Favorite thing: Let me tell you a little story, I snapped this simple shot not for a tip but to remind me of what the name of the fort was & the date & for an other shot. So I.m standing near the main gate in front of this sign and took the shot, the guard says not photos please, I respond no problem and walk away. Terry & I get about 4 blocks and here comes an MP in a 4X4. He was very nice but all I keep hearing is "can I see your camera, is that digital?" I say sure here you go and if you need me to delete some thing just let me know which ones! He could find no issue with the photos I had and found us not to be a spy or any kind of threat so he let us go. How nice of him! The moral of this story is BE VERY CAREFUL WHERE YOU SHOOT!! They may come after you!
Fondest memory: Make no mistake about it, meeting Yubert is what I call a fond memory. However, getting hold of him on Inauguration Eve was a task akin to nailing Jell-O to the wall. I was under the impression that it might be more convenient for him to meet not just me, but everybody at Union Station (a prominent location right on the metro line where folks can get a bite to eat while they're there), however he ended up at the Longworth House Office Building. Normally, the walk between the two points would be pleasurable (passing the Senate office buildings and the Capitol grounds), but two factors made it unusually arduous. First, it was snowing like nobody's business. Second, the barricades for pre-inaugural security made it necessary to go around Abraham's barn to get there. That is just, in my opinion, given the world at that point in history. I finally met up with Yubert outside Linda Sanchez's congressional office, whereupon I showed him the way to Senator Barbara Boxer's office to get more tickets. After that, I offered to treat him to coffee and a snack, but he preferred to take more snaps while he still had light.
For much of the day, I had my doubts on whether this VT meeting would ever get out of the starting gate. Metros were packed to maddening levels and security cordons made the very idea of getting from point A to B in a straight line as laughable as some of the protesters' demands.
The original plan was to meet at L'Enfant Plaza metro station for a pre-inaugural rallye (8:45am) and to walk together to the security tent. (It turns out, Federal Center SW ended up closer, but we didn't know until inauguration eve that we were all up near the front.) After seeing the president renew his oath of office, the plan was to stake out a strategic spot along Pennsylvania Avenue to catch the parade. Straightaway after the parade, the plan was to walk across the road to 7th Street to have a late lunch at Jaleo.
When you consider that we all converged on Washington from varying parts of Northern Virginia (I came in from Alexandria, Yubert from Falls Church, and Tania from Arlington) and factor in all the aforementioned obstacles, detours, and security scrutiny you can easily see why none of us were able to get together to the swearing-in ceremony and parade. I ended up seeing very little of the parade because I started to get hungry when it was delayed by an hour or more. Not expecting to find anybody there at 4:30pm (figuring they were at the delayed parade), I went to Jaleo for some date and bacon fritters, about which I had been thinking since noon. To my surprise, the whole lot except Frank was there. It turned out that the VT meeting had just gotten under way. Many pictures were taken before I could get down to some food. I had met Yubert the previous day, but I hadn't met any of the others. It was shorter than the last meeting, but I had fun. The only thing I regret is that we failed to buy and send out postcards.
meeting my friend Dorothy again after she left Luhansk in the summer of 1989.
Fondest memory: My friend Dorothy came to Luhansk in the summer of 1989 as a teacher leader of a group of high school students from Fairfax County within the framework of the American Friendship Caravan under the auspices of People to People organization.
We became pen pals and thanks to the Internet (emails) and phone calls we could meet again.
Dorothy came to the hotel where we stayed in Washington D.C. at the time we agreed upon.
It was a very fond memory of my stay in the American capital - our reunion with Dorothy took place 10 years after of our meeting in Luhansk in 1989.
Who could have thought!
She took us, my two Russian colleagues and me, about the capital in her car and invited us to Alexandria where we had lunch and then to her home in Fairfax (one hour drive from the capital).
We also made a stop to take a snack on the bank of the Potomac and my Russian colleagues Marina and Lyuba sang Russian songs for Dorothy who also studied Russian.
We drank wassil prepared by Dorothy - a hot wine drink.
It was simply unforgettable!
Thanks a lot, Dorothy!
I was in Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia (practically it's one urban area seperated by the Potomac River and... law) from 15 to 20 October 2005. Surprisingly I was lucky to catch a rainbow twice. Keep your camera ready :-). Well, to be honest I have not seen any rainbow in my hometown for 10 years or so.
Once I was driving from Dulles International Airport to Arlington and I could only take fast picture while I stopped on a red light. But the second time I suprisingly saw wonderful rainbow on the sky as soon as I left the National Archive. Both my company and I immediately started to take pictures :-). There was Constitution Avenue and classical buildings of the northern side of the West Building of the National Gallery of Art in the background.
