Tuesday, March 27, 2007

No Angelina Jolie today, just the President

I actually had to work today, so I woke up early enough for the hour and ten minute commute -- and realized that I forgot to pack my dress shoes. I felt at home on the metro wearing a suit and tennis shoes but felt like a fool for the rest of the day. This actually came in quite handy though, because after work I was able to run all around the city seeing things before they closed, and everyone at work probably just assumed that I did this on purpose anyway (I hope). In Austin, I actually don't wear shoes at work at all, so they should consider themselves fortunate!

After work I headed back out to the National Archives. I turned the corner inside, and to my surprise I found an original copy of the Magna Carta, written in 1215! That wasn't there before. It turns out that Ross Perot's company (headquartered in Plano) bought it and put it on indefinite loan a few years ago. It is quite magnificent to see a document that was written 800 years ago, and particularly one that shaped our modern world. Wow, imagine being rich enough that you buy the Magna Carta.

After this, I headed into the main gallery and saw the Declaration of Independence, the original Constitution (pictured), and the Bill of Rights. Just magnificent.

I was starving from all the walking I did and needed fuel for the walking to come, so for dinner it was a a Bailey's ice cream shake from Hagen Daas and a large rocky road sundae.

After dinner, I headed back out to the National Mall and was walking around when I heard a whole bunch of sirens coming just up the street. I was pretty close to the White House, so I had a pretty good idea what that meant. I looked up the street one block over and saw the President go flying by. He was preceded by what must have been a dozen police motor cycles, the two other decoy limousines, and was followed by all sorts of vehicles including an EMT and some sort of mobile armory. They went flying by so fast that I couldn't run up there in time to snap a picture. Those of you who used to receive my newsletters might remember that on my trip last year I had a face to face meeting with Angelina Jolie outside one of the Senate buildings. The motorcade for the leader of the free world was very impressive...but let's be honest it was no Angelina.

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