Next Stop: Maryland

Trip Start Jan 15, 2009
Trip End Jan 25, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Maryland
Sunday, January 18, 2009

We arrived at Cynthia's house last night around 10:30. The 5 1/2-hours drive was okay. We had just a brief spot of traffic leaving Atlanta, then smooth sailing all the way into Raleigh, North Carolina. Cynt, Anthony and Jarvis are all packed and ready to leave to head to WDC. I didn't even realize they were going. This is so great! The more the merrier. Even though we won't all be staying at the same place, I'm sure we'll connect at some point. Too bad Jane and her crew can't come. Apparently, she's got lots to do with helping to prepare for the Trumpet Awards.

A few hours after Cynt and her crew head out, the Globetrotters decide to set out towards WDC to participate in history! Initially, we planned to hang out in Raleigh today, but decided to get up north a little earlier. It helped to find out that my cousins in Maryland have found a few parties to attend tonight and we don't want to miss any of the action. So, we decided to leave this afternoon and enjoy a leisurely drive.

Rolling through the highways and byways of the USA is so beautiful. I love a road trip; this one will be cold. It was about 26 degrees when we left; cold enough to freeze a bottle of water we left in the car over night. Driving through North Carolina, into Virginia and then to Maryland we pass lots of sights and a ton of cars with license plates from states far and wide -- Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Georgia, South and North Carolina, Ohio and more. We could tell they were all headed in this direction to witness the very same event we were. A little toot-toot of the horn here and there and a wave at the other cars passing by created a sense of camaraderie, brotherhood, Americanism and pride. It's so great to know that people are so excited about this. We could see pillows, blankets, coats and snacks piled up in the back seats of numerous cars, so we were certain they were our brothers and sisters in this journey.

We finally arrived at Jeffrey's house and were greeted in the cold winter night air by Don, my other cousin who had arrived a few days ago from Los Angeles. It is so great to see my family and to share this time in history with them. A quick tour of the house, drop off our bags, eat some dinner that Tiffany picked up from Golden Corral, then we head out on the town to see what night life we can find in the District.

Michael worked in WDC years ago and he's familiar with the city, but apparently he's forgotten how crazy the divers are. Taxis, limos and other cars weaving across lanes, stopping just a nose length from one another; bumper-to-bumper traffic with people yelling out of their windows at pedestrians; street vendors calling out to people to buy their Presidential wares -- Obama T-shirts, hats, scarves, backpacks and all manner of memorabilia with the new President's face and name. People lined up on the sidewalks and around corners for the opportunity to get into one nightclub or another. Meanwhile, we're just watching the show as we drive by. Tiffany is texting like crazy with her friends to get the scoop on which parties are hot and which are not. It's good to be with an insider.

After learning that some of the hot spots aren't so hot, and determining that we're not about to wait in a line snaked around a building and pay $250 per person just to get into a party, we finally decide to pop into Ozio Restaurant & Lounge on M Street. Ten bucks each and we're in, only to find out that the place is packed practically wall to wall and that this is a cigar bar, which means there's smoke everywhere. Despite that, it turns out to be a pretty cool place. Good music and a wide selection of martinis and other drinks. When we finally find a cozy spot that will accommodate all five of us, we're good to go for some people watching. I love checking out the fashions -- wool tights and short skirts or dresses with knee-high leather boots seems to be the outfit du jour, but every lady is working it her own special way.

A few martinis and a few hours later, we decide to head out. Tiffany wants to drive past the Hyatt to see what's going on there, but within 10 minutes of driving off, she's asleep (clearly a morning person; I can totally relate), and the rest of us are tired so we decide to call it a night.
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