Factory.” Â You won’t be surprised to know that I said, “What is that? Â A bar?” Â After it was explained briefly, it took me under 20 minutes to pack my bags and get in the car.
Pittsburgh. Â It just sounds gritty doesn’t it? Â I imagined dirty and boring. Â I was wrong on both counts. Â That night (Tuesday) as we got into town, we drove in and I was wondering how, between these two empty hills, there was going to be a Pittsburgh in 2 miles. Â Desolate -> Tunnel -> City. Â A really pretty city, visually not unlike Portland. Â I’ll give you that the Ohio River, majestic as it may be, is no Columbia River. Â Still, I see the water and the bridges and automatically am alert. Â We had dinner and came out to a major thunderstorm and called it a night.
Wednesday, we got up early to go to breakfast and get ready for the MF. Â It was great. Â So worth the morning and we liked it so much that we explored the city a bit and got, you guessed it, a very late start for DC. Â En route, the traffic was ridiculous and the road is under construction 75% of the way. Â One interesting thing that we did see was a car fully engulfed in flames on the other side of the highway. Â FULLY. Â One sad thing that happened is that my bicycle killed a bird (OR Brian’s, it could have been his too). Â We were driving on the highway and the poor thing began to fly up, up, over the windshield, and….feathers in the rearview. Â This seemed significantly more tragic than the inferno.
(People were pulled over to help and firetrucks were on their way – Â I saw them. Â Me + BB* = nowayjose.)
So, we got to D.C. Wednesday evening – just in time to meet our Airbnb hosts (our first time!) and head out to dinner. Â We made a quick game plan for Thursday and were fast asleep. Â Today, Thursday, was great! Â Brian got our bikes in order and we rode to the metro, hopped on a train, and toured DC on our bikes. Â Amazing. Â I see what all the excitement is about (bicycling that is). Â Way better to see things and get around.
Primary stop, Newseum. Â All Pulitzer Prize winning photos are here. Â A part of the Berlin Wall is here. Â So much information about our freedoms – press and speech especially – are here. Â Aside from the Pulitzer photos, there is a large exhibit about Katrina and another about 9/11. Â The exhibits consistedÂ primarilyÂ of the front pages ofÂ newspapersÂ and and news footage. Â All three were equally moving and emotional. Â I didn’t fully make it through any of those sections. Â Maybe it was too much at once. Â Being such a visual person, the sheer volume is overwhelming and theÂ imagery is too powerful. Â I left with a heavy heart and a fuzzy brain.
We walked for a bit, got some lemonade and a sandwich and decided to hop on the bikes. Â If we couldn’t handle another museum, we could at least ride around and see some stuff. Â So we did. Â We rode down to the Mall, saw several monuments, and rode around the White House. Â For some reason, the White House really had a spell on me – I wanted to see it from every angle. Â So I did. Â This proved to be fun largely because I was convinced that around every corner would be another beautiful building. Â Mostly true.
*BB = Burning Bomb