Molly met me at the Foggy Bottom Metro on Friday afternoon and after hugs we walked down to Georgetown and found a nice little Italian Restaurant for dinner. I love listening to her order with her perfect Italian pronunciations acquired during her junior year of high school when she experienced Milan while Archie and I missed her. The Italian language sounds like spoken art to me.
As we talked over our pasta, it quickly became apparent that I wasn't in Dixfield any more--well actually that should have been apparent when I glanced at the menu and didn't notice anything that had been deep fried. People in colorful and flowing cultural dress and speaking lyrical languages passsed by our table and on the street outside the window. While I absorbed the city and the calories in our delicious meal, Molly told me all about her adventures and her classes and her plans. I cherished every word.
After we ate, we walked back up to Foggy Bottom pausing to browse in a paper products store. We both love paper products--stationery, cards, boxes, journal books. We didn't buy anything but it was fun to look and dream. There were invitations that were so pretty that I wanted to have a party just for an excuse to use them. After the stationery store, we went to her dorm room so that she could get a jacket. Her roomate had to leave school due to the economic blight that is affecting so many and Molly ended up with a single room for the semester.
Once she had her jacket, we walked down to the National Mall pausing at the Nurse's Memorial before climbing the steps to Lincoln. We sat on the steps in the setting sun and she pointed out where she had stood during the Inauguration Concert (roughly where Jenny was in Forrest Gump). She told me that she and her friends had arrived at 8 a.m. for th 2 p.m. concert but had seen Cheryl Crowe, Garth Brooks, U-2 and others perform before the soon-to-be President. She said it was cold waiting for such a long time but that it was worth it to be part of such an event. As we walked from the Lincoln Memorial toward my favorite--the FDR Memorial on the Tidal Basin, we passed the Korean War Memorial (my other favorite). The Korean War memorial is truly haunting.
We crossed Jefferson Avenue and headed around the Tidal Basin toward the Roosevelt Memorial. If I lived in DC, I would go to this memorial every day. It is full of symbolism suffused with nature.
We decided that was enough for one evening stroll and started to head back to campus detouring slightly to walk through the World War II Memorial pausing to look back at the Lincoln Memorial and then turning to look at the Washington Monument. She pointed out to me where she had stood during the Inauguration--too tiny to even see the jumbotrons--she nevertheless experienced something that she will never forget.
After enjoying so much on the National Mall, I left her at her dorm and headed to the metro and to my hotel and to bed. We have plans to meet this morning with her friend Julie and my rental car and head south of town to the other kind of Mall.