Monday, September 15, 2014

On to Washington (D.C.)

My nephew got married this weekend, so that meant a whirlwind family trip to the Washington, D. C. area. It was my kids first time on an airplane and they did great. We squeezed in a very brief trip to the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. The kids are still too young to appreciate the exhibits, but there were some hands on arts & crafts "build your own plane" stuff going on, so it was a good distraction.

The wedding was a fun, pleasant affair. The couple got married at the Old Post Chapel next to Arlington National Cemetery. The reception was back at our hotel, the Hyatt in Crystal City Arlington, VA.

The reception was in the top floor Chesapeake room, and the view of the Potomac River and Washington D.C. were spectacular.

And just to illustrate where my mind goes sometimes...

I've been to Gettysburg and various American Civil War battlefields. I've been to D.C. But, it never really hit me until I had that view of just how fragile the Union's hold on the capitol must have been. I mean, I know D.C. is in Maryland but I guess, in my head, I always pictured it as central in the state, but it's not. Washington is right there, against the river and what was the border of the Confederacy.

I know the war was long before planes and the river is wide, and troops would need to come overland. But - one good bridge in the hands of the Confederacy and who knows what might of happened.

It's somewhat amazing they held not only during the opening days of the war, but throughout the four years.

A while back, The Siege of Washington by John & Charles Lockwood got onto my Kindle via a Daily Deal. I'm going to need to read it soon.

My other geek vibe from the view was from Karl Edward Wagner's gunslinger character, Becker. In his alternate world, he saw Washington D.C. burn and the Confederacy won the war.


  1. Congrats to your nephew and his bride.

    I think I've stayed at the Hyatt in Crystal City. It was for a conference about six months after 9/11 and the memory has faded, so I'm sure if that was it. Glad you got to take your kids to the Air and Space Museum. I really want to take my son one of these days.

    You bring up a good point about Union forces holding DC. If the Confederates had a bridge, things might have turned out more like the War of 1812.

  2. Replies
    1. David, it gets a brief mention during "One Paris Night."

  3. Whenever we go to DC, spousal unit and I stay in Crystal City. With the Metro stations so close, it's convenient to everything, and 23rd St (I think) has some killer restaurants.

    Funny that they moved the Naval Academy to Newport while leaving the seat of government vulnerable. mj

  4. I was in DC once and went to the air museum. It was closed that day for some kind of repairs and I've never had a chance to see it.