Got up at a leisurely rate, logged on to home to check email and post to filk_uk.
Took bus/metro into Washington – first stop Union Square to collect my Amtrak rail pass and tickets for my travels later in the month.
The guy who served me was very pleasant, but admitted he was in training, so didn’t know what to do with the emailed confirmation I had received from buying my pass online, while still in the UK. A supervisor was called and it was soon sorted. However, both trainee and supervisor were amazed at the travelling I was going to do: Buffalo/Depew, Boston/South, New York, Philadelphia, New York and Washington, all in fifteen days. I think it was the doubleback to NY that threw them. If travel agents think it’s a long way, maybe I have underestimated the travelling, even though it looks ok on the schedule.
Lunch in a Union Station restaurant, called America. Yes, it really was my first meal in America.
Afterwards, I intended to head down to Constitutional Ave, and from there to the Mall, but found myself heading in the opposite direction when I reached the US Capitol building, so went with the flow and did the tour of the Library of Congressinstead.
While there, I visited the Gershwin and Bob Hope exhibitions, and plan to return at a later date for the Churchill and American treasures exhibitions. On a whim, I applied for and received a Library of Congress reader’s card. If next week is anything like today (scorching hot) I can happily spend a day in there. If not, it is still another decent photo-id, and something to remember the day with.
After the LoC, I made my way to Metro Central looking for some shops. Again, I may have walked the wrong way, as I didn’t see what I expected, but soon stumbled across a Border’s bookshop, for a sitdown and an iced tea.
I realised that it is almost 6pm, and so I call Gary and Sheryl, and leave a message for them, so they don’t wait for me to eat. Having done that, there seems no point in rushing back in the commuter period, so I wander down for my first view of the White House. Sat for a while in the Ellipse, a large area of grass, where various groups were playing softball and catch, with the White House in the background.
Grabbed a large (and tasty) pretzel from a cart, walking back to the metro station. I then pass McDonalds, and decide to try a burger to see if they are better in their home country than in the UK.
Arrive back at Gary and Sheryl’s, and chat for a while, but they are quite busy with con preparations and I am really exhausted, so I hit the sack.