We wandered to Eastern Market and the Capitol Hill Flea, where I bought Mike a shirt with a polar bear looking through a View Finder (he collects them) from Sharp Shirter. We took advantage of the beautiful weather and walked to the National Mall, where we stumbled into an Asian street festival, where I gave in and bought a meat stick and a lemonade. It was glorious.
The downside to my whirlwind trip to the district was that I really only had time for one museum (maybe two if I wasn't an old lady with back problems). We went to the National Museum of American History, where I naturally headed straight to the WWII room, walking politely through the Civil War and something about Thomas Jefferson's slaves. It didn't come close to the WWII Museum in NOLA, but the Vietnam exhibit (the TVs above) was pretty effective.
Afterward, we headed back to their apartment for some rest before dinner. I couldn't bear the thought of leaving DC without sitting and reading in a coffee shop (and of going two whole days without a coffee!), so I ventured out while Clare napped. I found the neighborhood coffee shop and sipped a delicious latte, ate a chocolate chip cookie, and read two very strange stories from Ha Jin's A Good Fall. The wax paper bag the cookie came in is currently serving as my bookmark.
For dinner, we ate at Matchbox then had a couple drinks at The Queen Vic (which is less than a block from their apartment), but we were all pretty beat by then. Sunday morning was bittersweet. Cyndi took me to the bus station and waited with me for a while. We didn't end up crying on the bathroom floor, but it was refreshing to have a weekend that had been a year and a half in the making that felt like all those weekends in Georgia before graduation, before college, before life. (I mean, we were alive then, too, but you know what I mean.) Cyndi's someone who knows me inside and out, something I've often taken for granted; I can say things to her without context or apology, without fear of being misinterpreted or given room for explanation. There's something to be said for a friend who not only knows your history because you've told it to them, but someone whose own history is part of yours.