Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Sunday Afternoon and Evening: Traveling to Our Nation's Capital

I traveled to Washington, DC today to attend a series of meetings to let people in our "Washington Office" --the WO--know what we in the PNW are doing about H2O. I, of course, used GovTrip to make my reservations which means that it took me about the same amount of time to arrange the trip as it did to make it...

I ended up on United Airlines, flying through Chicago, my least favorite connection. My brother, who traveled A LOT, used to say he'd "rather go to hell than O'Hare..." It wasn't bad today, not the least because I had miles that were going to "expire" on United (can miles really expire?) and I was able to use them to upgrade to first class from Portland.

I stepped off the plane in what was, according to the cabin crew, Chicago. I checked and confirmed it at the first we-sell-everything-for-two-prices store. Yep, Chicago.

The Field Museum, famous for displaying the bones of fictional animals called "dinosaurs"--Sarah wouldn't believe they exist because they sort of didn't get any coverage in The Bible, which would seem to be a major oversight considering Noah had to have a bunch of them on the Ark and all...Anyhoo, they have a replica of some real dino bones right there where kids and adults alike can marvel at the size of those fictional creatures.

This one is called what it says to the left there. They note that it's a plant eater, I suspect to keep small children and Tea Party supporters from panicking and worrying about being consumed by a replica of the bones of a fictional, never-mentioned-in-The-Bible, creature. However, having picked up a bit of the sleuthing habit from my friend Jack D'Mestiere, I couldn't help but notice that a few of the plants nearby looked as though the leaves had been nibbled. ..

I continued to check out ORD, as Chicago O'Hare International Airport is known. There were some fun paintings on benches. And, they had the usual Foreign Exchange booth--what usury that is. Click on the picture to take a gander at the rates. I wonder who uses those things anymore since you can stick your cash card in a machine at your destination--at least most destinations they support--and get cash exchanged for a lot less than here. They'll be gone in a few years, I bet. Or banks will be gone...

Although I didn't have to, I went down in the passage way between the B and C concourses as they have a pretty cool neon light exhibit down there. It's been there for a long time now--more than a dozen years--and it still plays the old United Airlines theme song. But, it's still pretty cool if you like neon, which I do. It's called "The Sky's the Limit" and it's by Michael Hayden.

Align Center
I went back to the gate to see my least favorite airport name posted. What is it with Reagan anyway? I've been thinking about that during this whole health care "debate" where the naysayers claim we can't afford this and that the program must pay for itself or be repealed, as it will surely end life as we know it. Well, they may be right there, we may actually have health coverage for everyone, including the children they claim to love. However, you don't hear any Republicans demanding the repeal of the Reagan and Bush tax cuts, which we clearly cannot afford. Ronald Reagan convinced people in this country that they could have whatever they wanted and not have to pay for it, and we've been paying for it ever since. By the way, Sarah Palin's kids? Indian Health Service--government-employed physicians and free. Put that in your tea pot, wrap a cozy around it, and toss it in Prince William Sound. Crabby? You bet. I was number 21 on the list for an upgrade to First Class. I flew sardine class from Chicago to DC.

I got off the plane in DC--I checked to make sure it was DC--and all was forgotten as President and Mrs. Obama were waiting outside security to greet me. And the 10 billion other people pouring into town to see the cherry blossoms.

They are a stunning couple, so friendly and outgoing, and thin too! No waddling for them!


Ronna said...

I remember that neon walk at O'Hare. I had no idea there was a United Airlines theme...the darn Canuck that I am. But I quite liked the neon installation...

Elisabeth said...

I had forgotten about the dinosaur bones!
That was the first time I had seen dinosaur bones and I remember snapping away!
Love the neon installation.
Just goes to show you, Art and beauty can be found when you least expect it!

Newsman said...

Bein, merci, Jean,
Not only you have, once again, demonstrated your writing and photographic skills, but you have also added an edge which, from the perspective of a socialist Canadian, adds a sane perspective of the Tea Party, Palin and the health care frenzy.
Chapeau, mon vieux!
(And that fictional dinosaur. Me and the lads were wondering what
sort of gun you'd have to use to bring that bugger down. And think of the meat, boy! She would fill the freezer for two good winters, eh?)