Courtney S. Barr

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Monuments, Injuries, & Duff oh my!

The past few weeks have been a flurry of activity. After I returned from Arizona I found myself more excited than ever about certain ideas for my life. Again the move towards actually completing them is the actual issue I find myself dealing with. But for once I have been able to actually wrap my head around the possibilities and can see the promise.

Work has been busy & good. It sent me to Washington D.C. this past weekend. I had a 3 day conference (Sunday - Tuesday). The conference took us on a few tours and they were wonderful!

One was a cruise of the Potomac, with food and everything! It was a beautiful site to see old Town Alexandria, the base, and the beautiful homes that are down the waterside.
Oh my gosh, the International Spy Museum has this awesome attraction: Operation Spy that you can do as well as just tour the exihibits. It takes 12 people and you get to interact with a "Covert Agent" in the field as he/she is trying to discover who stole a nuclear weapon & whether or not our contact is a double agent. You run up stairs, you hit the floor, you crack a safe, you listen & decode conversations... for about 1.5 hours. It is so much fun! There is nothing like 12 adults acting like 10 year olds. I thoroughly enjoyed this attraction. The museum is neat too, really did you know that they really did use the transmitters in the bottom of their shoes in the 70's or that the KGB hollowed out umbrella stems for documents or that women would line their dresses with important documents? There are also some quite disgusting ways that history shows us information was transferred, but I will let you visit the museum yourself to discover those...
Though I have been to D.C. many times before there is never enough time to see everything. It would take months to see all the museums and sites. With the changing exhibits it would take even longer! This trip though I was able to see some things that I have never seen, like this monument dedicated to Columbus. It sits at Union Station. Three poles hold the American flags and represent his three ships. There is also a monument to the Liberty Bell right behind it.
At the museum of Natural History this Colossal Head sits and watches everyone who passes. It is huge and the only remains of some temple ruins. The tulips at its base make it much more cheerful than it really is.

There are so many memorials here. The WWII memorial is absolutely beautiful, the Vietnam & Korean Memorials elicite erie otherworld type of feelings, but majestic is a word that describes the below 4 memorials.
The Lincoln memorial yields a view of the river and the path way down the Mall. Its huge columns & state seals definitely create an imposing structure. It is said to be the most visited monument. I believe it. People are everywhere at this one, climbing the huge steps, standing in small repose beside the huge state of Lincoln. It is beautiful!

The Jefferson sits over the water and cast a gorgeous reflection, it is a very striking building. All of them bring thoughts of Roman & Greek historic architecture.

The Washington Monument is just so tall! You can see it from everywhere. They even have a law that a building cannot be built over 9 stories tall or at least it cannot be the height or taller than the Washington Monument. 899 steps to the top... or ride the elevator. :)

One of the interesting things to me was Fords Theater (where Lincoln was shot) and the house where he died. The theater is literally 45 steps fromt the house across the street. Did you know that there was really only 6 people in the room with him (the room was so small) and that he died while laying diagonally on a small bed due to his being so tall that he would not fit lying on it from head to foot?
I met some great taxi cab drivers from all over the world. Everyone was so nice. D.C. is not exactly known for being cordial, so this trip was quite surprising. All the times before when Nina & her family lived there we did not have bad experiences per say with the people of the District, but they are definitely separated from the south by more than just the bridge! :)
I saw these tulips at the Australian Embassy. They were everywhere & I thought of New Moon. The flowers were just gorgeous. Tulips were everywhere in D.C. but the Australian Embassy is the only place I saw the two toned.

Even though the conference was well worth my company's time & experience and I learned a great deal more than I did know there was a downside... you know me....clumsy me...I fell down, quite hard, got to tour a local medical station in the Georgetown area.... X Rays, blood, VERY sprained ankle. Nasty swelling, pain medicine, wrapped foot & lots of pain. YEP. I have to laugh.

The first day when I arrived in D.C. my taxi driver from the airport was so nice. I inquired as to whether or not he knew where Charm City Cakes was in Baltimore. He said yes. He had customers before me who had wanted to go there just to take a picture of the door. (they won't let you in unless you are a real customer). For those of you unfamiliar with Charm City Cakes: Duff is the Chef; he has a crew that makes some of the most extraordinary cakes you have ever seen. He has a show on Food Network: ACE of CAKES. The CakeWrecks blog also has featured some of his wonderful creations on her SundaySweets blog entries.

Anyway, I had set up for the same driver to pick me up to take me to the airport. So I mentioned again that I would love to just have a picture of the door and see where their workshop is. He said it was only about 10 minutes from the airport so it would be no problem to get there before my flight. Mind you I am seriously hobbling due to my injury so my driver, Randy, was like: I will help you get a picture however I can.

So we get over to the location. It is exactly as it looks when you see it on t.v. So Randy & I get out of the taxi & proceed to try to get a good shot. I notice in my peripheral vision someone walking across the street from a little hole in the wall diner. At first I don't even pay attention, but then the person gets closer.... IT IS DUFF!!!! I whisper to Randy: Holy crap that is HIM! THE GUY - DUFF!! Randy then calls out: Mr. Duff, hey, this girl came all the way from Alabama do you think she could have a picture?~ (please forgive the horrible pic of me - no makeup, travel clothes, crazy hair...yeah he probably thinks southerners are crazy people!)I almost pass out. Duff laughs, smiles, and says sure! SO as I am still laughing over the whole moment, Randy takes the picture & we also get one of Duff in the doorway of his establishment. I realize that he is holding an empty plate with a fork. So I guess that Diner might house some good food. :) Anyway, he was a doll & very kind to have posed and spoken with me for a few minutes. What luck? WHAT TIMING. Crazy. So even with my blue & green foot my luck comes in who is to say what is lucky & what is not...


  1. There are so many great things about this entry.
    1. you are the only person lucky enough to meet your favorite authors and a a favorite cake man in the same month.
    2. you manage to go all the way to DC to get x-rays.... tired of DCH I see and
    3. (related to 2nd) you get thru the 'spy school' fine just to fall down (off a curb I imagine) to sprain your ankle. Stick with cooking doll! :)

    I'm glad you had a great trip!

  2. What a fabulous entry!! You are a charmed gal, you know that right? We do need to see each other and SOON!!! I've got some books for you via Lori. I'm reading "Book of 1000 days"... I'm liking it.... very different! How soon can we get together? I start class NEXT week - Monday - Friday 4 - 7 pm.... stinky or what?!?!?

    Love, Lucy

    Thanks for all your sweet encouragement! This little road is HARD!!!

  3. So what did you do to lead such a charmed Life???? It really is fun to watch and live vicariously you know. I am glad you had such a great time.

  4. HEY, Keith was actually me... dont know when or how he got a blogger address....But FYI it was me...LOve you see you tonight... we are planning to leave around 3..we'll see how that goes...


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