My middle kid - ell, one of them, my younger son, plays the tuba.
(As does my youngest, but for purposes of this post, we shall be referencing my son. )
Around November/December, he started talking to me about going to the Tuba convention in D.C. Mostly because he needed a tuba repair and the top, primo, tuba repair guy in the entire country (at least as it's been explained to me, I know nothing, I just pass out the money) would be in attendance. And my son's tuba needed some repairs of some type
Again, I know nothing. I just do what I'm told.
And so, lo, it came to pass that we drove up to D.C., to Fort Myers, and spent a day at the Tuba Convention.
There were tubas everywhere.
This was ONE ROW. ONE.
Tubas of all shapes, sizes, and price points. It was a great opportunity for my kid to be immersed in all the things he likes best - tubas, and euphoniums, and even some trombones - which he also plays. :)
This horn was from the late 1800's.
I, uh, brought a book. (And it wasn't even a very good book.)
I will say this - anyone who plays an instrument, and can focus after hours of discordant notes and melodies and pitches and just - the sheer volume of cacophony - has my admiration, because I had to take a few breaks to clear out my brain.
Fort Myers abuts Arlington Cemetery, and my kid and I really, really wanted to walk through it - but we had been through security clearance in my truck, to get on base. If we wanted to go on the cemetery grounds, we'd have to leave the truck - and then if we left the base, we were not allowed to come back on base -
so, we settled for taking some pictures over the brick wall. :)
On the way to the convention, my son had expressed a great desire to go see the Lincoln Memorial - as well as the Smithsonian. We were leaving after the conference, as it's about a 4 hour drive, but he really, really wanted to see some of the sights. I told him we couldn't stay long -
and we drove into the historic part of D.C. At first, we were going to have to settle for a drive by sighting, as I was not able to find parking - and I really, really wanted to get on the road (selfishly, because I'd planned to stop at Wegman's and Ikea on the way home, as we don't have them by us and I've never been)
but I realized that this was an opportunity I'd most likely never have again - I mean, he was asking to look at museum type stuffs AND wanting to spend time with his mom. The reality of especially the second one happening again are really pretty small
and so he pulled out his binoculars and found a good, close spot about three blocks away
and we got out of the truck and walked up. We briefly visited the Washington Memorial, and walked through the WWII Memorial - breathtaking - and down the reflecting pool as we made our way up to the Lincoln Memorial.
It was - majestic.
While we were there, he asked if I could help him learn to take pictures, and so I passed off the camera and we talked about how to frame and such - and, um, I don't actually know which of us took these next two pictures - I took one and then passed the camera to him and he took one, so it's really a toss up.
I know I did take this one. :)
After we left the Lincoln Memorial, we walked over to the Vietnam Wall. It was pretty dark by then, but we figured out a flashlight and camera scenario that worked to our advantage. (I don't know these names, this was the picture that came out the best.) We visited with the representative from the Wounded Warriors booth and heard a handful of facts from a man at the wall.
Then we ran like crazy to the truck, because it was coooooolllld.
And stopped at Wegman's - which, WOW, we brought home three bags of groceries - and Ikea, and came out of there with Swedish Meatballs, a Raskog, a pillow and a large organizer shelf. Both of those stores were unlike any I've ever seen.
We didn't make it home until midnight, and it made for a long, long day and the next day was tough - but I wouldn't have changed a single thing.
Well, maybe I'd have brought my coat to the Memorials.