Tick Tales of Misery and Occasional Ecstasy

May 11, 2009

A Week With My Eldest

Filed under: personal — Tags: , , — thetick @ 9:16 am

My oldest son, officially out of the Army and back in our hometown, decided he had had enough of the hometown and was going to go on a road trip. I fully supported this for several reasons. One, I wouldn’t wish that town on anyone. Two, I am a big fan of road trips. Three, a visit to me was on his agenda.

After several delays, he showed up at my door late Saturday night. We crashed, then woke up on Sunday and did my traditional “Going to coffee” at my current favorite diner. After that, we headed in to town to catch the Metro into DC. Since I had only been on the metro once before, I wasn’t sure which train to get on. I asked a lovely lady with a cooler if we were waiting for the train to get into DC. She assured me that we were, then we talked about what she was doing. She had a cooler full of drinks for the Kick Ball League. I accused her of pulling my leg, so she pulled out her official team shirt. Sure enough, a Kick Ball League sponsored by Coors Light. We got off the train at the Metro Center station, and walked to the White House. The day was beautiful, not a cloud in the sky. This would become a problem later. The Mall was packed. I had been down there twice before, and there was twice as many people around as the other times. We did the usual sites, walked from the White House to the Vietnam Memorial, then on to the Lincoln Memorial, where I had to prove to the kid that there was nudity on display in a National Monument. Seriously. Off to the sides of big Lincoln are two ante rooms that have fresco’s which display topless women. From there, we walked past the Korean War Memorial, then up the Reflecting Pool to the World War II Memorial. This place was packed! There is a big pool and fountain in the center of the memorial, and everybody was sitting around it dipping their feet in. From there, we walked to the Smithsonian Castle, and then up the street to the Air and Space Museum. I had already informed the boy that we would be going to the Air and Space museum, since I had found out about an exhibit that I had missed the last time. By the time we got there, it was no longer a question of whether or not we would be going in. I had to visit the gift shop to buy a hat. My bald head was scorched.

We went into the museum, and we went almost immediately to the gift shop. This is why I had missed the all important exhibit before, it is on display in the gift shop. I looked around the gift shop, but couldn’t see it. Then, the kid pointed out the almost hidden escalators to the basement. Down we went, and there, at the end of the long room, it was. The Enterprise. The eleven foot, plywood and vacuum formed plastic original model of the Starship U.S.S. Enterprise, registration number 1701. I have been a Star Trek fan since I was a kid, and this was totally awesome. I bought a hat, and we ate some lunch at the most efficient McDonald’s I have ever seen. Twenty lanes with registers, order, pay, walk forward, your tray with food is ready.

After eating and guzzling down a couple of Cokes to try to quench my thirst, we continued up the mall to the Capital. I had never actually walked up to the steps of the Capital, so it was a new experience. We walked right past four kick ball games going on just across the street. We waved at the nice train station lady with big ol’ hooties. We didn’t wave with hooties, she had hooties. That sentence was poorly constructed, and I apologize.

From the Capital, we walked down to the Natural History Museum. I had already been there twice, so I found a cool, dark corner to sit and try to cool off a bit. The Kid looked around at the dinosaur bones while I sat and listened to a Japanese family talk, hoping that I could catch phrase or two since I have been studying Japanese. No luck. The only thing I understood was when they kept telling the toddler no, which I would have understood without studying. After that, we went to the Smithsonian Metro Station and headed home.

The Kid went and visited some friends Monday morning, and didn’t get back until Tuesday. I had made the mistake of telling him that New York City is only four hours away from my house. To a kid that has spent about 40 hours driving in the past two weeks, this is nothing. So I went on line and get the reserve tickets for the ferry going to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. I took the day off and we got up bright and early and hit the road after snagging coffee.  We got to the ferry station about an hour and a half before our scheduled departure, but they let us go on the next one. This was a very good thing. We sat there looking across the Hudson, identifying the Empire State building, the Chrysler Building, and pretty much just looking at each other with huge grins on our faces saying “Dude, New fucking YORK!”

Ellis Island is fascinating. We spent a lot of time going around to every room, every exhibit. I love old buildings and architecture, and history. My family has a couple of ancestors that came through Ellis Island, so we looked for them a bit. We got back on the ferry and headed to the Statue. I was smart enough to get the Monument pass, so we were able to go inside the pedestal and look up the ladies skirt, so to speak. All told, it was a fantastic trip, and probably one I wouldn’t have taken if the Kid hadn’t come to visit. I cant wait to go back and actually go into NYC.

Blog at WordPress.com.