I know this is a blog about running but I thought I’d try something new. I promise that 99 .99% of my posts will be about running and once in a blue moon I’ll do an “Off Topic Tuesday” post about another subject.
Yesterday was one of those days I will never forget. It was one filled with excitement and adventure and good times. I was fortunate enough to have scored tickets to the Eagles / Redskins Monday Night Football game. For anyone who does not know, this game was a big deal. Monday Night game means it’s on a national stage. The whole country is watching, or, at least they can watch if they so choose. It was the season opener for both teams. it was also the first game with Eagle’s new coach Chip Kelly. I took my friend, “Chu” to the game and we decided to make a day of it by visiting DC and walking around to see the sights.
We took the train from Philly to DC which is a sweet 2 hour ride with no traffic or driving hassles. Our train got us to DC at 11 am and we immediately were given the “let’s go, Redskins” chant by a bunch of Amtrak workers Inside the Metro Union Station we heard a mix of Go Eagles and Boo Eagles. From Union Station we went to the White House. Keep in mind we both were wearing Eagles jerseys. The north side of the White House was filed with protesters. At least they were kept off the sidewalk so that people could still get their pictures taken and take pictures in front of the White House. The first group of people we saw were Eagle’s fans.
From 1600 Pennsylvania Ave we trekked all the way down to the Lincoln Memorial. Before stopping there we visited the WWII Memorial. I was surprised to see so many WWII veterans there. Some of them were walking and the other haLf being escorted in a wheel chair. You could tell by the look in their eyes that they were reminiscing. The memorial is set up with 2 sections, one for the Pacific theater and the other for the Atlantic. My friend and I decided to shake every veteran’s hand that we came across or that passed us on the tour. “Thank You for your service. I really appreciate it.” Every single one of them seemed to be grateful to hear this and I don’t say it lightly. I really do appreciate what these brave men did and am thankful that they never have to go through with that again. We both were feeling a somber mood. This generation of WWII is a rare breed as most of them are in their 80s and 90s. We were about to exit via the Atlantic theater side when we came upon an empty wheelchair, sitting in front of one of the States posts. There was a framed photo of a gentleman and a folded flag. we both sighed a heavy sigh and gracefully walked away. Two grown men on the verge of tears.
We quietly continued dow towards the Lincoln Memorial. It was a bit of an overcast day but the heat and humidity was rising. We walked up the stairs, paid our respect to our former President and looked at the view of the National Mall.
On our walk back towards the Capitol we passed the Washington Monument, which is now covered in scaffolding since the earthquake damaged in structure. We stumbled upon a fenced off area and found hole where we discovered the remains of the ruble that fell from the earthquake.
Our next trip up the Mall was to the American History Museum. The part we wanted to se was the television and film section, which is undergoing renovations to add more items and a computer section. We did get to tour the automotive section which featured some sweet old cars and old-fashioned trains. It was only 1:00 and we still had a full day ahead of us. Our end goal was the Capitol building but we came across some really interesting artwork on display along the Mall.
We had finally arrived at the Capitol building, only to find a huge pool that we had to walk around. I was so sweat soaked that I really wanted to just swim across. If I ever become President, I’m turning that into my swimming pool. I’ll let a bunch of stray cats roam free to keep those geese away. We were able to walk up to the Capitol Building, well, at least to the base. We overheard a guard telling a woman that they do tours until 4:30 so we decided we would like to do that. After a long hike up the side of the Capitol we found what we thought was the rear entrance. Little did we know we had to walk another block and down to the entrance. It was not even 5 minutes that we were in line when the guards announced that someone left a bag unattended and thus creating a situation. So much for our tour.
My sister-in-law, Rachel, lives and works in DC so we met up with her. Turns out her office building is 2 blocks from the Capitol. She gave us an exclusive tour of VOA (Voices Of America). The security guards on the way in were busting our chops about being Eagle’s fans. We were also getting some funny looks from Rachel’s co-workers but it was all in god fun. She allowed us to charge our phones, rest our feet and give us directions to the stadium.
Now it was time for the big game! (cue the MNF theme song) On the train ride over to the stadium there was a mix of Philadelphia and Washington fans. We met a particular older gentleman who chatted with us from the subway to the parking lot. My friend, Chu immediately spotted a group of Eagles fans tailgating. We ht them up for some beers and thy were kind enough to offer us rum. They were cooking cheese steaks on a grill and gave us one! (photo opp) They even had Tasteykakes, another Philadelphia staple food. It was time t make our way inside the stadium. They have this crazy rule at FedEx Field of no bags. I had to sacrifice my Phillies tote bag in lieu of 2 ziplock, clear, plastic bags to hold me underwear,socks, keys, and spare shirt for the next day.meanwhile, you could bring in a lighter and smoke wherever you wanted. Safety first, right? For a brief second I was scared. All it took was some twisted and demented looking Redskins fan yelling. “I might die here tonight” I kept thinking. Our seats were WAY up top, last row, but the view was spectacular. We had Skins fans to left of us and Eagles fans to our right (here I am, stuck i the middle with you…) The atmosphere was electric! The game was fantastic and I’ll spare you the details of the game. The Eagles won and that’s what mattered most to me.
Our night ended with the same log walk back to the Metro stop only this time we were taking a cab back to our hotel. We got to our hotel only to find out they overbooked, even though we called in earlier in the day. They told us they got us a room at the Days Inn and it was just 3 blocks away. Since we had no car the front desk guys had someone shuttle us over to the Best Western. The whole situation was odd. The last interesting event was that we got to take an earlier train back to Philly. We got to the platform an hour early and the conductor allowed us to board as long as we sat in the cafe car, which was better for us since that gave us a table to sit at.
If there is anything that I could tie in with running is that we may have walked a half or even full marathon that day. Chu’s feet were tired the next day but not mine! I’m acclimated to running for a long period of time day in and day out!