Personally, I've emceed several trivia nights, did not win the one in which I competed, had lots of fun and laughs with my friends and have seen several movies, "The Blind Side" and "The Princess and the Frog". But yesterday was the best day, because my niece and nephew came into DC to see "Avatar" with me at "my" movie theatre, The Uptown, in Cleveland Park. They got there a little late, so instead of the 11:30 movie and lunch, we had lunch at Nanny O'Briens, then walked through Wake Up Little Suzie for lots of giggles and headed down to Firehook for a coffee and just to "hang." We still had some time, so we went down to the Zoo for a bit before heading back for the 3:15 movie. It was a really great afternoon, and topped off by a really fun movie – very cool story and AWESOME special effects.
Oh, and there was this snow storm thingie… Did you hear about that? Sixth largest snowstorm in DC recorded history, and we were STILL digging out four days later! I know, those of you in the Northeast or Montana are going "18 inches? That's a big storm??!?" Well, yeah, for DC, it is. Our normal "big" storms are about 6" of snow, so having three times that makes it a little difficult for our planners. I will say that the main streets were cleaned up pretty well and pretty quickly (luckily, the main storm was on a Saturday), but the sidewalks? Not so much! DC is very much a pedestrian city – yes, the roads are extremely important so that all of the suburban residents (you know, the ones in Maryland and Virginia) can drive into work or shop, but most of the DC residents are dependent on walking to the Metro or taking the bus.
Cleaning the sidewalks is ostensibly the responsibility of the property owners, so many of them are fairly well cleared. But the sidewalks next to parks and all of the corners are a complete mess! Two pedestrians have been killed in the last two days because "cars have gone out of control" (because cars obviously have minds of their own) and the pedestrians were in the road… BECAUSE THEY COULD NOT WALK ON THE SIDEWALK. Also, no matter how clear the sidewalks are, the snow plows have pushed all of the excess snow onto the corners so that pedestrians have had to either climb over two to three feet of packed ice and snow or trudge through a foot (or more) of slush to simply cross the street.
As for taking the bus, it took two days for WMATA to clear the bus stops, but there are still four foot high mountains of ice and snow piled up between the stop and the road! At some stops, riders have stamped out a path from the sidewalk to the street, but it is still slippery and dangerous. A couple of nights ago, I had to stand in the street at the corner to flag down a bus because there was NO way to get to the bus otherwise. Ridiculous!
Ok, I'll get off my soapbox now (carefully, so I don't slip on the ice)... Today is Christmas Eve and I'm heading over to my sister's house for Christmas. We'll have Chinese food for dinner, go to a new church this year (because their regular church has a band instead of a choir, and last year's experience was not QUITE the thing...), and then it's back for hot chocolate as we drive around to look at the lights. I'm really looking forward to the Dancing Trees, where the people have set up the lights to go on and off in time to music. Tomorrow, I'll run down the stairs with my "kids" to open our presents and then eat lots of turkey and ham and probably take a nap on the La-Z-Boy with Patti in my lap. (Ha, I'm a poet!)
So, Merry Christmas! If you don't believe in the Nativity story, just treat the day as a day of peace and hopefully good will. Enjoy the day, enjoy the people around you, enjoy yourself, and smile.