Dec 22 2008

A Strange Trip: Washington DC, Airport “Security,” and Houston Snow

Category: History,Pictures/Graphics,PoliticsTim @ 12:07 pm

Recently, I experienced a truly unique trip to Washing DC. I guess the interesting points came on the way back home, but I’ll get to that in a minute. Washington DC is a great place to visit. For those of us who are history and government people, DC is our Disneyland. Even in early December, the sights of DC are impressive and I rarely miss the opportunity to take in the sites; always making time to visit Abe and see what he has to say:

Lincoln Memorial Night
Other highlights my evening stroll was the World War II Memorial (too cold for the fountains, but still an impressive sight)

World War II Memorial at Night

And the ellipse-side of the White House with holiday decorations.

White House At Night Christmas

A note to the brave, warm clothes and good shows are a must when strolling the Mall. Also, if you see a many with no shirt at night singing and dancing in the center of the Mall, avoid making eye-contact and get out of the way when the Capital Police come racing by.

At the conclusion of my visit, it was time to head home. By this point, the temperature in DC was a balmy 50 degrees and with a short taxi ride, I arrived at Washington National Airport (DCA for the airport geeks in the house) in plenty of time to make it through security and get a bite to eat before takeoff.

Security: Shoes off, pockets empty, jacket off, bag open, laptop out, keys out, no nail clippers, no liquids, boarding pass, ID, don’t even think about making a joke, and get dressed again as quickly as possible while watching those selected for “more extensive” screening sweat it out.

There is always a sense of relief with the airport screeners in behind you; especially when you have plenty of time before your flight. I was in that position, so I stopped in what passed for a restaurant  in DCA, ordered a sandwich and a draught of Yuengling. After all, as my waitress said, “You’re not driving.” Besides, Yuengling is a fantastic brew and it is only available on the east coast. In no time, the waitress was back saying, “The nurse is here with your medicine” and I was set. That’s when I noticed what she brought with the sandwich; a long sharp plastic knife.

DCA Airport Knife

Wait a minute, I can’t bring nail clippers on the plane but we give travelers this instrument of dismemberment with their meals? Does that seem right to you? Look at the thickness of the plastic and the serrated edge! This thing is designed for one purpose, to cut meat! OK, so I was having a bit of fun, but it was sharp.

After a longer than normal flight back home facing stiff head winds, we landed in Houston. My first thought was, it will be nice to not need the jacket anymore and good to be back in more temperate weather. That’s about the point I looked out the window and saw the snow flakes falling. Yes, show in Houston. I’ve lived here almost 19 years and this marks the 4th time I’ve seen snow in my town. Being the fully converted southerner, I took a picture of the snow.

Houston Snow Tahoe

Yes, I admit this is lame, but for us it’s cool. Too cool.