Three o’clock in the morning is really, really early. Not as early as one or two o’clock, but still early enough. I had my alarm set for three o’clock Saturday morning and woke up just before it went off. Friday night we had packed up the car and, but for last minute things (overnight bag, toiletries, MP3 player, MP3 charger, cell phone wall charger, cell phone car charger, book, screwdriver kit, prescriptions, etc., etc., …. – okay, maybe not just last minute things), were all set to head out by four. Because of all the last minute things, things not being where they were supposed to be, general wandering around and not being quite ready to leave we didn’t pull out until 4:39 a.m., meaning we were going to be 39 minutes later than planned all day long.

Allowing for stops for gas, rest stops, food, etc., and the lengths of 16th Street and New Hampshire Avenue, we pulled up at Amsterdam Hall about three in the afternoon. Of course there was plenty of parking available so I pulled up on the curb, turned on the four-ways and we began unloading. This wasn’t just coming back from winter break, since our eldest had spent fall semester abroad in Africa, so it took three trips to transfer everything from the car to her room. Having one of her roommates coming down the street just as we arrived and helping out didn’t hurt.

Getting things somewhat squared away in our daughter’s room, given how late we got to DC, didn’t leave any time to see anything else in the city or take any pictures. We hadn’t really seen the city in winter yet and it was pretty much as bare and brown as what we left behind in New England. We had a few inches of snow a couple days before packing her up but there was no sign of snow in Washington.

We had a good, yet inexpensive dinner at Froggy Bottom Pub where I was told they had some fine pho and had the most enthusiastically friendly service I can recall anywhere. Though it wasn’t as cold outside walking to dinner as it was at home I was happy to have a nice hot bowl of Pho Froggy with added vegetables. A big bowl of broth, noodles, flank steak, brisket, meatballs, vegetables, and hot chili sauce – just what you need for a cold night of walking around the city.

Finally there was nothing left but to say goodbye and head for our hotel room, still an hour away. A long day, a long drive, and still a long drive home, all in about 36 hours, but it was worth doing, and we’d do it again. Come to think of it, we probably will.


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