I got up early to say goodbye to Lori, who had to go to work. Rick and I went for a walk by the nearby lake, which we'd been meaning to do all week, then drove in to Mount Airy for a final taste of America at Chipotle
. Afterwards, having bought nothing so far but postcards and stamps, I spent $30 in Safeway on Pop Tarts, goldfish crackers and other delights.
It rained for the first time all week as Rick drove me and my suitcase towards Washington. Our plan was to spend a couple of hours at the National Air and Space Museum
near the airport.
This is the Smithsonian Institute's aviation overflow, a vast, beautiful gallery with light aircraft suspended from the ceiling, larger exhibits on the floor, and glass cases containing everything from flightsuits worn on missions over Iraq to a souvenir lamp shaped like Charles Lindbergh's cat Patsy.
I loved seeing the SR-71 Blackbird and the cropduster biplanes, which aren't the sort of thing you get in UK air museums, and just walking around the exhibits in the company of someone with similar levels of knowledge and interest to mine. We were thrown out very promptly at closing time, which meant I spent less time browsing the gift shop than I would have liked, but I still managed to bag a T-shirt and a couple of postcards.
Then it was time for me to be dropped off at the terminal, say goodbye, and vanish into the security system. I try not to buy things at airports, because it's overpriced tat one is driven to by boredom, but I couldn't resist some presents for my loved ones from a shop called 'America!' (Presumably they weren't allowed to add 'F*ck Yeah!'.) I sat at a Starbucks and wrote my air museum postcards, which a nice British Airways man promised to post for me. award
's, at least, arrived.
Having spent the outward journey in the very middle of the 2-3-2 seat configuration, I'd checked in online for the return leg and secured a window seat by the emergency exit. I loved seeing the Canadian coast all lit up, then, hours later, Ireland and Wales all green in the morning sun (I don't sleep much on planes).
It was nice to be home, but I was already missing the other life of dogs and cats and bikes I'd been welcomed into for a week. Throughout the holiday I kept catching myself thinking of things I'd like to do 'next time', and I do hope there will be one. ( Things I AteCollapse )( Photo of the dayCollapse )