So bear with me as I catch up. This will be the first of four posts about my recent trip to Washington, DC for the annual “CONSER cage match” (I say this affectionately, and I’m proud to be a part of said cage match, really).
Tuesday, May 1st, 2007
Tuesday was travel and arrival day. I took Amtrak down with my friend B, who drove in from farther up into the Northeast. Due to traffic, she barely made it (damn turnpikes) before the taxi was scheduled, but she did, albeit a bit tired and cranky. We got to the train station in plenty of time. We even had some time to stop for a refreshment before boarding our train.
The train ride was uneventful. I have vague memories of riding the train as a child with my grandma from DC to New Jersey. I was no more than 5 years old and I do remember learning that dot-to-dot activities are not the best thing to do on a train. What I can tell you is that the seats are infinitely more comfortable than plane seats, I don’t have to strip down to go through a metal detector (bonus! ’cause I always always set the damn things off…usually because of the underwire in my bra, no joke), and you see some really interesting things. We made a trip to the food car for some water about 1/2 way through the 2 hour trip. Our food car attendant was a comedian. I think he was bored and saw us as a break in the monotony.
We arrived into Union Station and hauled our crap via the METRO to the bed and breakfast we stayed at for the meeting. B has sworn to invest in a nice rolling suitcase that is mid-sized after her garment bag nearly killed her when she tried to get through the METRO turnstiles. The b&b was very nice, the Woodley Park Guest House, in, you guessed it, Woodley Park, and very close and convenient to that METRO stop, making it easy to get to the Library of Congress on Capitol Hill. It’s a very nice large house, with many rooms in varying sizes. B had a bigger room, with a nice double bed and an attached half bath, and I stayed in a cute little single with a twin bed and a shared bath next door. It was only fair that B got the bigger room since she’s stayed there many times in the past and let me know about it. The breakfast is basic, but good. I don’t usually want much, so the variety of cereal, fresh fruit, yogurt and pastries was perfect. And they make excellent coffee. Excellent coffee, which is very important (as those of you that know me have learned). And it’s all at a reasonable price. I do believe I’ll stay there again.
After checking in and dropping our stuff, we headed out to 18th Street up in Adams Morgan in search of Ethiopian cuisine. We took the METRO to Dupont Circle and walked north on 18th for a good 10 or so blocks until we came to Meskerem (2434 18th Street NW). The tables are tiny, woven straw things that the dishes set down in, almost like a straw bowl on a stand, and are called messobs. Next to the straw bowl tables are small side tables for your injera, a pancake/crepe that you use to pick up the food (no silverware here), and your beverages. We decided to share a combination platter and each sampled one of the available Ethiopian beers. Our only complaint is that apparently we were invisible to our server so it took awhile once we were done eating to get her attention so we could go get some rest.
We walked back to the b&b, and headed for bed. We needed to get some rest in preparation for the long meetings over the next 3 days.