Montgomery Village

Trip Start Oct 04, 2007
Trip End Feb 03, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Maryland
Thursday, November 29, 2007

Into DC for the last time on this trip.  Of course we have not seen all the places we had on our list, but we have enjoyed our stay immensely and our hosts, Linda and Bob were fantastic - and seemed to enjoy our company for the whole time - thank you both very much.

Our plan for today was to visit two photographic exhibits at the Corcoran Gallery, pay for our NorthWest tickets and visit another gallery.  We achieved all this - but what a story.  

Before we left the house we looked up NorthWest's DC address.  That was our fist stop when we arrived in DC.  When we inquired at the reception desk for the building we were told they had moved some time ago.  So we rang NW and were told we could pay at the airport or any travel agent.  As we didn't want to travel out to the airport we decided to look for a travel agency.

But first we went to the Corcoran and saw Ansel Adams exhibit which we thought was terrific.  Then we saw 'Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer's Life, 1990-2005' which did not impress Ruth who felt that while many of the photos were great shots, some were pretentious and some of the subjects were uninteresting.  Also the accompanying documentation was not helpful in explaining the connection or relevance of the photos.  So, after lunch we resumed our search to pay for our flight booking.

We went to walk East from Corcoran to a Visitors Centre but the area was cordoned off as George W was leaving the White House.  So we took a long detour and were given directions to a nearby AAA shop.  Once there we were nearly in luck.  The receptionist told us that they usually handle such requests but that "the travel agent was not in today."  

We walked East to Union Station and not by the most direct route, which is over 2 miles, looking unsuccessfully for travel agencies on the way.  Once there we stood in line and collected our Amtrak tickets for our trip to Connecticut tomorrow (Friday) and to Niagara Falls the following week.  Then we asked the lady serving us if she could tell us where a travel agency was.  She couldn't as she lives in Baltimore and drives about 40 miles one way to DC to work.  She also had no idea where the White House was.  But she was very helpful, asking her co-worker.  He left his counter when he finished serving the customer in front of him and went out back, returning a few minutes later with 2 pages from their Yellow Pages.  While waiting we offered to step aside so our lady could continue serving but she emphatically asked us to stand in front of her - thus giving her a respite, and meaning we were tying up two servers and causing the line to grow.  Our man studied the Yellow Pages, and marked what he thought were the closest places, both nearly back to where we had come from.  We had a coffee in Union Station, studied the lists and found one only a couple of blocks away - a much better option we thought,  at least until we got there.  Feeling very tired from all our walking, we politely asked the security guards if we could go to the travel agency.  We were allowed into the Senate building (Russell House) and directed along long underground passages in the basement to our destination.  The lady there explained that the service was only for Senators and staff but she took pity on us and made our reservations for us and accepted our credit card.  

Our final destination was the Postal Museum.  We were able to spend about an hour there, after nearly 2 hours spent finalising our plane tickets.  We haven't yet built up the stamina to book our other flights.  The Postal Museum was interesting.  It had exhibits about the growth of the Postal service as well as an incredible collection of stamps.  

Back home for another great dinner - this time treats from a Philadelphia deli.
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