20121030-191255.jpgCAUGHT IN THE ACT OF BEING CUTE

We just found out that American Airlines canceled our flight to Seattle for tomorrow so we’re going to have to cool our heels here in Alexandria for another day. On the bright side, if you have to be stuck in a house with a baby, you could do worse than Anna Banana. She sleeps through the night and is content to play with whatever is handy when she’s awake. On top of that she likes me! When I hold her she smiles and laughs!

On the darker side, if you need to book a flight you could do a lot better than American Airlines. I’ll spare you many of the details but they have not been very accommodating in their treatment of us. I certainly don’t blame them for the hurricane but they have really given us the run-around as we try to rearrange a flight home. Nick, computer-savvy and veteran flyer, took over negotiations with them and called them on several of their attempted deceptions that are not in accordance with their stated policies. He’d make a great lawyer (not that there is anything wrong with that.)

8:57 AM: Two days of weather-enforced confinement to Nick’s house has got me antsy and desperately in need of a long walk or a short bike ride.

Aha! The view out the side window is illuminated by sunshine. That’s my cue to get outa here. I’ve tried to use my down time productively. I got a copy of My iPad at Costco and I’ve been familiarizing myself with all the things I never had time to learn on our bike ride when I originally bought this thing. Amusing side note: Right after I picked up a copy of this book, Hyekyung, unaware of my acquisition, walked over, saw the stack of remaining copies, and scoffed “Who would buy something like this?” – implying only an idiot needs a dead-tree manual to figure out the intricacies of a computer. I’m going to get even with her.

Everybody decided a walk in the fresh air would be a good thing so we all piled into Nick’s Xterra and rode out to Great Falls. Great Falls is a series of rapids on the Potomac River a few miles north of D.C. where a canal (The Chesapeake & Ohio) was built in the early nineteenth century to bypass the rapids and thereby facilitate the transportation of coal from the Allegheny Mountains to Washington D.C. and beyond. Competition from railroads rendered the 184-mile system of 74 locks obsolete shortly after it was completed in 1834 but the former towpath that parallels it survives to this day as an extremely popular place for D.C. residents to take weekend strolls.

The park was actually closed today but we slipped past the barricades to view the swollen Potomac in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The rapids were alarmingly violent as torrents of muddy water squeezed through the constrictions near the pedestrian bridge. So violent that park employees were stationed there to prevent us from getting close to the water’s edge (or getting photos of the raging river.)

20121031-155941.jpgMARY WATCHES THE SWIRLING POTOMAC RIVER

Finally, let me throw my hat into the ring of political commentators. In a previous post to this blog I mentioned that we had seen many more Romney yard signs than Obama yard signs on our cross-country ride. Northern Florida was even more one-sided: several hundred Romney signs and only two Obama signs – and one of them was a “Fire Obama.”

Arlington Terrace, the street on which Nick lives in Alexandria, is a neighborhood of immigrants and blacks. It should be fertile Obama country but there is little indication of this. Of the hundred or so residences on the street only two have Obama yard signs. Granted, there is only one Romney yard sign (Nick’s) but the point is that I expected more enthusiasm for Obama than this. The evidence is that Obama has lost his luster and based on this myopic observation I predict a Romney victory!

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