Summary – day 17 – Washington DC – London and Bristol (Saturday/Sunday 06/07 July)

Up early and out for a run, (no cycling today, a long flight later … and a marathon for me in three months!).

It was warm, bright and amazingly quiet. We’ve been to the Lincoln Memorial and the National Mall a few times now and it’s always been heaving with people. This morning was different – a few other runners and ‘power-walkers’, but really hardly anyone about. I was wearing my local Southville Running Club vest – so I wanted to have some pictures of me wearing it around Washington DC. We were out for only about 2 hours, we saw the Lincoln Memorial again, the WWII memorial, the Washington Monument and the Capitol.

It was extremely hot by the time we’d finished our run. We called into a grocery store to get some juice and fruit for breakfast then off for some more shopping for M. Apparently that store last night wasn’t Crate and Barrel – it was CB2 – similar, but different in some very important respects … so to get to the real McCoy required a Metro train to Clarendon to the west of the city. We found the store and there were some nice things there – including a Vitamix blender for $599.95 – I didn’t buy it! Matthew bought some stuff – citronella candles for the garden and a chopping board I think. Next door was a huge storage-type gadget shop, half the shop seemed to taken up with selling coat hangers of various kinds! I came across a fabulous and entirely unfamiliar (for Brits like me) ‘back to school’ -type display – stuff for pimping one’s locker! This included pre-cut ‘wallpapers’, miniature chandeliers, tidy boxes and mirrors to hang inside the door … I fear that I have seen the future!

Back at the hotel, just time to consolidate the bags before setting off for the airport. An extension to the Metro has been approved apparently, in the meantime getting to Dulles is a nightmare. Either pay a fortune for a taxi or a shuttle bus or take a Metro to L’Enfant Plaza then a bus, (this was quite a bit of hassle with our bicycles in their bags, but saved us in the region of $50). On weekdays the buses are every half hour and beyone reason on weekends they’re only every hour – even on the weekend after 4th July! Needless to say the bus was absolutely rammed and some people couldn’t get on!

Dulles looks a bit dated now and no oversize luggage facility that we could use so at check-in our bicycles were loaded by a rather slight man, who could hardly lift them onto the everyday luggage trolleys. It felt strange bidding them good-bye – especially as we just abandoned them in the middle of the concourse. I was worrying as we walked away that they might not get to our plane. It took ages to get through the long queues for security. But there was a little sushi bar by the departure lounges and the vegetarian sushi was vegan, so we had some of that.

The plane was an Airbus A330-300 with 218 passengers and 14 crew – quite a few empty seats dotted about.

I watched Admission – with Tina Fey, Paul Rudd – mainly because I saw that it had Lily Tomlin in. Fey is a Princetown University admissions officer who believes that a bright young man is the son that she gave up for adoption. She tries to get him admitted to Princetown. Matthew watched Hitchcock – with Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren – about the making of Psycho. Then he watched an episode of Downton Abbey – yuk – dreadful Tory propaganda … he did keep chuckling all the way through, though. I’ve no idea why. After we’d landed he said that he was laughing at the language use, which reminded him of my speech! Grrr …

In early to London Heathrow, landing just before 7 am and time to wish my sister, Lisa, the best of luck today with her ‘Monopoly Run’ – a fundraising run through all the streets and placed on the London edition of the Monopoly board. It’ll be a hot one!

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