Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

All My Bag(s) Are Packed…

I am ready to go. If you recall I earlier announced I am headed to Washington DC as one of the selected thirty teachers who will be part of the first ever Folger Shakespeare Summer Workshop. Though I won a spot, I still pay for the privilege. That was a different post.

This post brings more details. For one: packing.

I am in a firm believer in stow and go. I stuff what I need in my trusty Wally World roller, find an overhead bin and stuff it in. This trip is different. The MEPA, my most excellent personal assistant, will not be traveling with me. Flying six hours with a knee newly escaped from his brace is not on his list of really want to do that. Besides, he grew up on the east coast and has done Washington DC. I’ve not, and I am admittedly nervous. To save money I’m flying into Baltimore and will take the shuttle. I don’t want to look too much like tourist so I opted not to have a wheeled suitcase thumping behind me on the sidewalk. I shall be a bag lady instead. One of the sons left behind a nifty black sports bag and behold, all my stuff rolls up nicely inside. So packing is pretty much a done deal. Squeezing my needed lotions etc in the TSA quart bag proved more challenging (mousse or toothpaste–if the hair looks good do people notice teeth?)

Because I have such an early flight (six-oh-my am) and the airport is about a two hour drive, plus having to arrive for early check in, I splurged and we are booked in at a Red Lion near the airport. I buy the room, the MEPA can spring for dinner. It might equal out because we favor this nice little spot that overlooks the river.

My final travel prep entails my tourist itinerary. Having recently received my schedule I discover we are Hamletting from early morn to late at night. I have one day of DCing: Monday July 5 from 8 am to 3pm. Having scouted internet sources and weighing in opinions I’ve come up with this list of possibilities:

  • The Mall–apparently all the major landmarks harken in this area
  • The Library of Congress–I’ve already applied for my reader’s card
  • The Smithsonian–only if I’m very, very particular, as an entire week could be spent in just one wing. I’m thinking I would like to gaze upon Dorothy’s ruby red Oz slippers or Mr Roger’s cardigan. 

What else, dear readers,  should I go for in such limited time? The Capitol is practically right outside the hotel, the website states. So much to do, so little time….

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12 thoughts on “All My Bag(s) Are Packed…

  1. How exciting! Washington DC is a great city, and what an honor to be one of only 30 selected for this. Have a great time. 🙂

  2. DC is a fun city. Once you’re at The Mall, you’ll be surrounded by all the museums and then you can decide at the last minute what exhibit you want to see.
    p.s. the line about mousse and toothpaste made me laugh 🙂

  3. I’ve never been to Washington so I have nothing to offer in that respect. But I’m very excited for you! I hope it’s an incredible experience for you!

  4. Have fun! I vote for seeing fun things at the Smithsonian.

  5. That leaves no time for bookstores. Droops and wanders away. Oh, well. There’s the Hirschorn sculpture garden. The enormous Calder in the Modern Art wing….but the Library of Congress has to be #1. I cry when walking through its doors.

  6. There’s a really great Air and Space Museum that’s separate from The Smithsonian. I visited it during my last trip to DC! Also, if you have a chance, Arlington National Cemetery is pretty amazing too. Of course, I’m partial because my grandfather is now buried there. I bet they will have flags on all of the graves for the 4th this weekend. I’ve seen the cemetery when it’s decorated during the holidays with all the wreaths. It was really moving.

  7. Also, have a great trip!

  8. It sounds like you’re going to have such a great time. I’d love to get to the Smithsonian one day. Are you taking a book to read?

    • I wanted to take an anthology of British and American short stories but it’s a bit bulky for the carryon–besides I’ll be so immersed in studying Hamlet I probably won’t have any leisure time except on the flight. I’m not much of an e-reader.

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