January 4th, 2009

wedding couple

DC-Pittsburgh trip days 11-13

(Photo link again for the impatient)

boyziggy and I spent the first day of 2009 visiting museums and friends and enjoying good food. Late morning we walked to a Metro stop - the weather was a bit warmer and I felt really good. We took the train to the fabulous Sticky Fingers Bakery where I enjoyed a chili-cheese dog, chai, and Rice Krispy treat with chocolate-peanut butter topping - all vegan. We then took Metro to the Smithsonian and visited the Natural History and American History museums. I wasn't too interested in the former and Ziggy wasn't too interested in the latter, so we compromised. I enjoyed viewing and took lots of photos of musical instruments in a display at the American History museum, though I wondered what these instruments had to do with the subject of the museum. This was after standing in a very long line of people waiting to see Dorothy's ruby slippers, which I didn't care about, and later found we could have bypassed that line and gone straight to the musical instrument exhibit - oh well. (Kermit the Frog was also in the other exhibit, so it wasn't a complete waste of time. ;-) )

After the museums we rested at the hotel for a bit, then went to an Ethiopian restaurant which had lousy service but tasty food, even if the "vegetarian combo" was the only thing we could eat on the menu. Then we visited Ziggy's friend Steve in Alexandria. Upon returning to the hotel I stayed up far too late processing and uploading photos, finally going to bed at 3:45 a.m. before the upload was quite finished.

While the photos were uploading, and earlier in the day, I watched quite a bit of the Learning Channel's marathon of shows about obesity. These programs featured several individuals who weighed over 900 pounds. One of the programs, "Half Ton Man", I had seen before. Watching these shows brought up a lot of issues for me which I may expound upon in a later post. For now, suffice to say I felt even more aware of my need to moderate my food intake and increase my exercise than before, and felt bad that I stayed up so late I wouldn't have time to jog the next morning.

Friday we went back to Sticky Fingers and had lunch with Ziggy's friend Tobi. Then we went to the Spy Museum with Ziggy's friend Jessica. I was cranky from lack of sleep and not terribly interested in the subject matter, but it was fun to adopt a secret identity at the beginning of our visit and remember details about it at the end. (Despite the sleep deprivation, I did better at the mock customs interview than my companions, who were told they would have been deported from the country. ;-) ) Then we had a nice walk back to the hotel, and I crashed for awhile while Ziggy and Jessica went to dinner at the nearby Science Club. Ziggy brought me home some veggie rolls which I devoured, and informed me that we must pay them a return visit for dessert later that evening.

We then went to visit my cousin Tommy, the one who gave me my Fender Mustang bass back in '86. I brought along my rented bass and amp, but didn't end up playing much because we just talked and talked. I have fond memories of visiting Tommy and my other cousins when I was very young, and my parents dropped me off with my grandmother for a week each summer while they played concerts at Orkney Springs. Many years have passed since then, but Tommy still has the same wonderful sense of humor.

After the visit we did return to the Science Club, but they now had the music up loud and the lights so low we couldn't hear or see each other. I ordered a cosmo which was delightful, and a vegan brownie which was even more so. Too bad the bar was so loud and dark or we might have stayed longer; guess we're just not that hip.

This morning we packed up our belongings and drove to Baltimore, where we had lunch at One World Cafe with Ziggy's friend Rebecca and her friend Christy. I had a marvelous chocolate chai (with soymilk) and gushed so much over it that Rebecca and Ziggy each ordered one too. The home fries and fakin' bacon were also good, but my blue corn pancakes were a bit too dense and savory for my taste. After we went to our hotel in Owings Mills and crashed for awhile, then had dinner at Red Robin, as there aren't many veggie choices in this part of town and we had limited time. I was annoyed that all of their "healthy" wraps and salads contained chicken, so we both ordered veggie burgers and lemonade. We both passed on refills of our "bottomless" drinks and fries, keeping the Half Ton Man in mind...

After dinner we drove to the nearby XP Lasersport, a new arena Ziggy's friend Mark recently opened. They're having an all-night tournament, so I'm stuck here till 6 a.m. I attempted to take some photos, but the arena made even the darkest club concert I've photographed seem like daylight in comparison. I'm uploading a few dozen to my pro site now, but probably won't make them public for awhile if at all. Edit - these are now public; we're figuring out potential pricing for the full-resolution shots.

Tomorrow we'll sleep in late and have a soak in the spa (the pool at the last hotel ended up being across the street at the Y, with no hot tub, so there's a good thing this hotel has one or I'd be irritated about buying the bikini). We might go back to DC then or we might stay around here, we'll see. Just hope I can stay awake for the next four hours. Thank goodness this place has wifi...