A Week in DC
It's Congressman Arcuri now. Just saying it works wonders.
I had a wonderful time in DC. I went down early to spend Eid al-Adha with family and friends, spent a day shopping, then met up with everyone from the campaign that had traveled to DC to celebrate Mike's swearing-in.
Here's some of us in the Hall of Statues during the tour.
I'd visited Congress once before this trip. A friend had come down to visit me in college and for some reason, we went to Congress and even sat in the Gallery to listen to a Senator speak on the floor. Ironicaly, I wasn't into politics back then. Oh, I voted and Reagan had convinced me that I was a Democrat, but I don't really know why we went to the Capitol other than perhaps because it was a tourist thing to do. Fast forward a few years and I'd graduated and returned to Utica. I never did get to a College Democrats meeting, but there was a group called "Young Democrats" that was starting up in town, so I went to one meeting. Met a woman named Roann Destito there before she earned the title Assamblywoman and met a guy named Michael Arcuri. Yea, same one. I never did go back to another meeting and soon there after, I was heading to grad school in Boston. But after grad school, I was again back in Utica and soon met Roann and Mike again as they ran for Assembly and DA. And the friend who was visiting me... her mom is the New Hartford Town Democratic Chair. Yea, Utica's a small town.
Day one of the celebration included the tour of the Capitol that was rather an eye opener for me. The underground tunnels certainly make running all over so much easier, but you never get to see the sun. And there must be miles and miles of halls between and in all those buildings. I gave up on fashion and wore my comfortable work shoes and by the time I got into bed that night, my legs were in the likes of such agony that I had not felt in years! But the tour was amazing and I'd really like to visit again with a slower pace if it's possible. There was one hallway that had beautiful small murals over each door with great sayings. I'd have loved to look at those a bit closer. After the tour, Ed Sitts, Chris and Joe Giruzzi, and I took the Metro out to Pentagon City to find the restaurant we were all celebrating at that night. The Lebanese Taverna was easy to find even though I don't think I've been back to the Pentagon City Mall since my college days. The food was amazing and I'm looking forward to heading there again. The 4 of us got there a bit early, but it was oh so nice to sit and catch up with each other before the noise level went too hi.
And I did have some catching up to do. I attended Hughes School in Utica for a few years and for part of that time, Chris Giruzzi was my classmate. Fast forward to 2006 and I'm with Mike looking for our spot in the Frankfort Parade when Mike says, "There's Chris... we're walking with him." HUH? Why are we walking with 'Chris from 7th grade?!"
Well, we've come a long way from Hughes School. Chris was elected Town Justice in Frankfort in November. So, when we visited the Supreme Court on the way to Union Station, I can say that I went to the Supreme Court with a Justice. Here's the Justice and his brother outside the chamber at the Supreme Court:
But, before we ended up in the Supreme Court, there was a swearing-in we were rather excited about.
It took a while to get through security and we were then taken to a room with a nice lunch and TV's to watch the procedings. We saw Mike's vote for Speaker Palosi and cheered as history was made. I commented on how different the Chamber looked with all those children there. I can't help but wonder if some of the choices that are made there might be different if the children were always there. We also all wondered, after seeing how small the chamber is, exactly how they fit all these people in there.
Some people stopped by with congratulations for Mike and us.
One of the lessons I needed to learn during the campaign was learning to be spontaneous and less in control. That lesson continued straight through the swearing-in. We're all sitting, waiting for that moment Mike would be sworn in. Yes, Election Day was pivitol, but his taking the oath is when it all really starts.
So, we all had to vacate the room while Speaker Pelosi was still speaking. By the time we'd found our way back to Mike's office, they'd already moved onto doing the work of Congress.
Yup... we didn't get to hear or see the swearing in.
But the day was winding down, so I headed to Union Station to get some gifts and then to Beadazzle at Dupont Circle. I actually asked the sales clerk there to not tell me what the total is and that I'd just sign on the line. I ended up seeing the total by accident anyway. OUCH.
The next day, my whole family was sneezing and coughing with the only exception being my cat and myself. We decided to head home early. I figured if I can just stay health til we got home, I'd escape the cold. Right... 8 hours in the car with 2 sick people. By the time we got home, I was coughing and sneezing too.
Then it was back to work and resettle back into my normal life. I'm actually finding it a bit hard to do. I miss all the great people I met and got to work with. I miss the traveling.
But it's also nice to have time to relax, read, play with my cat and craft.