Washington DC, Day Three

J.Hooligan sees the Hope Diamond at last.

J.Hooligan sees the Hope Diamond at last.

I woke up in the middle of the night with my foot stinging. I discovered a huge elongated blister about three inches in length. I treated and bandaged it plus another spot and thought I’d do better with my Crocs-like sandals today, which turned out to be a mistake.

Since we knew that Panera stood at the entrance to the Dupont Circle Metro station, we decided to have breakfast there. We quickly discovered why it, Krispy Kreme, and at least one other breakfast spot were clustered right there:  Workers grabbed breakfast  before taking their trains to their jobs. Consequently, Panera was crowded and confusing, but there were outside tables and a nice breeze, so it wasn’t a bad breakfast. (S.Hooligan had declined any of the pastries, but she accepted a bag of Doritos from a nearby concession truck.) I wasn’t sure birds would eat Doritos, but they did; when S. spilled the occasional chip, the birds had a feast.

Despite our journey of the night before, I still found it confusing to find the correct train platforms, but we made it back to the Smithsonian station without incident. Diamondqueen, J.Hooligan, and S.Hooligan headed for the Natural History Museum (J. in particular couldn’t wait to see the Hope diamond, mostly because it’s supposed to be cursed, which fascinates him). I thought there were collections of antique stoneware and needlework samplers at the American History Museum, which I preferred to view in private. I soon realized the Smithsonian has all these great things in their collection but is spare and random about putting them on display. I saw one 18th century stoneware crock and a huge jar made by “Dave the Slave,” a famous potter, but no samplers, at least not where I was looking. I did see the dollhouse, which didn’t wow me as much as I thought it would.

S.Hooligan and her newest "kitty." She already bought Socks the Cat at the White House gift shop.

S.Hooligan and her newest “kitty.” She already bought Socks the Cat at the White House gift shop.

In truth, I was almost too tired to care and in a lot of misery. The change of sandals didn’t help the blisters; in fact, they seemed to be causing new ones. The heat had sucked up all my energy just walking to the Metro station. I made a tour of all three floors, concentrating on what I wanted to see most, then found an empty seat and nearly nodded off despite the hubbub caused by hundreds of visiting kids’ tour groups. I was supposed to meet Diamondqueen and the Hooligans at a designated spot at 12:15. I went out about ten minutes early and discovered some benches in the shade where I spent some pleasant time, despite the heat (the breeze was so nice). Maybe I looked too comfortable; when the kids arrived, they were less than enthusiastic about seeing the American History Museum. I said I’d stay right there on the bench with them if Diamondqueen wanted to see the exhibits on her own. Again Diamondqueen wasn’t too pleased about the change of plans, but she disappeared for about 20 minutes. J.Hooligan appeared to dose, but S. continually harassed me with a tiger doll she’d purchased at the Natural History Museum.

I’d read about a place a few blocks away that was supposed to have both shops and eateries. However, when Diamondqueen checked her phone for the exact location, she saw notices that the shops were closed permanently. It didn’t seem worth the trouble, so we ducked into the nearest Metro station (the Federal Triangle) and headed back to DuPont Circle.

I’d seen an ad that said there was a Buca di Beppo near Dupont Circle, so we thought we’d stop there for a good lunch. However, Diamondqueen discovered it was about a half mile walk in the opposite direction from our hotel. I was fading fast, and all my blisters were raw. In fact, the new blisters under my toes on one foot all broke open at once, which just added to my misery. We thought we’d give the Mexican restaurant just down from our hotel a try. It was open for lunch (hurrah!) and turned out to be a good choice. The kids and I downed our drinks in a flash and dived into the chips and salsa, so we were reasonably restored by the time our meals arrived. There was a scuffle with S.Hooligan about sharing her chicken with J. and things threatened to get out of hand soon. We left Diamondqueen sitting there waiting for the check. She went on to Whole Foods for supper food and pastries for the morning while the Hooligans and I returned to the hotel.

I lay in the tub soaking my feet for quite awhile, then joined Diamondqueen in taking a nap. S.Hooligan got more and more rowdy. Diamondqueen thought maybe she and S. would go get her some pizza and pick up a sub for J.Hooligan at the Subway. We started having our meals when the two returned, but when Diamondqueen went down to the van for supplies, S. enraged me by turning off an Andy Griffith repeat I was watching–twice.  I bopped her on the head with the remote, which brought tears and weeping complaints to Diamondqueen, who wasn’t sympathetic. S.Hooligan spent the rest of the evening pretending I didn’t exist, telling her mother, “Why do we have this extra bed with no one sleeping in it? Who are you talking to, I don’t see anyone here.”

We stayed put the rest of the evening, the kids watching TV, Diamondqueen knitting, me catching up on my blogging. Tomorrow is our last day, with Arlington National Cemetery on the agenda. It’s still supposed to be 90-plus degrees.

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