Introduction (LA, Los Olivos, Marathon, San Diego)
Pre-Trip Road Trip to DC: John Kerry at Senate Visit
LA, Sideways Wine Trail, Santa Barbara
Hollywood, Daikokuya Ramen, Universal Studios
Operation Jack Marathon, WB Studio Tour, and Socal Beaches
San Diego Zoo and Seaworld
Hollywood Sign, Rose Parade Floats, and More Ramen
San Diego Model Railroad Museum
My wife was down in Philadelphia a few days before our trip so we decided to have a small road trip on the East Coast before going to the West Coast. She drove from Boston to Philly and then she meet me at BWI to meet a few friends for dinner near the airport. We stayed at the Baltimore Hilton near Camden Yards that night and then drove down to DC to see some other friends the following day.
The plan after seeing DC was driving home in Brooklyn and then flying out the following morning from JFK.
The first day we were there, we decided to head to the capital building to see if we could catch the House of Representatives and Senate in session. Both of them were but we would need to see the offices of our local representatives in DC for tickets. We quickly found out who they were (we could probably pick from about 3) and called their office. They said they had tickets. We went on probably the last day of the session before winter break so tickets were easy to come by. During other season, this may be not be so easy. Their offices are usually in adjacent buildings to the Capitol building so it was only a 10-15 minute walk.
The halls of the building were littered with furniture and chairs. This was after the elections so many representatives were leaving. I believe a few days before, the new incoming representatives choice their new offices via lottery. I thought the whole process of picking your own office was pretty cool. After we waded through all the desks and chairs, we found our representatives office. I’m pretty sure I voted for him.
The tickets for the senate looked like the golden ticket from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The HOR tickets look like a ticket you get for a haunted house.
The right side of the vouchers are stickers you are supposed to wear.
House and John Kerry at Senate Visit
You are only allowed to go in if they are in session. When we got there, only the House was in session in the early afternoon. There is no photography or phones inside the chambers so we couldn’t take any pictures or video. We went to the House of Representatives first. Nothing was really going on there. There were a few representatives there.
We got bored so we left and went back to the desk to ask if the Senate was in session. It took them a few minutes to verify that they were so we went up to see that as well. There were only a few senators there but they were debating over giving New England fisherman disaster relief as it has been a bad season for them. Senators from NH and Maine were arguing for New England fisherman to qualify under FEMA spending. Coming from Boston, I was rooting for them to do that but there was a lot of opposition, especially as the Republicans were really clamping down on spending. The two senators were making some accusations against a third Republican senator. I knew shit was going to hit the fan as the Republican senator came in with giant information boards. However, I had to leave before he was going to get to speak to refill the meter.
I quickly ran to the car and got back to the Capitol building. The building was technically closed but I showed them my Senate session ticket and asked to get let back in as I knew they were still in there. On my way back up via elevators, I heard security saying that they were locking down the elevator for a special VIP. I instantly thought it may be the President coming into the Senate!
I took the stairs into the Senate viewing area. After a few minutes, I saw John Kerry, our very own MA senator on the Senate floor! It was really cool to see him speak and almost every other senators deferring to him as he was clearly the most senor senator there. Of course he had to speak as fisherman in his state were being affected as well, especially down in Cape Cod.
Later that night, we met up with two other couples we know in DC. We ate at a nice Thai restaurant. I definitely choose a dish that was too spicy and didn’t manage to finish it. I stayed over at one of my friends place in Virginia and then drove back to NY the following morning. We stopped in DC for lunch before getting home in Brooklyn in the early evening. The following morning we would be flying to LAX!