I don't like being separated from my guys. I made them take a selfie with me before I got on the bus to go to Logan Airport this morning, After a bit of eye rolling and sighing, they posed with me.
I must admit, I was nervous traveling today. Sunday after Thanksgiving is a huge travel day and with all the extra warnings around airports...I had a clenched stomach. Turns out it was one of the easiest times I have ever had. There was little traffic on the road so the bus made it there early. With only one person ahead of me to check in, I didn't have to wait long. And the nice lady behind the counter accommodated my request and switched my ticket to an earlier flight. Bonus, less time at the airport. With my TSA pre-check status, I got the short line and kept my shoes on!
Taking the earlier flight meant that I had time to get in an adventure after checking into my hotel. I rode the Silver Line to Potomac Avenue station. I walked along Potomac Ave until I found the Congressional Cemetery.
I had trouble figuring out how to get in. The gate was closed and the office was dark. I passed by the Dog Club entrance because...well...I didn't have a dog and I'm not a member.
I walked on a bit and didn't see any other entrance way, so I turned around and went back to the main gate. Just then a guy came across the street and told me that I could go through the dog entrance. He gave me a map and showed me where Hoover is buried and how to find Sousa's resting place.
The atmosphere at this cemetery I found to be more relaxed than at Arlington. For one thing, there were so many dogs. And seeing dogs running all over the grounds, barking at the squirrels, sniffing under leaves -- lends a noisy and silly counterpart to the solemnity of the place. I felt that I could explore the markers and not offend.
While walking, I thought back to 1991 or so when I went to Atlanta and visited the Oakland Cemetery. I came across a worker who had assumed I was there to pay homage to Margaret Mitchell. I wasn't. But I followed him to her resting place anyway. At the time, I didn't remember who Margaret Mitchell was and too embarrassed to tell that nice man. It wasn't until I got back to Fletcher's parents' house and recounted my day that I made the connection. Mr. Lokey had a great story about her and through that telling, I put the pieces together.
I really liked the little chapel in the center. We have had such hard frosts and freezes that I was taken aback by the blooming roses.
I didn't bring my good camera with me this trip since it is on the fritz. How I missed it! I felt naked without it. My phone camera was all I had. Walking towards Hoover's grave, I was surprised at the number of recent burials. I guess I tend to think of historic cemeteries as monuments to the past and not for the recently departed. I'm wrong in that.
Anyway, here is Hoover because it seemed like I should see it after it was pointed out to me.
And Anne Royall (1769-1854) who is "generally considered the nation's first newspaperwoman."
Because of the dogs, I passed by many a spigot and bowl.
And a few bee hives.
I appreciated the 9/11 Healing Pole and walking grove.
What might have moved me the most was this:
You can't really tell from the picture, but the butterfly shone gold, even though the sky was cloudy and the sun nowhere in evidence. I can't remember what was carved, exactly, but I it made me think a child was buried there.
There were statues above the Hall sisters. The light wasn't right, so I only took one picture.
And the last few pictures:
At this point, my shoes had gotten wet and my feet were getting cold. So I missed exploring other areas. I wanted to take pictures of the row houses that I passed by on Potomac, on my way back to the metro, but my phone died. They reminded me of that famous stretch of houses in Charleston, SC. They weren't as big or bright, but the different colored facades and architectural details around the doors and windows made me think of that.
I got off the metro at Federal Triangle so that I could stop at Barnes and Noble. I took a left instead of a right on F street. More walking, but fortuitous, because I passed District Taco and stopped to pick up some dinner. I turned around and went to 12th street and stopped at Walgreen's for band aides and then down the hill to Barnes and Noble.
By the time I got back to my hotel, my feet were blistered and hurting. I should have changed shoes before I went on my exploration, but I didn't plan for the wet shoes and the chaffing. Sigh. There is no way I will be wearing heals tomorrow to class. I think I will be heavily bandaged inside my comfy boots.
I'm headed to the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) tomorrow for a mandatory leadership class. I've been told that it is a good one and I'm looking forward to it. If only my guys could be with me...