Last day of my rail pass, so I decide to make the most of it. I think it would be foolish to hit the City centre today – it is blazing hot, and the arrangements for Reagon’ funeral are bound to disrupt things.
I head down to Springfield, where my guidebook says there is a good mall, with a free shuttle from the metro. Unfortunately, the shuttle has been recently cut to just commuter time, but I (and several other) only find that out after waiting in the sun for 40 minutes. We work out which of the regular buses run to the mall, and I arrive just in time for lunch, dining on a couple of Auntie Anne’s pretzels.
The mall is large, but I find it unsatisfactory – the shops are fairly regular high street stores, and nothing that really excites me. Perhaps its my mood, brought on by the wait at the station.
Anyway, I decide to move on, and take the metro to Crystal City, where there is a small but interesting range of shops and small boutiques. Then I move onto Pentagon City, where I discover what I consider to be a *real* American mall. I can’t put my finger on the distinction – this place has glitz, and you could easily spend a day here.
Gary and Sheryl are at dance class tonight, so I eat dinner here – bourbon chicken, with muddy rice and corn.
For once I think I am going to get back at a reasonable time, but just outside Shady Grove station, the metro train breaks down. We are stuck for about half an hour, but the train driver keeps us both informed and amused over the announcement system, and everyone takes it in good spirits.
“I just want y’all to know that this is not my fault, but I do apologise for the delay, and if any of you wanna come over my place for a beer afterwards, you’re welcome.”
The delay makes me miss the last bus (7:40pm), but I get a taxi easy enough.