Category Archives: Travel 2019

DC in DC: Sunday

Sunday in D.C. Humid. Overcast until later afternoon.

Choral Eucharist at St. John’s Lafayette Square. Brunch of delicious crab cakes at Old Ebbett’s Grill. Long walk to National Building Museum and the Baltimore movie theatre exhibit. Shorter walk on over to Postal Museum and that incredible stamp collection. Such history there. Cross the street to Union Station and find some pastry. Metro back to Farragut North and then walk to hotel.

Nearly four miles of walking today, and nearly 12K steps. Weariness reigns. I’m staying in and watching futbol on Sunday evening. Mr. Lincoln can wait for tomorrow. (I’ve missed him my last two trips here, and really need to say hi this time.)

From the National Building Museum:

From the Postal Museum:

Two of the oldest USA stamps in the collection:

Street views from near the Postal Museum:

DC in DC: notes from day one

I rose early on Saturday for the easy and efficient Southwest Airlines flight to Washington, D.C., and was at my hotel by 1 p.m.

The Madison is a boutique hotel in the Hilton collection; I burned points to book a four-night stay.

First order of business? Sam the Tailor is in town from Hong Kong, and I’ve not had a new shirt order in 18 months, so I trekked to the historic Willard Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, and met Sam. An hour later, I’m ready to be outfitted with seven new shirts and a new blazer.

Now 2.30 p.m., and I’m hungry. I stop in at the Round Robin bar for a French 75 and a quick order of crab cake sliders. Somehow crab tastes better here on the East Coast.

After a nap, I took a taxi to the Kennedy Center for the 6 p.m. performance by Second City, the improv group from Chicago who are doing a sit-down this summer in D.C. America: It’s Complicated had some misses, but overall was filled with funny bits and some laugh-out-loud moments. And let me just say that I’ll never look at Mitch McConnell and see him the same way again.

[Sidebar: why is Mitch McConnell still relevant?]

I had met up with Aaron Garner, former voice student, who is in D.C. this summer on an internship with the Library of Congress, and we made our way to Downtown for some barbecue at Hill Country.

And suddenly it was 10.30 p.m. and time to go separate ways

Sunday = church at St. John’s Lafayette Square, then perhaps a museum. And Mr. Lincoln.

The weather on Saturday (and Sunday): hot and steamy and typical Washington, D.C. in July! I was drenched after my mid-afternoon walk. But I got in 12K+ steps on Saturday!!

Tangier

I keep dreaming about Tangier.  Vivid, happy dreams.

Paul Bowles wrote that the best thing about Tangier is “the feeling it gives of being in a pocket of suspended time and animation.”  And Truman Capote found Tangier a “basin that holds you, a timeless place . . . .”

Tangier, and Morocco, is an enchanting place indeed.

Pillows

My latest trip to Morocco included some souvenirs.  The handmade pottery plates will arrive in a few weeks, since I had them shipped.  But the new pillows came home with me.

I stuffed these pillows and sewed up the openings this week.

The Greek evil eye pillow in front came from Athens three years ago. Behind that is the new pillow from Morocco.

These are substantial pillows — heavy wool, made by hand on a loom, by Berber women.  Or so I was told.  In any event, I like them!

@AmericanAir, a resolution

Well then.

After going public last week with frustrations and dead-ends, I am now on the receiving end of some resolution.

Iberia Airlines did not have a lost-baggage or delayed-baggage compensation claim form on their website. Every mention of delayed baggage led to a dead end.

I pointed this out to my wonderful contact at American Airlines, Liliana, who simply said “Let me see what I can do.”

And a day later I had a call from Central Baggage Resolution at American Airlines. Two days later, this email arrived:

“Thank you for contacting us and for your patience while we reviewed your claim. Again, I’m sorry for the inconvenience you experienced while traveling to Morocco.

“As we discussed, I’m sending you a check for $410.17 that you should receive in two to three weeks.  

“As a gesture of goodwill and to encourage your continued business, I’ve made arrangements for an electronic voucher (eVoucher)” for use toward the cost of an airline ticket.

This was Iberia’s mess to clean up, but American stepped in and took care of it.

Folks, social media works. So does kindness, which I have extended in oodles to every American employee with whom I have spoken. So does directness in stating the problem and the expectation of what a resolution will look like. General gripes don’t gain resolution; specific requests do, even if the resolution is “we cannot do that, and here’s why.”

So once the voucher and the check arrive, this whole incident will be a story to tell and a memory to file. A mild inconvenience is over.

THANK YOU, American Airlines!