Tuesday Trip Report – Washington, DC (on the outside)

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Telling you about my marathon weekend will take a few posts, because we had such a fun and busy time with our good friend Christine.  So, first, since it’s Tuesday, I’ll just tell you about what we did and saw in DC, and then tomorrow I’ll try to write about the Marine Corps Marathon.  For some reason, it seems like sitting down to write about the MCM is giving me a sense of writer’s block.  I think about all the things I want to say over and over as I make food, pick up after kids, wipe bottoms, and change laundry.  But then, as I relax on the couch with my feet up (which I’ve endeavored to do as much as possible today), I just want to check Facebook and research this and go read that — I just don’t want to tackle the huge task of conveying my experience from this weekend, because it seems like it will be impossible to really show you how it was.  I wish I could have had a camera  recording in stills or in a movie the amazing things I saw — not just the scenery, but the runners, their shirts, the signs held by masses of cheering spectators….I will try, though, tomorrow. 🙂


Where did we leave off?? How could I forget– Adam’s Ribs!! Ooooh, wishing I had some of those around right now.  We had a decent night’s sleep on Friday and  then were up around 8:30am on Saturday for the Marine Corps Marathon Expo.  For the non-initiated, an Expo is full of vendors peddling various shoes, nutritional items, running performance clothes, self-massage gizmos, and any number of other things remotely related to the sport of running.  It’s like going to a gun show, or a classic car show, but it’s a “running” show.  And after a few days of the “show” (sometimes there are various races during the days of the expos, like fun runs, 5K’s, 10K’s, etc) the runners go out to “show” what they can do. 🙂  Probably most of the serious runners don’t attend an expo the day before a race (they might go on an earlier day if the expo runs for days) because it’s hard on the legs to be walking around a lot, and even worse since they are usually held in stadium areas with concrete floors.  The Expo was a fun time for getting pumped up about the race, though, and we got a bit of swag from various booths.  We also had to pick up out Bib Number and official shirt at the Expo, along with the bag and luggage tag for checking a bag at the race start.  It was really well organized, and we easily found our friends, Brent and Carole Shrader (Brent was on John’s submarine in Hawaii, and Carole was running the Marathon now that they live in DC.)

Meeting a random cow at the Expo

Posing with Carole – Notice I was holding my bib number backwards 🙂

Got a kick out of this one. My picture in front of it wasn’t a good one.

John with Brent

The nice lady at the Newtons Running Shoes booth remembered my picture from their facebook page from when I was running my half marathon and 10K in the Spring 6 and 7 months pregnant. 🙂  We didn’t buy anything at the expo, so we escaped unharmed.  Afterwards, we took Brent and Carole in our van on a mini-tour of DC looking for a place to eat.  We ended up at Truorleans, a great Cajun place conveniently located to the DC Armory (home of the Expo.)  I had a delicious “Crab Benedict”, and John’s bacon cheeseburger and fries were so amazing I had to take a picture of them, too.  Here are a few pictures of the children that Christine passed along as well…

This was where an ATM was installed about ten minutes after the picture was taken.

Crabmeat piled atop an English Muffin with hollandaise sauce

Note the hush puppies in the background — oh my goodness they were SO AWESOME

Lunch took us up to a crossroads in the day – go back to the hotel for less than an hour, or kill time until the Run to Honor dinner at 4:30pm on the other side of DC.  We chose to stay out and took a drive around the Mall to show the kids all the landmarks they had learned about in homeschool seen in Night at the Museum: Battle for the Smithsonian.  Repeatedly, I had told the children we could go to one of the Museums from the movie, but the day was going by too fast for that (Lunch with Brent and Carole was a pleasant surprise, so we had planned on a museum if we had not been able to hand out with them.)  Now I promised them we’d see a museum on Sunday after the Marathon (no such luck.)  Here is some of what we saw petering around the city in our big Armstrong-mobile: (I took a few of these, and Christine captured the rest on her phone.)

National Botanical Gardens and the Capitol

The kids playing around outside a Starbucks – giving Christine a silly pose for the camera.

So that’s it – all we saw of DC.  The family and I saw more the next day – as they chased me around via the Metro and the streets and as I ran through Arlington, Georgetown, DC, and Crystal City.  We have now had to promise the kids another trip to DC.  Mostly it was Christine who missed out, since this was her first trip to DC, and she didn’t get to enter a single museum or landmark.  We promised to rectify that situation soon – probably during cherry blossom season. 🙂  More about DC on the blog tomorrow once I’ve finally figured out how to put the marathon into words sufficient for the magnitude of such an amazing event!



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