In the District: This town

There may have been a crowd in the park when Suzi and I walked by on the way to dinner, but by the time we get to the White House, there are only a few groups of twos and threes.

Other than a couple people talking in a language I didn’t understand, no one is saying much of anything, just gazing at the White House lit up at night.

Our request to go on a White House tour had been denied, so this is as close as we’ll get, even though it’s not all that close, thanks to a second fence on the perimeter.

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In the District: A game

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.

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In the District: A dash of cynicism

Why did I stop to note K Street on our way to dinner, as opposed to streets named for other letters of the alphabet?

Because K Street symbolizes whatever shady goings-on were probably happening between people in dark suits over $100 steaks at the same time as Suzi and I were at The Cheesecake Factory.

However, because it took so long to get our meals — something about running out of the cut of chicken that was used in our dishes — they did comp our cheesecake, which was nice.

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In the District: As I remember it

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.

Hidden on the ground

The sun, sky and setting combined to set the scene in that perfect, just-before-sunset kind of way.

Given a choice of going to the gym or walking outside, Suzi and I figured that since it was reasonably warm and there was at least a little light left, we’d hit the walking trail near our house.

We weren’t the only ones thinking the same thing, as we passed multiple fellow flashlight-carriers.

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Getaway in Toronto: Thank you, Toronto

No, I don’t know how it got to be 13 years.

After all, I have always enjoyed your company.

But one thing leads to another, and then another, and then all of a sudden it’s “I haven’t seen Toronto since 2009!?!?!?”

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Getaway in Toronto: Happy accidents

“You want a picture with the artist?”

Sure, why not? I’m sure most of the people who see the decorated blue bike outside the art gallery stop to take a photo, but I can’t imagine she’s there for all of them.

I asked her name. She said Allie. Or maybe it’s Ally. Or Aly. I didn’t ask her to spell it.

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Getaway in Toronto: Extinction-level event

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.

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