We enjoyed our last dinner of the trip at Siroc Restaurant with friends Ellie and Bruce. We last saw them almost over 19 years ago attending their son's Bar Mitzvah. Ellie and Bruce attended our University, and Bruce is a Fraternity Brother of Keith's. We attended their wedding in 1981. It was wonderful to see them. It is amazing how fast time goes.
With the assistance of modern-day technology we were able to do a short video and audio talk with our daughter Jennifer and granddaughter Emma who live in Sydney, Australia along with our son-in-law Gui and grandson Andre. They are all there as Gui has taken a temporary job assignment down-under.
It was great to see Ellie and Bruce and we could have chatted for days. Restaurant turned out great between cuisine, and service and they sat us in a relatively quiet location of the restaurant so we felt we had the entire area to ourselves.
After breakfast we took another walk. We walked on another route over to Georgetown and then walked over Key Bridge which connects Washington, DC with Northern Virginia when we came to Crystal City. On occasion we would go over to the Marriott where they had an amazing fruit and salad bar. Since we have been reminiscing about our days at university we added a few photos from Sophomore and Junior Years. This includes a couple of photos from one of Keith's election campaigns and a couple of photos with the two of us together. A few months after we married Anne Marie had a surprise birthday party for Anne Marie at our apartment in Northern Virginia. Here she is with Jean Rosen.
We have enjoyed an amazing trip to Washington, DC. In some ways it is going down memory lane but as always we have made new memories that we will carry with us. We will plan to return again sooner rather then later so that we can see some who either had conflicts or we couldn't see this time around as well as others we have seen and we would also like to visit some additional places in WDC and in Virginia that we could not do on this trip with limited time.
Our next trip is next February to Sydney, Australia to see daughter, Jennifer, son-in-law Gui, grandson Andre and granddaughter Emma. They moved there end of this past June for one to two years. Until then we wish all of you our very best.
Anne Marie & Keith
We enjoyed breakfast at the Club Floor before getting ready to enjoy our final full day in Washington, DC.
After yesterday's get-together with friends from our days at The American University it was fitting that we visited the University this morning. Our last visit was in the 1990's when we showed our children Jennifer and Eric around campus. We saw several changes to the campus from our days at the University. Today we saw even more.
We have wonderful memories of our time at school. We were both Political Science Majors attending the School Of Government & Public Administration. For us there was no better place for this major.
It was back in the day when for certain research projects we could take the bus over to Capital Hill and walk freely to the offices of Senators and House of Representative members to obtain information to help with the research. It was also back in the day where these members did not travel home as often as they do today and we saw many of them speak at our university each year.
The campus is located in the Northwest of Washington, DC not too far from many Embassies and in a very pristine residential area. Space is still limited though as it sits on 84 acres but they have done a nice job of maximizing the space with the addition of new buildings/facilities. Slightly less then 8,000 undergraduate students attend the university. The Law School is located 1/2 mile from the main campus and the university has acquired space in a few other locations not directly on the main campus.
When we attended the school there were five residence halls. Anne Marie lived on campus the entire four years including her senior year as a resident advisor. Keith lived on campus three years and moved off campus his last year. We lived in the same dormitory during our sophomore and junior years including on the same floor our junior year which at the time was an experimental floor. It featured four bedroom and eight bedroom rooms (not suites and no bathrooms in them as one might have today) and the only coed floor on campus. It had a very large kitchen and lounge area.
Fast forward to 2017 and that floor no longer has those types of room. There are some dormitories with suites. The university now has thirteen dormitories. We took a taxi over to American University (AU) We entered the university near McDowell Hall where Keith was provided a dormitory the summer between Junior and Senior Years as he was in-charge of Freshman Orientation. We stopped at Leonard Hall where Keith lived Freshman Year and Anne Marie lived Senior Year when she was a Resident Hall Advisor. As we continued across campus we came to a building new to us as it is home to a sport arena, fitness center and indoor swimming. Back in our day we had to travel to Fort Myer to see the Basketball Play. Eventually we made our way to Letts Hall where Anne Marie lived as a Freshman and right across from there and also connected on one floor Anderson Hall where we both lived during our Sophomore and Junior Years. We visited other buildings such as the Library which we saw in the 1990's, the School Of Public Administration (called the School Of Government and Public Administration during our day) where we took classes associated with our major. We visited a building which was new to us for the School of International Services. We saw the new Business School Building. We went over to Mary Graydon Center which still is home to some organizations such as the Student Government which Keith was part of and it has various places to eat. They still have a place called the Tavern but back in our day it was a rather dark room that looked like a Taverns selling soft drinks, Beer (large mugs at around $2.50), wine, (Mateus), hamburgers, reuben's and some other items to eat and on certain nights would feature a live band. Oh those were the days. We went over to the book store although it is in a location different then the one we shopped at and no longer sells books as you can purchase them on-line. We eventually made our way across the street which used to be on large parking lot which now has some parking but has some new dormitories and an impressed information services building. In our day the computer course we took featured those computer cards that would represent what we programmed. The campus is still beautiful and located in an absolutely wonderful location of Washington DC. For our return trip we walked along Nebraska Avenue passing the Homeland Security area in a former church, NBC/MSNBC, and eventually came to the School Of Law which used to be on campus. We eventually made it past the Tenley Circle and over to the subway which we took back downtown.
