Washington DC

We had a lovely two days at DC with the best guide you could ever ask for. After arriving at Joan’s mid-afternoon, the boys took off into her forested backyard for a bit of tree climbing and squirrel trap building. Joan, Terry and I sat on the back step and had a beer. Noice. Joan’s house is just lovely and filled with stories of her travels and friendships. After dinner we took a twilight walk around the suburb, looking for the elusive black squirrels (zoo escapees) and getting photos with the variously coloured fire hydrants. The next morning, after a late start, we were soon off for our walking tour of downtown DC. We caught a bus and then a train and spent several hours taking in the Air and Space Museum before walking past the National Museum of the American Indian (a beautiful building), the Capitol Building and the Supreme Court. The final stop was the Library of Congress, which was just gorgeous inside, and included the Thomas Jefferson Library (what’s left of it anyway). An earlier start the next morning found us outside the White House before walking towards the Washington Memorial via the old Post Office, Museum of Natural History (for another photo opp. with an Easter Island dude) and Museum of American History. We stopped inside the last to see the panel that has Joan’s famous photo on it, and to look at some of the glass Joan donated from the windows of the 16th Street Baptist Church windows after it was bombed (and 4 little girls were killed) in 1963. Once other people found out who Joan was, she gave an impromptu presentation and posed for photos. Next we stopped at the information building for the National Museum of African American History, which was still under construction. Here someone asked if Joan was Joan Mulholland and asked if she could get a photo with her. Talk about hanging out with a celebrity! After leaving the fans behind, we walked past the Washington Memorial to the WWII memorial, Reflecting Pool and onto the Lincoln Memorial. After a break in the shade, it was across the Arlington Memorial Bridge to the Arlington Cemetery, where we stopped at the grave of Medgar Evers. The next day it was an early start (thanks so much for changing our flights United Airlines!) and we said a sad goodbye to Joan before jumping on a plane to Miami (via New York of all places!). Joan may be coming to Australia next year to recognise the 50th Anniversary of the freedom rides in Australia if anyone is interested in listening to her speak. No confirmation or itinerary yet but let me know if you’re interested.

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