Sunday, May 9, 2010

Obama's House and stuff...

We gathered our gear from Adam’s trailer, which was parked in an old wooden barn near a cornfield. After all that we needed for the journey east had been gathered we eagerly set off west so that we could get our fill of Amish snacks; priorities. Backtracking on this trip was never to be looked down upon if it was for the sake of devouring delicious and unique foods. The Amish had an outpost near Richmond so we thought it fitting to satisfy our curiosity of this hyper-quaint people group while simultaneously eliminating our hunger pangs. Their store was full of cheeses, candies, preservatives, herbal remedies, honey, and other concoctions that would quickly sell among wealthy and health conscious circles in California. The girl behind the deli counter generously served us up samples of her favorite cheeses. And after trying most of them we decided on a variety pack to meet the different demands of our unique sets of taste buds.
Before reaching D.C. we stopped in Pittsburgh, PA. It was on the way to D.C. so we said to ourselves, “hey we’ve never been there, let’s check it out.” Much of our itinerary-related decisions were based on a desire to see places we’ve never seen and the east coast was up for grabs. Pittsburgh offered us “Primanti’s Bros.” sandwiches and a conversation with a homeless man with three different names. Driving through Pennsylvania impressed us once again with its “old school” American beauty. The landscape is still very wide-open, hilly, green (in the spring at least), and has towns that can boast of real nation-shaping history (i.e. Gettysburgh, ever heard of it?).
We drive late into the night most nights until whoever’s driving at the time swerves something fierce enough to scare us passengers. It’s after this jerking motion that we decide to stop for the night and lay our heads to rest. Most nights have involved us cramming five people into one hotel room. We purposely look for the shadiest, most dilapidated excuse for lodging and that way also find a really cheap place to sleep for the night. We aren’t vacationing after all. We’re on a journey.
Our nation’s capital was looking good in spite of our economic situation. The lawns were mowed, the hedge was trimmed, and the White House was in tip-top shape. D.C. was filled with throngs of students absorbing the history of our country into their brains as far as their attention-deficiencies would allow. Most of what I saw were kids being herded from museum to museum bored for the most part at what they were forced to observe. We, however, were not students anymore, and this trip was not a forced academic exercise. We hiked across D.C. from site to museum to monument with a curious fervor eager to understand our country’s origins just a little bit more. Adam and I (Dane) are both huge history channel fans, so we were in heaven. Nick and Aimee are always fascinated by cultures, and Laurieann added to her knowledge of the holocaust at the Holocaust Memorial. The awesome thing about D.C. is that all of the museums are free, so you can absorb history until your brain swells. It’s also a very pedestrian-friendly place so we walked until our legs ached and our feet blistered. We saw the capital building, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, The White House, The FDR Memorial, The Eastern Market, The Museum of Natural History, The Museum of Native Americans, The Museum of Modern Art, The Holocaust Memorial, The Botanical Gardens, etc.
When our feet ached and our heads hurt we took breaks at frozen yogurt stands and went on the hunt for good food. We happened to be downtown by the Verizon Center on the same night that the Capitals (NHL team) were playing a dire playoff game. They lost the game that night and riots broke out in the street. Fortunately we’d left the craziness before being swallowed up in the mayhem caused by these belligerent hockey fans. Our two days there were spent well, and we left feeling satisfied in our ability to take so much in with such little time at our disposal.


  1. You folks are amazing! So glad you have come to appreciate some of the east coast! Now we must introduce you to the upstate NY farmland, and especially the Lilac Festival in Rochester some April... hometown of the Bellanca clan!

  2. Such a poetic & scenic view from your description.
    You are indeed on a journey - eyes wide open ... like the contrast of differing Calif. culture vs. Eastern States ... definite differences.
    My heritage also started in Rochester - love that they embrace the Lilacs ! We should do the same here in Auburn - like the Mandarin - let's celebrate Lilacs & Irises !
    All the while I am listening to background music as you serenade ,
    " pack your bags up , pack your bags up ... on our way ..."