After a ten minute break back at the hotel we walked over to 19th street to find the second MCI Headquarters which Keith worked at. We then walked over to 17th Street to find the first MCI Headquarters which Keith also worked at but as best we can see it was recently taken down as it is now one large piece of open area and new construction has begun.
This afternoon we walked over to the harbor and enjoyed the scenery. We will close now.
This evening we will be dining with friends Bruce and Ellie. We have not seen them since attending their son's Bar Mitzvah in the 1990's. They began university one year after we did and Bruce was in Keith's fraternity.
Before dinner last evening we took another long walk. This included walking by the White House where another demonstration was held. Same was true on our return walk with a different demonstration.
We had dinner at the Old Ebbitt Grill. Even though it has been around since the 1850's this was our first visit there. It definitely brings in a crowd as just about all tables were in use during our meal. Their specialty is seafood including Oyster's. We passed on them but they seemed to be a popular choice with many diners as an appetizer. We think it is a restaurant you try one-time for its history although a couple seated next to us had been there three times within two days. We hadn't realized that it is now owned by Clyde's a small restaurant chain in Washington, DC and its suburbs.
After dinner we took a leisurely walk on our way back to the hotel. After all of that walking (Fitbit Blaze was excited about the walking) it was easy to fall asleep.
We began the day with an early breakfast at the Club Floor Lounge. This is a good time to mention how friendly and customer focused the entire staff of the hotel has been. This includes the personnel from the Club Floor, the Registration Desk, Concierge, Housekeeping and the Door Men.
We kept to a simple breakfast of Cereal and fruit.
Originally, we planned to visit The American University but with lunch plans with friends we thought it would be cutting it close. The good news is that we hadn't planned to visit the Holocaust Museum until Monday and since we were able to visit the museum on Saturday we decided we would visit the University on Monday.
We began our walk very early with very few people on the street and it was overcast and somewhat foggy.
We walked in the direction of Georgetown and then over to the waterfront. During our walk we saw people running in the Navy -Air Force Half Marathon. We could see many runners across the way from the waterfront as they passed The Kennedy Center. We then proceeded over to Georgetown University. While at our University on occasion we would go there to use their library. It was still early but we saw some students walking the campus.
On our way back to the hotel we walked up and down a couple of other streets in Georgetown looking for familiar sites as we reminisced about our days at University and when we worked and lived in the area.
We had lunch at a restaurant called RIS which was recommended to Keith by the Club Lounge Concierge Manager a few months ago. We were looking for a restaurant that could accommodate a small group and this dining venue worked out perfectly.
Our friends included:
Larry and Kelly. Larry worked for Keith for many years and even assisted Keith when he coaches our sons recreational basketball team.
Jean who was a roommate of Anne Marie's for two years and also was a bridesmaid at our wedding and a sorority sister.
Merri who was Anne Marie's little sister in her sorority and also attended our wedding.
Pam and her husband Mike. Pam attended our wedding and was in Anne Marie's sorority and as a freshman lived on the floor that Anne Marie was responsible for as a Residence Hall Advisor.
Susan and her husband Gary who we last saw a few years ago at the wedding of Keith's college roommates son and was President of Anne Marie's sorority the year before Anne Marie served as President.
Judy and her husband Ed. Judy was a sorority sister of Anne Marie's. We attended their wedding when they married a few years after we did.
We had invited a few other people but unfortunately they were either out of town or had other commitments.
It was so much fun getting together with everyone. We were there for over three hours. The restaurant staff was superb.
We began today with breakfast in the club floor lounge. Lots of choices were available including cereal, bread/bagels/rolls/pastries, fruit, yogurt and many hot items including eggs, sausage, bacon, waffles, pancake and oatmeal. We kept it simple and each us enjoyed cereal with some fresh fruit and coffee. After freshening up we took a long walk to explore Washington, DC.
