Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Playing in DC on Labor Day

Brushing away the negative cloud that seems to sometimes be over my head these days, we enjoyed one of the last nice days of summer yesterday as we took a long bike ride. It seemed fitting to play on Labor Day.

We started on Capitol Hill by thoroughly exploring the Capitol grounds, posing for pictures along with the other remnants of tourists. We were constantly annoyed by the posts they have erected everywhere. You have to aim your bike between them and then hope you don’t veer to either side by even a few inches. I suppose they are there to keep a would-be terrorist from driving onto places like the Capitol grounds.

After taking note of just how high Capitol Hill is, we coasted downhill to the American Indian Museum. The native American crops growing just outside the door in the middle of the city always fascinate me. There’s 6-foot corn stalks with pole beans climbing up those stalks. There’s calabaza (squash). There’s tobacco that looks so innocent with its big shiny green leaves. Even a "no smoking" sign next to the tobacco (pic inspired by my friend Reya who first mentioned it).

Then we rode through the mall, dodging tourists who seemed deaf to my husband’s bell on his bike. Instead of moving, they seem paralyzed as they turn around to look at you. We stopped outside the American History Museum to eat a Clif Bar and listen to live music pouring out the doors.Just past the World War II memorial, I snapped this picture of the Washington Monument as it towered over the Mall. It’s a presence that is recognizable from every direction. Finally we negotiated the construction mess around the Lincoln Memorial and arrived at West Potomac Park. The water is always so lovely as it is framed by the weeping willows. By this time there was a gentle breeze swaying their gentle fronds.

I almost succeeded in getting us killed by a crazed motorist as we headed up a one-way street near the Jefferson Memorial. But then finally we were back to the Mall, going the right way once again.

Throwing our bikes in low gear we climbed up Capitol Hill, propelled by the fact that we were hungry for lunch. It was a perfect day for lunch at a sidewalk café. Café Belga was just the perfect choice. I chose a puff pastry with salmon and roasted red peppers; my husband had eggs benedict with lox, a favorite of his. We split a most decadent "sampler" dessert, that easily cancelled out the calories we had burned on the bike ride. I watched the adorable toddler pictured above deftly pull mussels out of their shells.

I headed home to take a nap and savor the sights of our Labor Day excursion. Our bike trip was a wonderful way to mark the passing of the summer of 2006.

Today it’s back to school, back to work for those of us who still labor.


Blogger Richard said...

Glad to hear you had a nice bike ride yesterday. My brother and his fiancee dropped by for a few hours yesterday and the kids enjoyed that.

12:04 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

I too, did a bike ride..all flat..no hills..and only about 6 km. I did 10k on Fri. which is as much as I ever do. Did you total up the distance? It sounds like you did a lot including some hills!

11:26 PM  
Blogger Old Lady said...

I brushed Scooter's fur balls out of his coat. Otherwise a good day.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Looks like a beautiful day! I'm glad to read that you enjoyed it.

12:57 AM  

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