1. Road trip! Our plans got off to a shaky start Friday morning when I had a panicky moment that led to frantic internet searches post-shower. “Charlottesville,” “news,” “white supremacist rally” – all important things to google when you can’t remember if you’re about to roll your kids into UVA on the anniversary of last year’s white power march. Jesus, what is this world coming to.
2. It’s a gorgeous drive from North Carolina up through the Virginia countryside. Lush green fields. Pretty houses. We passed a city on the interstate that boldly declared itself the “City of Diversity and Inclusion” – four minutes later there was the biggest fucking confederate flag I’ve ever seen flying high by the interstate. Picture those enormous U.S. flags at car dealerships, triple the size, then smack on an emblem of hate and a history of pain. Think y’all oughta work on that motto a little more.
3. The Chef cooked for me! Salmon on a cedar plank, grilled chicken, risotto (say WHAT?), and sautéed veggies. Gluten free. Every single bit of it, gluten free. Hallelujah.
4. And the brownies – omg, the gluten free brownies! With a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top because ice cream. Betty Crocker is my hero.
5. We spent Saturday morning at the Holocaust museum. “Isn’t that kind of a downer?” was thrown out there. Well, yeah. It was. But Bear wanted to go so off we went. We can do hard things.
6. We stepped off the elevator and got hit right between the eyes with a heart wrenching photo of the reality of the concentration camps. Bear grabbed my hand and held on tight for 15 minutes until she knew she’d be okay. Truth be told, I was grateful to hold onto her.
6a. If you’ve never been, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in D.C. is a remarkable resource. We explored the Permanent Exhibition, a three-floor chronology of the Holocaust. This exhibit takes you through Hitler’s rise to power and explores how propaganda, terror, and state-sponsored racism changed Germany’s Jews from citizens to outcasts to enemies of the state. We learned about relocation of the Jewish people to ghettos before witnessing unfathomable concentration and death camps, then the exhibit covers the liberation of the camps and Allied victory over Nazi Germany. Is it easy? Nope. Is it important. YES. [note: The Permanent Exhibit requires free tickets for timed entry from March 1 to August 31.]
6b. People, I am begging you, make good choices. Remember the Children: Daniel’s Story is an exhibit for kids ages eight and up. The permanent exhibit is recommended for ages eleven and up but there is FOR REAL some tough stuff in there, I’d think hard about what your kid is ready to handle. But y’all, the permanent exhibit is abso-freaking-lutely no place for kids in strollers. I mean, wtf.
7. We spent Saturday afternoon at the National Air and Space Museum – not the one on the Mall, the one they’ve opened at Dulles. Two of us were super psyched to go, two were decidedly ho hum.
8. It was a classic example of keeping an open mind. Because even if you don’t love all things aeronautic it’s still stupid cool to stand next to the space shuttle Discovery.
9. The Chef cooked for me. Again! BBQ ribs and diced potatoes and green beans and yum yum yum.
10. So we were on the ride home and the traffic was bad. Congested, slow, annoyingly start and almost-stop, I mean, we all wanted to burn it down. And I’m sitting there watching some motorcycle weave in and out through ridiculous spaces – ugh! You can’t watch it, you can’t not watch it, and I found myself winging up an asinine prayer: Please don’t let this be the day I see someone die on I-95.