We walked from the downtown hotel towards the Tidal Basin passing various Washington, DC landmarks including the Washington Monument. Our first stop was the World War II Memorial. The Memorial was larger then we imagined and very well designed. As we walked the area a volunteer for the memorial spoke with us and explained each area of the memorial and what it commemorated. He was very informative and we are very happy to have met him. We owe so much to the men and women both military personnel as well as civilians who are part of what Tom Brokaw refers to as The Greatest Generation. The volunteers wife is also a volunteer with the organization that flies WWII veterans to Washington DC so that they can visit the memorial. She greets them at the airport.
Our walk continued with a stop at the Martin Luther King Memorial. We read each and every quote and thought about its meaning. There is so much to learn from his writings and his beliefs in equality and also peace.
Our next stop was the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial which depicts each of his four terms in office. Back in his day very few people knew of his disability as the press was not allowed to photograph him in a wheelchair nor discuss his situation.
We then walked over to the Jefferson Memorial. When we started dating in college we would go there from time to time. We found many of Jefferson's quotes to be inspirational. In the Fall of 1976 Keith proposed to Anne Marie one evening at the memorial. Anne Marie wore the engagement ring Keith gave to Anne Marie (many years later she got a larger one) along with her original wedding band.
From there we walked over to the Holocaust Museum. The area that tells the story about a child of the Holocaust is very emotional as is the fact that two of every three jews of Europe were killed during the Holocaust.
As we continued our walk we passed by the recently open African Museum. The exterior of the building is very unique.
From there we walked and stopped outside the White House and also walked across the way over to the Blair House. We walked over towards the area where Keith worked while we lived in Washington, DC. This included the first two buildings that were headquarters to MCI.
Many streets that we walked had been closed off in preparation for some events. This included a parade, a festival as well as pro-Turmp and anti-Trump demonstrations. Those took place after our walk.
After taking a short rest at the hotel we walked over to Georgetown a place that we visited from time-to-time while in University. For special occasions we dined at some of its restaurants but they are no longer in business today. We will post about this evening tomorrow.
The photos that we have posted are in the opposite order of the places we visited today.
FIRST DAY - WASHINGTON, DC
We had the car service take us from our home to our area airport. The drive was uneventful. We have TSA Pre Check but there was no one on-line at any of the TSA checkpoints. Keith asked one of the TSA officials where is everyone and he said you should have arrived an hour ago It was a mad-house. He also remarked that we were here three hours before our flight and he see many people arriving twenty minutes before their flights.
When we arrived to the airline club the person checking us in told us the same story. She said up until 20 minutes before we arrived, the lounge was a zoo. Today must be our lucky day.
Our flight left on schedule and was uneventful and we arrived to Ronald Reagan Airport a few minutes early. Upon claiming our bag from the luggage carrousel we made our way into Washington, DC where we are staying at the downtown Ritz Carlton. The hotel is only a few blocks from two of the headquarters locations which Keith worked at during his first few years at MCI. The hotel was not around when we lived in Washington.
After checking into the room we went to the club floor to enjoy a snack and some wine. We were having such a good time that we just decided to stay at the hotel. Tomorrow we will walk as much as we can and hopefully see all of the place that we have planned.
Until tomorrow. We are thrilled to be back to Washington, DC.
Welcome To Our Washington, DC Blog
It is fitting that our final trip of 2017 celebrating forty years of wedding bliss culminates with a visit to Washington, DC. After all this is where we first met.
We both grew up in the state of New York. Anne Marie lived in The Bronx, only a few blocks from the original Yankee Stadium. After her Father passed away her family moved to Pelham Manor in Westchester County. Keith grew up in a small town on Long Island located twenty-miles east of mid-town Manhattan.
We both attended college in Washington DC at The American University. As sophomores we briefly met but it was during our junior year that our relationship began. Both of us were political science majors and during the first semester of junior year we were in the same class. We attended one party together and were part of a study group. We met one day over winter break in New York City at the New York Library in Manhattan and spent most of the day visiting museums, walking and talking.
By February of 1976 we began dating and by the fall of our senior year Keith proposed to Anne Marie one evening at the Jefferson Memorial. We remember the moment as if it was yesterday. Afterwards, we had dinner at Magic Pan which at the time was one of our favorite restaurants.
Following college we married. We started our marriage and work careers in the Washington DC area and by 1982 and 1986 respectively daughter Jennifer and son Eric were born. We lived in Northern Virginia until the Fall of 1987 when we moved to Northern California as part of a job relocation for Keith.
We returned to Washington DC a few times with our family and Keith returned frequently on business trips. Anne Marie last visited the area in the mid-1990's and Keith was last there in January of 2003.
A couple of photos from College.
We always thought we would reside in the Washington DC area and retire to Charlottesville or Williamsburg, Virginia.
However, our plans changed when opportunities for Keith's career brought us to California followed by Texas.
Our plan is to revisit sites and areas we visited while in College and after we married. We also plan to visit some sites for the very first time.
Anne Marie & Keith