Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Capitol Fourth
Well, I was pretty frazzled by the time I hit DC, so I had a nice nap before going to my friends’ house across from the Iwo Jima Monument in Arlington, VA.
 This is considered one of the best places to see the fireworks, and people were arriving in droves.
 We had an unbeatable view from my friends’ rooftop five stories above the thousands below. We had the All-American cookout with burgers and dogs, and various pasta and potato salads, iced American Flag cookies and cherry pie with vanilla ice cream and red, white & blue M&Ms.
          Let the fireworks begin! (Among other patriotic songs, I sang the second verse to the National Anthem which none of them had ever heard.) Can you get eyeburn from watching fireworks! It seemed like they went on forever, but probably only half an hour for the main show. The horizon fireworks were spectacular, too, with more than a dozen displays going off at any one time until well after midnight. I could see these from my top floor apt. at the hotel, but gave up and went to sleep after midnight.
 We tried to take photos, but most didn’t come out, although you can see them all at pbs.org/a-capitol-fourth. I spent the next day resting up for my trip to Lithuania and having take-out from Red, Hot & Blue which is one of the finest BBQ joints in Virginia.
On the flight from DCA to JFK, I had the best view of DC from the Jefferson to the Washington monuments to the Capitol and Library of Congress. As we approached JFK we flew right past Lady Liberty. Spent my layover time calling friends and family before leaving the country. The flight was long but uneventful until we neared Helsinki, and then they moved those of us going to Vilnius up to business class to give us a chance of making our flight. For those of you old enough to remember, we ran like OJ Simpson through the airport and actually made the bus that took us to the plane. A short hop over the Baltic Sea & the Baltics and we were there at last. Since Lithuania’s in the EU, there’s no going through customs any more, but at least a dozen of us waited and waited for our suitcases which never arrived! Aaaaaarrgggghhh!

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