Thoughts from Washington- trapped in a snow storm!
Trip Start Jan 23, 2010
10Trip End Mar 05, 2010
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I'm not a city person, but I must say that Washington is a beautiful city with wide streets and graceful buildings. A trip up the Washington Memorial (555 feet high) gave me a bird's eye view of the city and I could look down on the White House, Capitol Hill and all the Museums. It's like looking down on a 3D map. My friends gave me a copy of Dan Brown's 'The Lost Symbol' for bedtime reading so all the places I was looking at were familiar to me through the book.
I spent quite a while wandering around the National Art Gallery and was amazed that I could take photographs of the paintings. Couldn't resist this one of Picasso's wife and the Matisse lady. And chatty Washingtonians who pop in for an hour during their lunch break. The museums of the Smithsonian Institute all sit so grandly , side by side as the wide street approaches Capitol Hill.
One afternoon Mahani got tickets for us to see the Washington Ballet rehearsing Romeo and Juliet. It was at the Kennedy Centre, so a good chance to see inside too.
My friends in Washington are with the Brunei Embassy, and some of the time I've felt as if I were back in Brunei with wonderful curries and delicious noodles! So I've learned some new recipes for Singapore Suppers!
We had snow soon after I arrived, and although at home I usually groan at the sight of the first flakes drifting down, Mahani and Yusof's enthusiasm was infectious and the city did look very pretty with a covering of snow. We went for a walk on Theodore Roosevelt Island in the middle of the Potomac River during a snow storm and it was really lovely.
Then , this week I flew down to Tampa in Florida to see Ruth. We taught together at ATT in Singapore in the late 70's. When she retired she came to live in Florida near her daughter Mei Mei and family. It was raining hard when I arrived but the next day was fresh and clear - like the beginning of a good summer day in the UK, and MeiMei drove us to St Petersburg where we walked along the deserted sandy beach , looking for a perfect sand dollar and watching the birds. Lovely for me to see the expanse of blue sea - and great excitement to spot dolphins very near the shore, rolling and playing in the shallow water.
I came back to Washington last night and it slowly began to dawn on me that a big snow storm was approaching. When we checked on the internet my flight had already been cancelled along with all the others for Saturday and it was impossible to get through to the airline. I sent an e mail to Trailfinders in the UK and was most impressed by the speedy response ..... but very little they could do. So at the moment I'm booked onto a flight leaving Washington at 10 o'clock on Saturday night- they must be hoping that there will be a lull and they can get some flights out. But I don't feel very confident as I look out of the window at Mahani's house. It's been snowing for six hours now, and is really beginning to take a white grip on the world outside. Last night the supermarkets were apparently heaving with people expecting to be snowed in for 3 or 4 days, and busy emptying the shelves. Ho Humm, California will have to wait. But unfortunately so will my friends in San Francisco and my son at lake Tahoe.......