Thursday, June 19, 2008

First Update from DC

Hello everyone!

Tire ProblemsWell, we're here! We actually got to DC on Tuesday afternoon after a LONG trip up. To the right you can see a picture of my van that NO ONE wants to see on vacation. Around Chattanooga we noticed the front end was wobbling a bit. I pulled into a Firestone to see if we could figure out what was going on. The fellow immediately noticed that the front right tire had a belt separation problem and suggested I replace the tire. Since I had just bought two new tires at Walmart I headed over there to get a matching tire. While there we noticed that one of my brand new tires on the rear had a bubble developing. So two tires and two hours later we were back on the road! I think the Lord may have saved us from some other problems down the road.

We got into DC Tuesday afternoon and after checking in to the hotel we hooked up with my cousin, Meliheh Mousavizadeh. She went to university here (George Mason?) and is now an attorney working in DC. She took us on a driving tour of DC and then to an EXCELLENT supper at Buca di Beppo's, a great Italian restaurant near Dupont Circle. Highly recommended!

The next morning we were up at 5:30 (4:30 our time) to head to the White House to meet our Representative, Rodney Alexander at 7:45. His office had arranged a tour of the White House for us, including my cousin. We were not allowed to bring ANY cameras, bags, etc, so I don't have any pictures of the tour, but suffice it to say it was incredible! To walk through the rooms where so much history has been made was phenomenal! It's hard to describe the feelings.

Lori was feeling really poorly so she went back to the hotel after the White House tour. I took the girls with me to Congressman Alexander's office for a scheduled tour of the Capital. I was able to take a few pictures, which I've uploaded to my Flicker account.

The girls were pretty tired after all the walking so we headed back to the hotel, arriving around 2:30. We rested up for awhile and then headed out to have supper with Tom Zinn, an old friend who attended Christian Challenge in the early 80's while stationed at what was then England Air Force Base in Alexandria. We've stayed in touch over the years but haven't seen each other in MANY years. It was great to catch up.

We got back to the hotel around 1:30AM so we slept in the next day and met Meliheh for a late breakfast. We headed back into town for a couple of tours - we spent a few hours at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Not nearly enough time. Then we headed to the National Archives. It took over an hour waiting outside in line, but it was WELL worth the wait to get the see the original founding documents of our nation. Again, hard to describe what it feels like to look at the very documents signed by our founding fathers. Very moving.

$20Meliheh headed off to an appointment and we walked up to China Town for supper. Then we walked back over to the White House to take some more pictures and enjoy it in the twilight hours. We had a wonderful chat with a couple of the uniformed Secret Service officers and a fellow citizen who was as in awe of being in the capital as we were. We also took a couple of really neat pictures - holding up some of our currency in front of the actual building depicted on the currency. We got the $10 and the $20. The $1 doesn't have a monument on it so we're going to try to get the $5 (Lincoln Memorial) tomorrow. I don't have a $50 but I'm going to try to get one. The $100 has Independence Hall in Philadelphia on it so we'll try to take that picture on Monday (if I have any $100 bills left! ). Other people saw us doing this and started doing the same thing. Hey, we're trendsetters, what can I say?!

You can see some of the pictures I've uploaded to my Flicker Account at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nathanmartin/sets/72157605706580776/ - hopefully that link will work for you. Feel free to leave comments!

Well, that wraps it up for now. We sure are enjoying this trip and are very appreciative of our church for sending us. You guys are the GREATEST! Thanks for loving us so much!

Blessings.
Nathan (and family)
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