Salutations from our nation’s capital!
Before I elaborate on the shenanigans of today, I will discuss how it is we came to be here since we last updated:
For our next morning in Chicago, Pat and I decided to quest for the fabled Chromium Bean of downtown. Part way through our journey we joined forces with Lucy, a student from Mexico who not only successfully led us to the Frijole de Chicago, but helped Pat practice his Spanish.
Another 5 hours down the toll road led us through (the very expensive and empty) Indiana and the forests of Ohio, where we stopped in Findlay to stay with Pat’s friend Collette. I had a particularly enlightening conversation with Collette’s friend Clint, who graciously bestowed me with advice regarding anything from the consumption of apples to stirring bowls 🙂
The next morning we left for Maryland, which included stops at the ever important Taco Bell – not only does the east coast have the classic ‘chili cheese’ burrito that fulfilled a childhood desire of Pat’s, but they also have 2 additional flavors of hotsauce (chipotle and verde). I was so impressed with their TB quality that I decided to take a job application, though Pat said I was overqualified.
My app went something like this:
Name: Janak Carey
Education (high school or college): B.S. Mech Engineering, UC Berkeley
Previous work experience: UCSD SDSC, General Atomics, Northrop Grumman
Have you commited a felony in the past 7 years? No
Desired position: C.E.O.
During a gas break before Frederick MD (the state, not the degree), I found a toy dinosaur in a parking space (which I almost ran over). Because he seemed the appropriate size and build to be a playmate of Boba, I decided to take this stray reptilian under my wing and ironically name him Sarlaac (the living pit in which Boba met his doom). By nightfall we arrived at my Aunt J’s & Uncle Dale’s house, where we were immediately greeted with warm hospitality and warm food! Afterwards my young cousins Isaiah and Sam taught us of many things regarding the gradeschool life, including the ‘invasive nature of chinese stinkbugs’. (Most articulate kid ever?)
The next morning we jumped on the metro to DC (Pat’s first time on a metro!), and eventually landed square in the middle of the ‘National Mall’. For those of you from San Diego, National Mall is like the Balboa Park of the entire country! There is simply too much to see crammed in that stretch of about 10 blocks for 1 day. In 7-ish hours we saw all the buildings of governmental significance from all 3 branches, as well as countless memorials and 2 Smithsonians (Air and Space, and Native American History). Had I known that everything in DC was free I probably would have stayed longer. In the national Air and Space museum (engineers, wooooot!), we met a WW2 vet observing some of the aircraft he flew in, which was awesome. He will appear in our video montage of the whole roadtrip that we will be posting in about a week.
Sidenote: the crosswalks in DC count down from 55 seconds? Why are DCinians so slow?
For the drive home, Pat and I sported some beautiful mustaches, which will also appear in the afore-mentioned montage.
Thus far the evening air has been filled with the sweet sounds of Pat’s guitar playing, as well as the sparring of his new-karate-disciples Isaiah and Sammy. Tomorrow we are headed for Massachusetts, the final resting place of the Aluminum Falcon for this trip. It has been such a noble steed and comfortable home, I am sure I will miss it in Europe.
God Bless America?