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SLC to DCA

The flight to Washington, D.C. was on a Delta 757. I gotta say that the 757 configured for two cramped classes really does not inspire a desire to fly. The only thing worse in recent memory was the 727 in terms of seat space. Also, Delta does not offer Empower on 757s, so…. no laptop power. Airlines really should offer Empower as a basic service for cross country flights or any flight over three hours.

So, I worked for as long as I could and then they brought by the snack trays. I have got to know which knucklehead approved this menu: Sun-Maid raisins (big fan, I love them), a pure butter shortbread round (calories and fat to get you through the flight), but the items that truly baffled me were the Havarti cheese spread (OK and tasty enough), and croutons………, oh excuse me, they are called buttermilk & herb crostinis, but they *are* tiny croutons…… What am I supposed to spread the cheese on? The croutons? Oh excuse me, crostinis? Come on Delta, if you are going to give me a cheese spread, at least give me something to spread it on. Flying is simply becoming more onerous these days…

Flying into the D.C. area, we flew just to the East of the David Taylor Model Basin, a very cool place where they test ship hull designs and torpedos and just about everything that transits over and through the water. Oh, and if you are in the area, check out the pentagon shaped pool and bring your swimming suit.

We obviously also flew just to the East of the Pentagon. It is the worlds biggest building and houses the headquarters of the US Department of Defense and serves as work for over 26,000 people. Unfortunately external pics are the only photos you’ll get of the Pentagon from me on this trip as they do not allow cameras inside the building unless it is your job or you have explicit permission.

After checking in to the Key Bridge Marriott, I caught the Metro and went out for a bit of a walk up by the Capitol which is now under construction. Apparently there is a new visitors center that is under construction to keep the public in a structured environment and away from the Senate and House of Representatives. Nawww, sorry that is a little harsh. It’s an obviously significant investment as the expansion is mostly underground and is three quarters of the size of the Capitol and apparently it is billed as the largest investment/project in the history of the Capitol.

The Supreme Court building is also under construction as well which makes one wonder where everyone is going to get all the work done. But I did see lots of security in particular, private security companies that have apparently been contracted to guard some of our nations most important historical monuments and places of government. Seems odd, but the continued outsourcing of government jobs to private companies is extending everywhere from police forces to the military. I even saw private security forces over at the Pentagon earlier this afternoon which really struck me as bizarre.

Dinner was had down the road from the Supreme Court at Talay Thai Restaurant on the recommendation of one of the Supreme Court security guards. It seemed a little strange as I walked in with the decor of a Chinese restaurant, but in a Thai place. I ordered the Pad Thai and spring roll appetizers with a Singha beer and sat for the next half hour waiting for my food and getting stared at by some woman and her husband on one side of me while sitting next to some amazingly profane bureaucrat and his overdressed wife. My pad thai came first followed about ten minutes later by the spring rolls. The quality was just OK. Not the best thai food I’ve had, but not the worst either, but the service was pretty bad.

Needed a bit more exercise after dinner, so I walked down to the WWII memorial. I’ve not been to DC since this memorial was built, and I have to say it is a proper memorial that pays respect to those 16 million individuals who served, the 400,000 who died and the untold millions more at home who gave and sacrificed for our freedom. Its creation was signed into law by President Clinton on May 25th, 1993. The site was chosen and formall dedicated in 1995 and construction which began in 2001 was finished and dedicated May 29th, 2004.

The last picture is of the Washington monument seen looking over the WWII memorial from the steps of the Lincoln memorial which I’ll come back to tomorrow.

Categories: Travel.

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