My love for this area has not diminished, despite being stuck in not-so-pleasant traffic and having limited on Internet and cell phone access while on base. Seriously – all that is missing is the schking-wonk-skoczzz sound that accompanies a dial-up connection. Hello 1997.
On Tuesday, the little guy and I took the metro into the city. It was Weston’s first time on underground public transportation so he had quite the little adventure. He held my hand firmly when boarding and sat next to me like a little boy. I decided not to take the stroller because I knew we would only be in the city for a couple of hours and Weston had no trouble walking from destination to destination.
Yes – his hair is crazy.
Yes – I love it.
True to form, he was most impressed with the construction equipment renovating the mall rather than the historical buildings that pepper our capital. It has been quite awhile since I last walked around Washington DC so I enjoyed just being a pedestrian in a major city. While the little guy and I popped into the Air and Space Museum for a bit, we plan on visiting more of the touristy must-sees tomorrow with Megan, Mike, and Mikey. Clay has the day off so he will be able to join us too. At the Air and Space Museum Weston did experience his first IMAX – he lasted about 15 minutes before we had to duck out. So obviously it will be awhile before we can take him to a traditional movie theater.
On Thursday I met a friend and her daughter in Annapolis, Maryland. It was my first time visiting the Maryland state capital so I was completely charmed by the centuries old buildings and cobblestone streets. Weston enjoyed making a new friend – a beautiful toddler girl with white blonde hair. We walked throughout the downtown, ate a late breakfast at 49 West, and then ventured into the United States Naval Academy.
It was my first time at one of our military academies – let me tell you, the USNA is nnnniiiccceee. The location can’t be beat, it sits right at the Severn River and Chesapeake Bay. Interestingly, the school is on the grounds of a former Army post, Fort Severn, so I suppose it wasn’t too usual for two Army wives and two Army brats to hang out on campus for an hour or two.
Last night, we met some friends at Jackson 20 in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. The guys, Glenn and Matt, served with Clay on his previous deployment and have now settled in the area. Glenn’s wife, Morgan, and I have always had a good time together (remember when Clay and I went to their wedding last year?) so it was wonderful to see them again. Clay and I joke that our social calendar is a lot more full in this part of the country than Oklahoma – all the more reason to eventually end up in Washington DC…so many of our friends live here!
Clay ordered the charcoal roasted slow-cooked goat. He ate goat in Afghanistan on his deployments and figured he might as well try it prepared by an esteemed American chef. The goat was served with cream of corn, pimento cheese ravioli, and a sweet potato puree. He practically licked his plate clean so the dish exceeded his expectations. I ordered the blackened catfish with hushpuppies and coleslaw. The catfish was delicious, as was the coleslaw. But I couldn’t stand the hushpuppies, it was as if they had a southwest flavor that competed against the creole seasonings of the catfish and coleslaw. Weston had the kid’s meal grilled cheese. As you can see, it was huge (and delicious), but when the kid’s meal is $12 (!), I suppose that is a good thing. The fries were quite tasty, I must say.
Living in Lawton, our opportunities to try restaurants with creative menus is limited. Driving to Oklahoma City every weekend for dinner is just not realistic with a toddler. In this part of the country, we’re able to walk around with our little boy in the evening and pop an array of restaurants serving food prepared in a variety of styles. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the city life is for us. It feels like home.