Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Escape to DC

[As a disclaimer, this will likely be a very long and rambling post. For your reading pleasure, I will add in sub heads just in case you are feeling a bit fatigued and need to take a break. Now I'll ramble on...]

Hatching the Plan

So Saturday morning I spring on Tim that there is a rally in Washington DC protesting the healthcare bill in the Senate that I would like to attend. I tell him we can take the whole family and make it an impromptu trip. To my surprise, he agrees. We pull the kids out of school for a few days and off we go!

Now, Roanoke is about the biggest town the lot of them have ever been in, making this a VERY exciting trip. We set off Monday first thing and arrived four hours later in DC. We checked into the hotel and hit the Mall. I quickly discovered that if one wants to blend in, it is best not to wear a fuzzy pink jacket. But really, to hell with those cosmopolitan types. It was cold and the pink jacket was the warmest I had!

In a move that one could describe as not the best thought out, we arrived right at lunchtime with three hungry kids. We paid for our lack of planning, $44.63 exactly, at the Smithsonian Castle cafe where that sum buys you a few bottles of soda, bagels and a chicken wrap. Welcome to the big city.


We visited the Museum of Natural History (against the wishes of Morrigan who claimed she "hates" history,) the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. Natural History was the family favorite in spite of early resistance.

But all sites well received, though we really should have mixed in a few more cabs. The kids were spent. Which leads us to...

The Dinner Adventure

We planned poorly and arrived back at the hotel at what is normally dinner time. (Are we seeing a theme here?) Tim went in search, unsuccessfully, for adult beverages. In the end, we were in the room, with starving kids and no plan. After much deliberation, we set out to the ESPN Zone, which you know is a place that has superior cuisine.

We oh so sagely decide to take the Metro rather than a cab. Confronted with the ticket purchasing machine, we panic and try to get help from the station attendant who essentially let us know we were on our own. A bit of trial and error (and complete buffoonery) later, we had tickets. We held up people at the turn styles, on the escalator and pretty much at every turn. Let me tell you, if you are an obstruction, DC residents are testy. But that's alright. I took to smiling and say "hi" to strangers. They don't know what to do with it.

Day Two Sightseeing

Was off to a tenuous start at best. Eion was crying and complaining about his feet right from the start. The very unfortunate thing is that he whines, quite literally, about everything. So after a while, you just tune him out. But we were able to drag his fussy behind to the National Aquarium which all the kids loved. Personally, I didn't think it was nearly as nice as the Ripley's Aquarium in Myrtle Beach but it was good none the less. And really, as long as they were happy, so was I.

Then we headed over to the American History Museum or "America's Attic" where we saw THE ruby red slippers, the collection of First Lady inaugural dresses, C3PO, and Julia Child's kitchen. We will have to go back there because we didn't have nearly enough time to see all the exhibits because we were off to...

The Main Event

Now, the whole reason we started on this jaunt was to go to the Code Red Rally against the Senate Healthcare bill. While I generally stay a-political on this blog, I'm clearly veering that way today. And I know I have several readers who are as far left as I am right. But I ask today for indulgence. Hear me out on this one.

Why did I feel compelled to cart my whole family to DC ? May surprise you to know it wasn't just about healthcare (though I really think the bill should be thrown out.) Right now there are multiple Congressmen and Senators on record saying they will vote for the bill even if it will cause them to lose their seats. They know their constituents, the people who sent them to Washington, are against what they are doing. And they are completely willing to disregard them. When you have a political class that feels they have no responsibility to represent the wishes of their district or state, you no longer have a representative Republic.

You may think this is fine because you're in favor of healthcare reform. But take a few steps back and see where this leads. Next time, they might just completely disregard you on an issue about which you feel strongly be it abortion, immigration or anything else. Do you really want elected officials who will knowingly vote the exact opposite of their constituents' desires just to pull the party line?

I don't.

So that's why we all went to the rally. Granted, some of the family members were a bit more engaged than others. Eion wanted to take pictures the whole time (god bless digital cameras) and it was interesting to see his perspective of: his sister,

my arse, [Actually there were tons of arse pics, mine and others. Might explain why he is such an irritable guy, having to look at bummies all day.]

and many, many shots of the ground,

Morrigan was definitely the most interested though her overall plan was to give Harry Reid a wedgie, which, all things considered, isn't a terrible idea.

Was it worth it? You bet. One of the things that every single one of us should adore about this amazing country in which we live is the fact that we are free to express ourselves. And that we have elected officials who (theoretically) answer to us. Not to mention, the kids had a ball.

1 comment:

debra said...

Great post!! Thank you for going to the protest. I would have been right there with you if we didn't live in Arizona. I think it's a good thing that your kids got to exprience it.

By the way, did Harry Reid get the wedgie??? :)