Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ms. Josie goes to Washington

Welcome friend! I hope you had a good week. I went on a great trip since the last time I blogged. If you twist my arm, perhaps you can persuade me to tell you all about it! Well…okay…. I’ll share my photos and my tale of fun.
Mom and Dad bought tickets to a concert at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. and they decided to make a long weekend of it. They were going to head out on Friday morning so they could spend some time enjoying the city before the concert Saturday night. I asked if I could come along….I promised I wouldn’t get into any trouble. When they finished snickering (what was that all about?!??!!?) they told me I could hitch a ride with them to D.C., but I would be on my own for sightseeing. I agreed and immediately headed to my hat room to start packing a lovely assortment of hats.
We headed out late morning, which gave me plenty of time to get enough beauty sleep for my appearance in our nation’s capitol! It only took about five and a half hours to get there though the scenery, or lack thereof, made it seem longer. There wasn’t a whole lot to look at until we turned onto US Route 1 and headed over the Potomac. It was magnificent! All of a sudden there was an overload of sights to see: the Washington monument, the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial and the capitol building - one right after the other.
We passed really old, beautiful buildings that must have been around for a long time. I pressed my little kitty nose against the car window and oohed and aaahed as we passed the gorgeous buildings that house our government. It was quite impressive!
Our hotel was on Pennsylvania Avenue just a couple of blocks down from the White House. I asked Mom if she thought the President might be taking visitors and Mom shook her head no. Well, did he know we live very far away and had driven for hours to get here? Surely, he could make time for us. Again, Mom shook her head no. Hmmph, well, we’ll see about that!
We pulled up in front of the hotel and the hotel staff immediately swarmed the car. A couple of them set to work unloading or bags and hats, and another filled in a ticket to give Dad. When all the bags were out of the car, one of the staff drove off with the car. I pointed and yowled as the car disappeared down the block, but Dad assured me they were just taking it for safekeeping while we were in town. He promised they would bring it back to us when we were ready to leave. I certainly hope so!!
As I turned to head into the hotel, I saw our luggage being carried away on a big rolling thing. All my hats were on it!! Mom grabbed me before I could throw myself at it. She promised me that my hats would meet us at the room as soon as we checked in. Well…..if not, I would just have to go out and buy a bunch of new ones…hey, that wouldn’t be so bad!
We were on the sixth floor so we had to take the elevator to our room. They had these really smart elevators. You just pushed the button for the floor you wanted to go to and it would tell you which elevator could take you there…and it remembered what floor you wanted! Once inside of it, I was amazed to see it had a television! That allayed my fear of getting stuck on the elevator…at least you would be able to watch TV and keep up with all the events in the world while you were waiting to be rescued. Maybe you would even see the effort to rescue you on the TV. Now that would be cool!

When we arrived at our room, the hotel staff member with our luggage was waiting for us. He carried all the bags in and started pointing out the features of the room. I figured that was something for Mom and Dad to pay attention to so I made a beeline for the window. We certainly didn’t get a room with a view, but I didn’t care. I was going to go exploring in the big city!
After the hotel guy left, I turned back to check out the room. On the desk was a big tray of snacks and beverages. Ooooh! A jar of assorted nuts!! I trotted over to the tray, and just as I was about to grab the container of nuts...

Mom shrieked and scooped me up – with me still reaching for my chosen snack!
“Please don’t even touch those,” she begged. Mom then explained to me the perils of the mini bar/mini snack tray. We figured that since there wasn’t even a price list, we most certainly could not afford any of it. Mom told me that even if you only just touch something on the tray you will be charged for it. Needless to say, I took great pains to walk slowly and carefully past that evil tray!!!
We decided to have a nice dinner before retiring, so we went down to the lower level to exit out onto Pennsylvania Avenue. There we saw the most wondrous thing. An escalator with no one on it! I had seen escalators before in airports, but they were usually packed with people so you really couldn’t see them. This one was very pretty and at the top of it was my favorite coffee shop! It looked very inviting, and fun, so I decided to take a ride. I rode slowly up the one side and then rode slowly back down the other side.

