Wednesday, April 27, 2005
In spite of being one of the least planned trips I’ve been on in a while, these past three days in Washington, D.C. have been surprisingly busy. They weren’t hectic — I did too much socializing to call them hectic — but now that I have a new job what was originally planned as a pleasure trip turned into a somewhat frantic exercise in area scouting and apartment shopping.
A bit of background: since Jacob, Julian and Eric were roadtripping back from Nashville after a visit to Vanderbilt and Rites of Spring I thought I might join them. What ensued was probably the slowest drive to D.C. that I’ve ever experienced thanks to Eric’s $10 breakfast at Hardees, Julian only getting hungry for meals ten minutes after the rest of us stopped to eat, my demand to test Jacob’s new light-up frisbee in 30-degree weather at a rest area, and Jacob’s 45-minute detour to some field in Deliverance-East Tennessee to pick up a hand-carved magic table from some hippie musician he met online who gives elbow taps instead of handshakes, built his own house out of rocks and alumninum siding, and randomly has the original soundboard from the Grand Ole Opry in his back room.
Jacob and Court were kind enough to put me up in their humble abode in Clarendon so I could get a good look at the area from a close and carless distance. I got to hang out with Andy and Eric a bit, and I even got in a little business lunch and happy hour with some my new colleagues. I discovered that jogging is far more fun in Arlington than in greater Nashville due to the reduced smog (believe it or not) and more pedestrian-friendly atmosphere, and I also I learned that credit card roulette is a great way to get a free meal. But most of the trip was devoted to learning that my life will soon be one gigantic cost-of-living adjustment. C’est la vie, no more five nights a week at the Flying Saucer for yours truly!
I departed this morning via my favorite airport. There were precisely five people in my security line this morning, meaning either far more people in the district are reading my blog than I previously believed or Wednesdays at 10 a.m. aren’t the busy time. But hey, great news — I saw the sign for the $3 billion renovation to replace the mobile lounge with an underground tram system! Maybe by the time I need to start seriously using this airport they will have partially gotten their act together.
One final word on this most recent travel experience: Independence Air is weird. My flight was cheap and did not fall out of the sky, thus meeting my only two criteria. However, they offered only Pepsi products, did not carry Dr Pepper (a big whiff for strike two) and then attempted to make up for it by serving everyone warm towelettes with a tweezer. Also, everything at the gate is a strange color of fluorescent blue. Not bad… just weird.
What now? Three days back at work and then on to what promises to be a crazy crazy month of May!
[Update 4/28/05: It turns out that the day before this post was written, unbeknownst to me (because I am slightly less of a blogwhore than is commonly believed), Jacob posted an account of our road trip as well. Feel free to compare our stories for blatant inaccuracies or embellishments.]