Jeanne wangled the invite from resident Anthony and he was kind enough to let us run wild - in a manner of speaking - for the afternoon as we waited for the say-can-you see fireworks spectacular at 9:10. There were neighbors manning two grills, a full blown sound system and music mix, plenty of food and drink, an interesting blend of residents. We donned name tags and mixed and mingled. Jeanne's NOD appeared with the SO and all was well.
Then we were treated to the parade of athletes for the Walter Street Olympics. Darn, I wish I had my camera cables because I'd show you the zaniness now. You'll have to wait until Thursday when I get home. Anyway, the parade and lighting of the olympic (tiki) torch was conducted by a man wearing a flamingo on his head and swimming flippers on his feet. Everything in between worked with that, believe me.
For the next three hours there were numerous game of skill and foolishness. Jeanne and I participated in the water balloon-tossing contest and lifesaver relay. We and our teammates in the relay (NOD, SO and a recruited ringer named Nicole) eaned silver medals for our efforts. We avoided the hula hoop spinning, egg on a spoon relay, limbo and numerous others that you will never see in Beijing.
The hilarity crested with the several canine competitor events. Jeanne has a few pics posted until mine go up. All in all it was the only way to do the 4th in DC.
Instead of fighting the Mall crowd and the impossible Metro traffic to follow, we trekked over to the Iwo Jima Memorial and watched the rockets' red glare from the embankments where the Marine Corps Marathon ended for me mercifully two years ago. [hey - had to get some running in here somehow].
After sitting in a drizzle for 20 minutes the fireworks exploded and the rain stopped. Everyone who had been huddling under umbrellas now stood up to watch. Everybody behind us screamed in perfect American holiday tradition, "Sit down! Down in front!" Didn't happen.
Saturday I made my presentation to the conference that brought me here and was surprisingly flattered by the spontaneous applause when I finished. Nobody else got that response. Yea me.
Runnign short. After the meetings I had to see if I could run any better than Friday morning in Orlando (That had been a pitiful 3 mile effort). I jogged over to the trail along the Potomac near National Airport and put in 4.4 miles at 10:35 pace. At least everything worked, although the spicy black bean soup from lunch was reminding me of Food Poisoning Monday.
Running long. Sunday morning Peter came by to pick me up at 7 a.m. We drove up to the Arlington Cemetery and set out on a 10+ mile run from the Iwo Jima Memorial across the bridge to DC and along the mall, up Capitol Hill, east to RFK Stadium and then back.
I started too quickly and it cost me later but I was not phased. I had good company and plenty of sites to see. We stopped at the Vietnam War Memorial, RFK Stadium, the Korean War Memorial, World War II Memorial and ... let's see did I miss any wars? Oh, and we ran by the "idiot's house" too.
Peter snapped a bunch of photos of me posing as the Runner Tourist. We hiked up to the Lincoln Memorial before finishing our run along the same dastardly half mile of that Marine Corps Marathon back in Arlington.
It's been a lot of fun so far. More to come. DC never gets old. Best of all, I am now an official member of the DC Runners Club thanks to Peter who knighted me and then gave me a club running shirt. Woo hoo.