Before I could get back on to go up again, Dad took my hand and led me out to the street.
We had a great dinner at the historic Round Robin Bar! The gruyere macaroni and cheese fried in truffle oil was excellent and I stuffed my belly full! It was time to call it a night. I slept like a log that night!
The next morning we awoke to forecasts of the temperature outside rising to well over 100 degrees. With the heat index it was going to be like 120 degrees! That is not good weather to be walking around a big city wearing a fur coat. I was going to have to be careful. Mom didn’t want me to go outside for very long, and I promised I would stop back in the room to cool off from time to time. I grabbed a bottle of water and rode the elevator down to the level that led out to the street.
The White House wasn’t very far away, so I thought I would try to walk to it. As I padded along, I noticed a poor robin in the street, just panting away. I felt so bad for him. I know birds don’t trust cats…for good reason… so I had to assure him I meant him no harm. I reached under my hat and pulled out an umbrella hat that I thought might help him. I also offered him a drink of my nice cool water.

He must have been really thirsty, because he didn’t hesitate about coming close to me and taking a big gulp of water. I sat with him for a while and let him have as much water as he wanted until he could cool himself down. He was most appreciative and declared that I was his new best friend. Since I love making new friends, this was most exciting! I invited him to walk up to the White House with me but he had an even better idea…

We rode a double decker bus around the city! My new friend, Rob, and I could get on and off wherever we liked. Rob figured it would be a fun way to see more of the city and still visit the President.
It was too hot to get off and do a lot of sightseeing, so we stayed on the bus until we arrived at the President’s house…the White House! We ended up walking around a while before we found the visitor’s center. We presented ourselves to the information lady and declared that we were here to talk to the President of the United States of America! She looked at us rather blankly and asked if we had scheduled a tour with our congressman. Well, no, but we had driven over 5 hours to get here. She frowned and shook her head. She told us we had to have scheduled a tour at least 21 days out from the date we wanted to tour. But I had advice for the President about the deficit problem! “No!” she said quite adamantly, “you must leave now!”
I put my tail between my legs and shuffled out. How do you like that! I can’t meet with my country’s President. Perhaps I could find a Secret Service agent and they could help me get in to see the President. Where in the world could I find one?
Rob and I figured we most likely had to be on the White House property to find a Secret Service agent. We had no idea how right we were! Since Rob could fly and I was a good climber, he flew to the top of the White House’s perimeter fence and I climbed it with my natural cat expertise.

It didn’t take long before several Secret Service agents appeared out of nowhere! Oh good, perhaps they could show us…..I was immediately grabbed by the scruff of the neck and hoisted into the air. Now I know that cats have lots of skin to grab in the neck area and it is considered an acceptable way to hold a cat, but I had not been held like that in a long time and it was not a very dignified way to be held!
The agents frisked me and checked my collar for….I’m not sure what they checked my collar for, but whatever it was it wasn’t there. I explained to the agents why I was there. They looked at one another and agreed I was not a security risk, but they did inform me that I was NOT going to meet with the President.
At that point I didn’t care and all I wanted to do was go back to the hotel and cool off, Rob and I caught the next bus back down Pennsylvania Avenue and headed immediately to the room. Mom said it was okay for Rob to come in for a while. Both Rob and I settled down for a little nap until it was concert time.
Dad woke me up in time to go get dinner and then head to the show. Rob rode down in the elevator with us and we walked him down the street to where I had met him. He thanked us for our hospitality and we gave him a bottle of water to take with him. I told him I hoped we would return to D.C. very soon and I promised to look him up.
We had a light dinner and headed excitedly to the show. I wore a lovely blue dress hat and carried a fan so I could daintily cool myself if it was warm in the theatre.

The theatre was beautiful - very old and ornate. We had excellent seats - 4th row center! The show was fabulous!! It was very funny with lots of great music. For the second encore, Mr. Minchin played one of my favorite songs: Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen. I had promised Mom I would behave and not leap on stage since we weren’t in our hometown where I am well known. I had already gotten myself in enough trouble today, I didn’t want to push it!
After the show we waited outside the theatre and Mr. Minchin very graciously came out to sign autographs and take pictures with his fans. Mom was so excited she forgot to ask me to be in the picture with she and Mr. Minchin, so I had to jump in at the last minute. Unfortunately, I ended up covering up some of Mom’s face. Ooops!

We thanked Mr. Minchin for a wonderful evening and headed back to the hotel. We had a good sleep and a delicious breakfast and headed home Sunday morning. I was sad to leave – there was so much more I needed to see, but Mom and Dad had to get back to work Monday. If you ever get the chance to visit D.C. you must go – it’s a fascinating city!
I hope you have been staying out of the terrible heat! I think I have had enough of summer already – don’t you agree? Have a great week!

Love & kitty kisses,

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