|THIS--AND PLACES LIKE IT--IS WHERE IT ALL HAPPENS|
IN OUR NATION'S CAPITAL...
This week's arts and culture column is on my recent trip to DC and begins like this:
Because I travel so often for work, I rarely if ever take a “vacation.” But recently I spent a week in Washington, D.C. — first-time visit — and loved it.
It helped that I had enough United Airline miles for a free ticket, and a cheapish place to stay: St. Dominic’s Priory (not to be confused with the Dominican House of Studies, which is across from the National Shrine).
Generally, in order to score a room there you have to be a priest, or the mother of a priest, or to occupy some similarly exalted position. My in was that I write for Magnificat magazine, thereby proving that even the lowly job of Catholic writer does have its perks. Not only that, the good fathers gave me the bishop’s suite!
I don’t care about any of the government stuff, I’d told myself in advance. Probably be a bunch of stuffed-shirt functionaries in black SUVS.
Similarly, I’d heard the phrase “Washington Mall,” and without even bothering to, say, look at a photo, figured a mall of any kind was a place to avoid.
My first night I strolled in that direction and, looking down Independence Avenue, caught a glimpse of the Smithsonian Castle. After going over to investigate, I was struck dumb not only by the building but by the gorgeous surrounding gardens where I spent every spare moment for the remainder of my stay.
READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.