Friday, June 24, 2011

Eric's Return to D.C.: U.S. Open Weekend

As I mentioned in my last post, Eric was in Washington, D.C. last weekend for the (golf) U.S. Open. I was very, very jealous of Eric's D.C. trip - not because of the U.S. Open part, but just because, well, I miss D.C. With the exception of one brief business trip for me just about a week after we moved here, neither of us had been back to D.C. since we left nearly three years ago. My sadness over leaving was well-documented, and I still miss it very much. I loved that city and could definitely see myself living there again someday. So, the fact that Eric got to go back for a fun weekend made me pretty envious, but considering the impetus for this trip was golf-related, I figured it was best to stay behind and let him enjoy a boys' weekend with Jeff. (Just a little Jeff background: Eric and Jeff went to high school together, and then we all became friends during college. After college, the three of us moved up to D.C., where Eric and Jeff started law school and I went for my Masters degree. We all lived together for two years, until Eric and I got married. Jeff is still a great friend and has visited us several times in NYC.)

Eric took the BoltBus down to D.C. from Penn Station, which in itself caused me to reminisce like crazy. I never took the BoltBus specifically, but in the summer of 2007, when I was still in D.C. and Eric was a summer associate here in New York City, I took the oh-so-luxurious Chinatown bus to and from NYC often to visit him. Ah, memories!

Eric said the BoltBus was great, and it only took about four and a half hours to get to D.C., with no stops. He arrived around sunset on Friday night, and was instantly nostalgic as he stepped off the bus near Union Station. He walked from there through the Georgetown University Law Center campus to the Chinatown metro stop, a walk he made almost daily during our three years in D.C. Oh, the familiar sights! Looking at the photos he took made me miss it so much.

Sunset sky over the Georgetown Law campus

Eric used to see this view of the Capitol dome every day as he crossed the street on his way to and from school

Georgetown Law Center clock tower

GULC campus

Eric met Jeff in Chinatown, and they walked over to Hill Street BBQ for dinner, but they had a 45-minute wait so they killed some time by walking up to the Archives/Navy Memorial area.

View of the Capitol

National Archives

Navy Memorial

I love this - when FDR was president, he said that if they ever built a memorial to him, he wanted just a simple block about the size of his desk, placed on the lawn in front of the Archives. So, this original FDR Memorial was built. 30-some years later, they built the sprawling new memorial to him along the Tidal Basin. That memorial is beautiful and one of my most favorites, but it is definitely not what he requested!

After their wait, the boys finally got their dinner of ribs, brisket, cornbread, mac and cheese, green bean casserole, mashed sweet potatoes and sweet tea. These boys love them some BBQ. They often went to good ol' Sonny's back in Florida, followed by Red, Hot and Blue in D.C., and Daisy May's when Jeff comes to visit us here. It's good stuff.

After dinner they went by Jeff's office for a bit. (Jeff is a patent lawyer.)

Jeff in his office

The boys then went back to Jeff's apartment, watched Jackass 3.5, then went to bed in preparation for the long day ahead.

Saturday was U.S. Open day, and the boys got going around 8:30 a.m., which was a much later start than they got went they went to the U.S. Open in NYC in 2009. They stopped for breakfast, then took the Metro (oh, Metro! How I miss you!) to Grosvenor, followed by a shuttlebus to Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, MD.

Eric and Jeff with their U.S. Open tickets

They watched the early groups play the first four holes, then spent some time on the range watching Lee Westwood, Ryo Ishikawa and Jeff Overton (among others) warm up. They then followed two reigning major champions, Graeme McDowell (2010 U.S. Open) and Martin Kaymer (2010 PGA), for the first five holes before stopping for lunch. They then watched 18 and 10 from the hill behind the 18th hole.

Next they walked the back nine to do the interactive events that were set up, including taking pictures with the U.S. Open trophy, having a video made of each of them sinking the winning putt, and flipbooks made of their swings. How cool is all that? Natalie Gulbis was also signing autographs, and there was an area set up to offer 10-minute lessons and high-speed videos of your swing.

Eric with the U.S. Open trophy...foreshadowing?

VIDEO: Jeff's flipbook of his swing from the U.S. Open

After all that fun, Eric and Jeff walked to the back nine to see the groups hit that they hadn't already seen. In doing so, they barely missed getting hit by an errant tee shot on 11! Heads up! Fore! All that good stuff! They found a spot and camped out by the seventh tee with a great view of the sixth green. They watched the leaders play through teeing off on 9 before heading back to D.C.

Back at Jeff's apartment, they ordered pizza and went for a swim in the pool at Jeff's building. Then, at Eric's request, they went out to walk around the National Mall. One of our favorite things to do when we lived in D.C. was to walk the Mall at night and see all the monuments lit up. In fact, Eric proposed to me at the Lincoln Memorial at night. It's just so beautiful at night, and if you are going to visit D.C. anytime soon, I highly recommend saving your monument-ing for nighttime.

I hear some important guy lives here?

Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall, where my graduation was held

Washington Monument

Looking up at the Washington Monument

World War II Memorial

World War II Memorial, totally being photobombed by the Washington Monument
('s a beautiful picture, Eric!)

My favorite, the Lincoln Memorial

Eric down on his knee on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, in the exact spot where he proposed to me five years ago

Abe looking as stately as ever

Please pardon all the touristy photos, but I just love those monuments and I miss them in my life.

The boys didn't make it all the way around the Tidal Basin to the FDR and Jefferson Memorials, but they had already walked miles and miles all day so they did quite enough. They went back to Jeff's apartment, watched Jackass 3D, then called it a night. The next morning, they slept in then went to the gym to play racquetball. Then they had lunch and played some foosball until it was time for Eric to catch his bus back to NYC.

I know Eric had a great time back in D.C., and I am anxiously awaiting an opportunity to get back there myself. It's such a fabulous city.

Thanks to Eric for all his help with the details of this post, and thanks to Jeff for hosting my husband last weekend!

1 comment:

KT @ KT's Refinishing School said...

The only thing that makes monuments look even better than viewing them at night is viewing them at night when there is a little snow on the ground. Makes everything (but especially statues and the Vietnam/Korean War monuments) look magical :)