Saturday, August 11, 2007

Welcome to Washington DC!

Speaking of Washington, how the heck are you supposed to write it? Washington DC? Or is it just Washington? Or just DC? Or is D.C. still preferred? The road signs here all call it simply "Washington," but back west, I think most people refer to it as D.C., probably to avoid confusing it with the state. Then again, there's a city in Pennsylvania, not too far from here, that is also called "Washington." I think people around here just generally prefer confusion to order, if you want to know the truth.

It's been a few days since we officially arrived, so I wanted to report on how the rest of the trip went. The short answer is, "good for us, bad for Jocelyn."

Actually, the day started bad. I checked my e-mail at the hotel in Dayton, the night before we were supposed to finish the trip, and the manager here said the office just happened to be closing three hours early the day we were supposed to arrive and check in. So even though we had estimated arriving at 5:30, we now had to make haste to be there by 4:00 p.m.
We woke up at 5:30, ate breakfast in the lobby, and were on the road by 6:15. The Penske handbook says you're not supposed to drive faster than 55 mph when you're towing a car, but we took it at a steady 70 mph most of the way.
I had no idea we were headed toward the Appalachian mountains, which was the most stressful part of the trip. We'd go downhill at a good speed, then hit an uphill and the truck would start to slow down, from 65, to 60, to 50, to 40. Sometimes the RPM would hover at around number 5 for a minute straight as we struggled to go up the mountain, and I was constantly afraid the engine would give out. I didn't remember the Rocky Mountains being this difficult.

Even with the upward hill struggles, we still managed pretty good time, and made it to the apartment by 2:30, a full three hours before our original estimated time of 5:30.

It was the hottest day of the year in the area, but Stephen and I got to work unloading. We both had pounding headaches for the rest of the night as a result of heat stroke, and we both took cold showers when it was all done to clean off all the sweat. D.C. humidity is not my favorite thing.

Some of Jocelyn's relatives showed up to help at 5:00, and by the time the Elder's Quorum arrived, there were just a few boxes left in the truck. More relatives of Jocelyn's and more elders came at 5:30, when we were originally supposed to start, but everything was finished by then.

To celebrate the end of our journey, Stephen and I went to the National Mall and saw some of the famous memorials there. I drove him to the airport at 6:00 the next mroning.

Jocelyn's travel experience was altogether different. She had a layover in Chicago that was supposed to last only an hour; it lasted ten. I drove to the airport at the right time, and ended up staying there for as many hours myself. Instead of arriving at 7:50, Jocelyn's plane came in at 5:30 a.m. We drove home and all three of us (Jocelyn, Peter, and I) slept for a good six hours.
Now we're settled and unpacking, bit by bit. We love our place. Better than Rivendell.

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