Favorite thing: As I alluded to before, Washington is very much an international city. In my mind, that is its best feature. I know of no culture or nationality which is not represented by a place to eat in Washington proper. A lot of times, these places are run by natives of that old country. Pictured is a tin of mango nectar which is representative of things considered exotic in Middle America to be found here. On the mango nectar, as with guaraná which I discovered in Brazil, I found a source in the States for it, so my friends need not send it to me by the case :-)
This is the 6th meeting with Stefan. The first time was in June, 1987 in Frankfurt at the Holiday Inn Taunus-Zentrum. The second time, he spent Thanksgiving 1988 with my family and me while he was an exchange student in West Virginia; the third time was when we meet each other halfway in Strasbourg; the fourth time he spent several days with me at university in 1990; most recently before this was when I visited him at his place in north-central Germany. Stefan found himself in Washigton on business. He works for a CDU member of the German Bundestag. Together with several colleagues all over the political lot, he visited Washington to be briefed by Dick Cheney's folks on foreign affairs. After that, they were off to New York to be similarly briefed by the U.N.
This sixth meeting was very short, but action-packed. I met him in the lobby of the Hay-Adams hotel. We went for many blocks down I Street and we went down a side street a few blocks beyond International Square, circled around and had a wonderful lunch. After that, we headed closer to the Hay-Adams so Stefan could rejoin his colleagues for their flight to New York. Before that, we walked around to see Blair House and the Old Executive Office Building.
If you also love to look at a guy in polyester and tactical type belts, the DC of for you!! I saw Secret Service, local PD, Firefighters, Paramedics, National Park Police, and all sorts of cuties :)
Though, when chatting them up I didn't bring out my camera :( I did shoot pics AROUND them .........
Fondest memory: As I was leaving the Old Post Office Pavilion, and walking past the IRS building, I spotted a working dog ..... a bomb sniffing dog I think :) Cute as a button and wagging it's tail as it crawled all over a van waiting to enter the locked driveway ..... it's handler wasn't bad looking either, but he needs to wear tighter pants.
As I was wandering about, looking desperately for a shoe shop to purchase a more comfortable pair than I had brought w/ me, I came across a neon Tattoo parlor sign. I stopped to take out my camera, and was considering going in to look at their portfolios, when this HUGE dog like creature exited the shop.
This not so little man was sooo old, that he moved slowly as I encouraged him to come on over and get a scratch. He could barely stand for long without help, so would lean on me, a pole, the wall, or whatever he could for support. When he made it aaaallll the way to the curbside to releive himself, he couldn't even pick up his hind leg! He sort of leaned to one side to miss his feet :) He began to follow me as I was walking away - looking pathetic and like he wanted more scratches. As he passed the fire hydrant, I asked him why he was passing it without paying his respects ...... He looked over his shoulder, backed up a couple of steps and did the deed :)
During all of this, a young man working as a street cleaner joined me in my laughter. He was laughing at me as well as with me ... he coudln't believe I was snapping pics of these events!
Ah, great moments like this just can't be scripted :)
Meeting my great VT-friends was my the most important activity in Washington, DC, never to forget. Making friends and giving us opportunity to meet personally sooner or later is the best side of the Virtual Tourist.
I always wanted to meet personally people of various countries and cultures. In the beginning it was very difficult for... the political reasons. Living behind the Iron Wall made travels and personal contacts with the rest of the world very difficult. Add serious financial barrier: until 1990 average monthly salary in Poland was about $20 while in, say France or UK, about $1,000. Buying bottle of water or any ticket to the museum in 'the West" was a challange unless you worked and earned money there. This situations seemed hopeless and impossible to change that time. I could have never expected what future would bring.
The communism fall down and economic freedom have given me freedom of travel (passport at home, no visas etc.) and more money for travels since early 1990'. Development of modern technologies (satellite TV, home computers, internet, mobile phones) has made contacts with the world as easy as never before. I found VT page by coindidence but I had no much time (studying and passing crazy exams haha) in the beginning (2000). But it changed soon later. Now, I am very happy to be able to meet some of my VT-friends including those ones in Washington, DC.
Fondest memory: Let me say a few words about my DC's friends.
Kathy (Kodi01) - your talkings with Urszula (tak, tak, tak) are never to forget, your visit to Poland as well, welcome back...
Kristi (Dabs) - your hospitality, smile, love to Chicago (I MUST visit it, right) and surely Frango Mints you gave us are never to forget.
Tania (skye) - I remember most your infectious smile, humour and joy + Poland's connections (Piwniczna, right?), you are always welcome to Poland.
Chris (balfor) - I can't forget our night to morning conversation (wine + beer, too), your overhelming hospitality and that great corksrew which serves me perfectly, and my sorrow when I had to skip Atlanta :-(.
Kent (Kentbein) - your long lasting (on VT) hospitality and help in my US trips planning, your energy (looking for a restaurant :-) impressed me; add those small Polish flag you had and Pentagon sign you gave us. I wish we had more time...
Nat (b1bob) - haha, my VT discovery, a man of great heart, extremely helpful, hospitable and unique, intriguing individuality. No more words needed...
More in my travelogues (pictures) and nightlife (info + pics) tips.
Thank you very much my friends. You added a lot of warm feelings to my US trip :-).
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