Monday went exceptionally well. The weather gave us an amazingly clear fall day. The service at Arlington National Cemetery was very nicely done and the memorial in Severna Park was touching and cleansing and more fun than you would expect something like this to be. Following it all up with a massive amount of great food, music, and way more desserts than could possibly be eaten put a nice capper on the day.
The Arlington National Park part of the day required us to be there at 9:30AM. This meant driving from the greater Arnold Maryland metro area all the way through the heart of DC during rush hour. True story - the worst part of the commute was in Arnold. Not that there weren't other issues and slow downs and missed turns and wild disagreements between GPS systems (which I'm feeling pretty good about not having), maps, and the sometimes contradictory signage in the DC area.
But everyone managed to make it on time. We were all able to actually drive into the cemetery (as opposed to parking in the visitor lot) which was interesting, although we nearly got shot (more later). We all drove out to the Columbarium where a nicely respectful and well done short service was held.
Arlington National Cemetery is very impressive and a little hard to actually take in. It is huge. I expected them to pressure us to clear out once the ceremony was done, but they left us alone and we hung around for about a half hour, blocking the road in front of the Columbarium. We were one of the last cars to leave, and I decided to try a shortcut.
And then I came up on these guys. I stopped, trying to decide if I should nose my way through, when they all pulled out their guns and did that 21-gun salute thing you see on TV. (I think they were practicing, since I didn't see anything to indicate there was a body waiting to be buried, but still, they had guns.) I made a hasty U-turn and found another way out.
The memorial service was held back in Severna Park (the northern part of the Arnold metro area) at the Unity By the Bay church.
It was a great service where many people shared memories and thoughts. Frank Sinatra's "My Way" was the theme song.
And then it was off to DAAAUUUNNN's house for lots of food. Pulled pork sandwiches, mighty chili, some token salads, and LOTS of desserts.
WHM was horrified that I took this picture of her handiwork in dealing with the leftover cake. I can attest though that the leftover cake, appearance not-with-standing, was still very good.
Speaking of pictures, there were many taken of a variety of family groupings.
In one that I posed for, I snuck in a camera and took a picture of the papparazi. This confused the heck out of them.
And then finally, the day was done. The Boy curled up with Yapper II and took a nice little nap.
Today, The Boy and I turned in the rental car (an amazingly stripped Chevy of some sort - honestly, I didn't know they made cars without power locks and windows anymore; if the rental guy, who tried hard to get us to upgrade, had mentioned that our compact was going to be a primitive thing a small step up from what the Flintstones used, I would have coughed up the extra $4 a day for the upgrade), flew back, and are now at home. (Actually, The Boy is at class tonight.)
This was a quick trip that went very well. DAAAUUUNNN and her Squeeze Ukulele Glennn did an excellent job in getting all of this set up and riding herd on all of us. This was a massive undertaking.
Thank you all for working so hard on this. I will be posting pictures later and will annouce them in a followup posting.
That's it - move along...
PS: Speaking of Ukulele Glennn, here is a picture I took of some of his creations. They are amazing.