Welcome to America, Matt
Although Matt had been on American shores for 3 days, nevertheless, Kathy presented Matt with an American flag when we got into room 425 in Sheraton National Hotel. It looked like a party was in the making, but first, we were all hungry enough to eat a wagon wheel. After making 3 circuits around that part of Arlington, we finally figured out how to get the the restaurant where we had our VT meeting. By the time Matt and I got to the room, it looked like a regular hospitality suite. There was wine and beer chilled down in the sink and a table full of goodies in Matt's honour. Kathy brought a bunch of good stuff from Texas (like hot and hotter salsa and tortilla chips) and Chris brought some stuff from Georgia. Because I didn't know I was going to the meeting until...an hour before...I didn't bring anything from Virginia. I probably would have brought along a tin of Virginia Diner peanuts or maybe a Smithfield ham. My favourite thing on the food table was the Tipsy Cake put out by Jack Daniels. Alcohol is in the cake, but once it is cooked, it evaporates as does the effects which sozzle you. We got back from Jaleo at about 11 pm. We went up to the 16th floor to take in the view. We tried to get into the pool area because that was the best vantage point, but security closed it after a certain hour. The health club was still open so we fiddled around in there. We found some cups and glasses in the ballroom and Matt, Urszula, Chris, Kathy and I were there just talking. They were drinking wine. The security guard asked if we were all kin and Chris said we were to keep him off our backs. We were only sitting there, most were drinking, and taking in the night view of Washington and Arlington. I got real tired and shortly after getting back to the room, I fell asleep. For all I know, my other VT friends took photos of me asleep...and they DID!
Directly across the avenue is "The Hiker," erected by the United Spanish War Veterans in 1965. Theodore Alice Ruggles Kitson sculpted the eight-foot standing bronze figure, a realistic American soldier with rifle in hand dressed for tropical warfare at the turn of the century. A cruciform bronze plaque on the granite base bears a bas relief representing the American army and navy coming to the aid of the Spanish colonies in the Spanish-American War.
Potomac River - "The Nation's River"
The Potomac River runs 383 miles from the West Virginia-Maryland border to the Chesapeake Bay south of Washington DC. Some of the major cities along the river include Harper's Ferry, WV, Washington, DC, Arlington, VA, and Alexandria, VA. The river forms part of the borders between Maryland and Washington, D.C. to the north and West Virginia and Virginia to the south. At the mouth of the Potomac, the river is 11 miles wide, between Point Lookout, Maryland and Smith Point, Virginia.
Numerous famous Americans were born and lived along the Potomac. Two of the most famous are George Washington and Robert E. Lee. Of course, every President and Congressman has also resided along the river while serving in Washington DC!
Various methods have been used to navigate the river. The Patowmack Canal was envisioned and partially funded by George Washington to connect the area Georgetown with Cumberland, Maryland. Started in 1785, its five short canals were not completed until 1802, and they ceased operations in 1830. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal operated along the opposite bank of the Potomac in Maryland from 1850 to 1924 and it also connected Cumberland to Washington, D.C.
Today numerous parks line the Potomac. The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park runs is 184.5 miles along the north side of the river. Also in Maryland, south of DC, you will find Oxon Hill Farm, Fort Foot National Park, Fort Washington Park, Piscataway National Park, and Point Lookout State Park. In Washington DC you will find Georgetown Waterfront Park, Theodore Roosevelt Island, Lady Bird Johnson Park, West Potomac Park, and East Potomac Park including Hains Point. In Virginia, you'll find Harpers Ferry National Park, Balls Bluff Battlefield, Great Falls Park, Jones Point Park, Fort Hunt National Park, Mount Vernon, Leesylvania State Park, and George Washington's Birthplace National Park.
Chris - photographer
Most pictures made during our two days and nights in Arlington and Washington, DC were taken by me. My main competitor in photography was Chris who cared more on quality than quantity of pictures (although Nat is good in his own right). Well, I became interested in photography when I bought my first real, digital camera, a few days before my first US trip. In real, unspoiled beauty of US National Parks inspired me to do that.
Chris was more experienced photographer, so a few times I followed him in that matter. When I hit my camera to him he just took a picture of Nat lying on VT-Queen bed.
The thing about this area is...
The thing about this area is that everyone has quite an education. There are a substantial number of PhDs, and people with Masters. There are also a lot people with professional degrees here, lawyers, doctors, dentists, and the like. And the basic feeling is that to get a job that pays nearly enough to live on, you must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree. So this is me, here, to the left, receiving my Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology in 1997 from GMU! That was a very cool feeling to have made it that whole way.
For those that want to know, I am going to get my Masters next! Yay! From ODU in Education. I am thrilled!