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Evil Jim

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08:00 am: Day 1: First flight and a wet walk
I'm here at Gate 3 at the Madison airport waiting for departure to Min/St Paul. I didn't get much sleep and among other things I don't feel that great right now. But I'm excited now that I'm awake. I had a moment of terror when I couldn't find my prescription sunglasses before I left the house but relief struck like a load of bricks when I found them later in my carry-on bag at the terminal. The third time I looked, too. It's happened a couple times with stuff I wanted to take but I'm confident now in that I have more than I need.

Dad's back from wandering. They just made an announcement to start boarding.

LATER
After 9:AM and we're finally in the air. It's a small plane and there's really no way to sit comfortably in these seats. It doesn't help that I'm tall. After 40 minutes sitting here waiting I really have to pee. I'm not sure if I can leave my seat just yet but that's the first thing I'm gonna do when I can.

There is a woman behind me that started droning on constantly ever since we left the ground. It's not even about anything interesting; just business and school.

Pee break!

Ugh, that was more cramped and worse than a porta-potty, except for the smell.

The woman is still droning. I don't think I've heard the lady she's talking at speak once yet.

Anyway, while I was up I saw that the plane is small enough that half of the seats are on the wing so I don't feel so bad about not having a good view. Before we leveled out I was glued to the window. I don't think I could ever get tired of that. Damn these wing seats!

It's neat to see how the land is sectioned off into squarish blocks by farms and parks and all. It makes me wonder what it looked like before people came. Mostly forests, I expect.

Huh, I feel much better now than I did several minutes ago. Thought it was something else but maybe I just needed to distract myself and move around. Like usual, I could keep going on and on but I'll pause for now.

LATER 11:35 AM
Still grounded at Minn/ St. Paul. The computer delays at Madison caused us to be 45 minutes late, so when we departed our madison flight the connector was just leaving the terminal. We have a transfer but will have to wait until one o'clock. It might be better anyway as the one we should have been on had to return anyway for maintenance.

I write this at the Split Rock Bar & Grill while waiting for Dad's food to arrive, then I will dine at a Japanese restaurant yonder.

Caught some news on Mt. St. Hellen. This morning she blew off some ash and steam earlier. If I were home I would be glued to her webcam. I bet many others are and I hope the increased traffic will make them update more than once every five minutes.

LATER 1:PMish
We're finally on the plane! While waiting, Dad and I walked around and had lunch. I tried chicken udon and found it quite good, cheap (with the $5 courtesy coupon) and filling.

Engines are powering up.

I keep thinking of the World Trade Center a few years ago and it annoys me. What would I do in that situation? I'd rather distract myself.

Hmmm. Flight time will be 1hr, 50min. We'll see. It's getting bumpy while taxiing. I'll go back to enjoying my window seat for now.

Ok, we're in the air! I'm still glued to the window but a little disappointed at the weather because of the haze. A clear day with big, white doughy clouds would be ideal -- like the first time I flew commercial -- but there's still several hundred miles to go.

I still haven't decided whether I should dig out my camera instruction book or The War of the Worlds.

Just spent a couple minutes staring out the window watching the get engine suck up the landscape. Ja ne.

LATER 11:48PM, Eastern Standard Time
We've had a couple adventures now so far. We arrived in D.C. on time and after collecting our luggage hailed a taxi to take us to our Super 8 room. Whee.

The counter jockey we wanted to see had already left but Dad spoke with the manager directly. Our reservations were originally for two nights here, one night someplace else, then five nights here again. The manager couldn't do anything directly because we made reservations through hotel.com and blah blah this is boring. Anyway, we have the room for a a week now.

After settling in... I forgot to mention that I saw the capitol & Washington monument from the cab on the ride here and took a couple pictures. Anyway, after settling in we walked to the mall. It was quite a hike but I didn't really feel it because the scenery was all new.

Went from Super 8 down New York avenue down to Capitol street and kept on toward the obvious landmark. Passed the Post Office where there was some sort of party and then Union Station. Just as we reached the capitol square it began to rain! All the way down Capitol street Dad kept mentioning thunder but I didn't notice until I saw lightning flashing over the buildings to the west. We kept walking toward the dome and what we later learned is the Senate building. Trees helped shelter us but my shoulders still got pretty wet.

Found some other tourists under a construction shelter and chatted a bit while we waited out the rain. We then parted as Dad and I went to find the front of the building. A lot of areas were roped off due to construction or whatever else was going on so I couldn't sit on the front steps like I wanted, but I got a couple out of focus but neat photos from down below.

We turned around to find the mall and I considered hiking to see the Washington Memorial because I could see it plainly through the haze in the distance. But when I checked the map and saw how much farther it really was I said "Screw it. Let's get dinner."

I keep wanting to call it "Grand Central Station" but for some reason they named it "Union Station." After some cursory wandering we found the casual dining food court downstairs and ate. I had okra and spicy chicken curry on rice and Dad bought a cheeseburger. My food was good but a little too spicy and I had to cool it down with some chocolate gelato. Expensive but tasty!

Neither of us wanted to walk all the way back to our room in the dark so Dad hailed a cab and for $9 and ten cents we returned the two or so miles in a few short minutes.

Learned a bit more about my camera while Dad dozed in front of the TV. Right now I just want to lie down and read a couple more chapters in The War of the Worlds before sleep. Sleeeeep.

- E V I L O U T -

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