Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Tourist in my Pocket

Next month marks my third anniversary as a DC resident, and my adoration for this city grows with every year. The only thing I love more than exploring this city is when people from back home come to visit me. Showing someone else the wonders of DC is like seeing it again myself for the first time. I often walk alone through the city and feel like the luckiest person in the world to be able to live in such a wonderful place. Last week I walked to the zoo. How often does the average person visit a zoo? Once a year? I can walk four blocks and pay the elephants a visit any day of the week. There is so much to see and do in this city and I hope I never take any of it for granted. Having visitors is always a great way to share my enthusiasm for the city.

This week I have a new guest staying with me. His name is Flat Stanley, and he comes from a second grade class in Illinois, not far from where I grew up. Stanley belongs to the daughter of a dear friend who I have known my whole life. He arrived yesterday via USPS (a very reasonable alternative to air travel in this day and age.) He's very quiet, extremely polite and doesn't have much of an appetite. He's still a bit envelope-lagged from so much travel, so this weekend he will rest up and on Monday he's going to come to work with me and I'll show him around the city. We have a lot of fun stuff planned - we'll visit the National Zoo, Union Station, and as many monuments as we can pack in while he's here. Of course we will have to have a photo-op in front of the White House as well. Poor Stanley really wants to meet the President. I tried to explain to him about the Secret Service and since I don't know the Salahi's, there's no way we can just drop in and visit the President without a formal invitation. He told me he understood, but he seemed a little disappointed. Hopefully a visit to the National Postal Museum will take his mind off of it. After his long journey through the mail, the Postal Museum seems like the ideal place to begin his adventures as a tourist in DC. I am looking forward to showing him around the city and taking lots of pictures before I send him back to his second grade classroom in Illinois next week.

As you can see from his big smile in the picture, Stanley is very happy to be here. He is especially enjoying my copy of Strange Bedfellows, by Russell L. Peterson. He says he wants to learn a bit more about politics before he starts to explore the nation's capital. He finds the book to be a fascinating and well-researched study on the relationship between "infotainment" & political comedy and the political process. He's surprisingly intellectual for a second grader.