February 10th, 2008


Washington DC

Still in Washington. The square dance fly-in just ended; we'll be heading home tomorrow.

Had a great time at the fly-in, where the quality and especially the energy level of the dancing were phenomenal; I had faster and smoother dancing here than at some lower-level fly-ins. Keen people here included cjsmith, markens and apparentparadox, bjarvis, discord35, and dozens of others whose LJ handles I don't recall at the moment. We also had a grand time on Saturday night playing Munchkin withcjsmith and discord35 (I won).

On Thursday before the fly-in we spent the morning at the Air and Space museum, goggling at such actual craft as the Gossamer Condor and SpaceShipOne, and also saw a Greatest Hits exhibit of the under-renovation American History museum (including Abe Lincoln's last hat, Judy Garland's ruby slippers, Mister Rogers's sweater, and part of ENIAC).

We had lunch at the Museum of the American Indian, whose cafeteria includes Native American cuisine from all over this hemisphere, then toured the museum. But though I loved the architecture, I had trouble respecting the cosmologies presented, which looked to my European-American eye like the stories of very small children (a creation story: "all the people were living like ants in a hollow log, but then a holy man came and let them out, but one woman was pregnant and couldn't get out." Huh?)

After a nap, we headed out to Silver Spring for a dinner with fans, arranged by coruca, at a Burmese restaurant. Fine food and conversation, marred only slightly by a train breakdown that left us sitting on the train for 15-20 minutes on the way back.

On Friday, another local fan, Peggy Rae WINOLJ, who had not been able to make dinner, volunteered to help us move from the Tabard Inn to the fly-in hotel. And, as long as we had the use of her car, we visited the other Air and Space museum, the one by the airport that has the Space Shuttle Enterprise. (cont'd...)

Washington DC, cont'd.

Apparently my phone has a limit of how much you can type in a text field. And I'm not going to give the hotel ten bucks for the privilege of posting to my LJ...

Anyway. The other Air and Space museum is bigger than the Tillamook blimp hangar and features the space shuttle Enterpise, a Concorde, an SR-71 Blackbird (which Kate thought looked like a bad guy's spaceship), and the Enola Gay. Also Willy Ley's Hugo (for Conquest of Space), a Babylon 5 Usenet fans' jumpgate symbol (<*>) pin, and a spider that flew on the Space Shuttle (in formaldehyde). We could't possibly see it all, and eventually hunger drove us to a nearby strip mall for surprisingly good Vietnamese.

Peggy Rae took us back to the hotel, from whence we immediately took off for the Renwick museum, a very small branch of the Smithsonian that has some surprisingly good modern American craft-art (by which I mean furniture-making, glass-blowing, and other "craft" activities raised to the level of fine art). Recommended. And then it was time for the fly-in to start -- see previous post.

Also recommended: Malaysia Kopitam, where we had dinner with cjsmith and discord35 on Saturday night. We really have had very good luck with food this trip (including a nearly-disasterous attempt at lunch with deege, which turned out all right in the end).

Enough of this tiny keyboard! Back to reality late tomorrow.