We’re actually home from Washington, D.C., but I had some more thoughts to share, so there will be a couple more posts.
Our hotel in Washington, D.C., the Omni Shoreham, has seen some things.
Rudy Vallee played the grand opening. The Beatles and Sinatra have been there. Bill Clinton had an inaugural ball there.
And baseball teams in town to play the Senators used to stay there. Right in the front window, along with other notes to the hotel’s past, is the story of the Yankees throwing Joe DiMaggio a surprise party there to celebrate his 56-game hitting streak.
The Metro station was right outside the airport, which was nice.
We didn’t have to wait long for a train to arrive, and once it did, we changed trains once we got into the city, and after a couple more stops, we were a short walk from our hotel.
The whole thing may have taken 20 minutes.
Before every detail of a trip could be recorded on smartphone and likely posted to social media — I’m never more popular on Facebook than when I travel — details of travel were recorded in souvenirs, in photos taken on film and in memories.
Sometimes those memories can be imperfect — I know I went to Washington, D.C., on my senior trip in 1990, but I’m not 100 percent certain if I went with my parents and my brother before or after — and sometimes they store weird bits and pieces beyond, and sometimes instead of, the things that you did.
It’s why I remember the Moodys before most of what my family did in Colorado, and it’s why I remember the mildly sketchy hotel we stayed in during that trip we took to D.C.
Suzi’s and my accommodations on this trip are somewhat nicer; after all, we have an actual headboard, not plastic painted to look like wood. And although we have an up-close view of the HVAC, it’s not through bars.
But that hotel had a small diner with an amazing cook, and after we ate breakfast, we’d walk a short distance to the Metro station. As someone for whom “the city” growing up meant Albany or Schenectady, the Metro was something the likes of which I had never seen.
I was a teenager, so I knew what subways were, but I had never ridden on them, and it was something of a thrill to go underground in one part of the city and emerge in a completely different area.
I’ve used a lot of subway/mass transit systems since then — New York, Boston, London, Switzerland, to name some.
And while I’m sure many things on the Metro have changed in the 30 years since I first rode it — after all, neither smartphones or apps existed, but that’s why my rail pass is on — the stations look the same as they did in my mind all those years ago.
There are certain things that I’ve liked as long as I can remember — spaghetti, the Yankees — but I can’t remember when I started liking them.
However, I can tell you it was Mrs. Henderson’s first-grade class when I started thinking dinosaurs were cool.
It’s not like I’ve studied dinosaurs since then, nor have I ever seen any of the “Jurassic Park” movies, but when Suzi looks at the map at the Royal Ontario Museum and asks if I want to see the dinosaurs, this 50-year-old may as well be 6 again.