Sunday, February 12

Back in DC

Our business trip to New York originally included a stop in Philadelphia to meet with one of our key suppliers.  However, some last minute changes resulted in them travelling up to New York to meet us.  As a result we found ourselves with 48 hours to spare while waiting for our transfer flights to Nuremberg.

On a whim Garry and I decided to hire a car and drive to Washington DC for a whirlwind tour.  We left New York about 9:30pm and eventually reached our hotel shortly before 2am.  Garry can now boast of driving through Manhattan at night.  Getting out of the city proved relatively easy. Likewise, Washington DC was equally easy to navigate.

DC was bitterly cold…! After a lazy morning resting from our late night arrival we took a walking tour through the Mall.  Our route started at the Lincoln Memorial before finishing with an afternoon at the recently opened National Museum of African American History and Culture.  Along the way we visited the new Martin Luther King Jr memorial.

Garry and I were last in Washington DC in 2005.  We visited the city while on our way to start our expat adventures in London.  It was wonderful to see visit again.  Washington DC really is a timeless destination.  In many respects it looks no different to my first visit, or this third visit decades later. 

The inauguration of Donald Trump had happened the week before our visit. (We'd watched him depart the White House for the Capitol Building ceremony just prior to boarding a flight from LA to NYC). As a result, many parts of the city were still in the throes of returning to normal.  The massive inauguration platform was still standing in front of the Capitol Building, protest marchers were still crowding the local streets and temporary fencing and media towers were still blocking streets around the White House.

The African American History museum was a fascinating venue.  I learnt a lot about the early slave trading economy and was appalled by the barbaric practises of the slave traders. The museum does a superb job of tracing African American history from its infamous beginning to the history making inauguration of Barack Obama.  One of the venue’s most memorable places is its room of reflection.  A circular curtain of water falls from the centre of the room while the surrounding walls carry quotes from some the nation’s most celebrated African Americans.

Our final day in the city was spent revisiting the Air & Space Museum, plus a few hours shopping for a winter wardrobe to keep us warm in Nuremberg.  We then retraced our steps back to New York and on to JFK Airport for an evening flight to Europe. For me the highlight of this airport transfer was another opportunity to drive over the graceful Verrazano Narrows bridge.

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