Traveling with Mom

Picture I had been trying to convince my mom to take her first plane ride for years. She has always been the stereotypical employee that lost vacation time because she did not use it. I have never operated that way; I always use all of my leave plus extra. Life is too short to go to work everyday and then go back home.

She even took her passport photo, but never filed her passport application. I knew that if she was going to go anywhere, I would have to take the initiative to plan it and force her to show up. My eyes had been on the National Museum of African American History and Culture since it opened, and I knew I just had to get there. It dawned on me that my mother would love the NMAAHC just as much as me. Why don’t we go together?

Now I’ve done road trips with my mother, and I hated it. I’ve done day trips with my mother, and I hated it. She is the worst person to travel with because she literally just shows up and hops in the car. She doesn’t give any thought to anything; she’s just tagging along. She never offers a suggestion until after the fact when she has the audacity to complain about how something was too long, or the food wasn’t good, or perhaps we should have done this instead. She doesn’t even offer to drive halfway, and refuses when I ask. No one wants to chauffeur anyone around for long distances, and find food, and find a place to stay. It’s exhausting to be totally relied upon!

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Scenes from NMAAHC


The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture opened in September 2016, and I was anxious to visit. It was probably the second hottest ticket to obtain, next to Hamilton, and it’s free. Back in October, I sat in the parking lot of a courthouse with my phone ready to purchase tickets for January 2017. I was able to score two timed passes for a Saturday visit during MLK weekend right when it opened at 10:00 AM.

When the day of our visit came, my mom and I showed up right at 10:00 AM. We did not expect there to be any lines since our timed passes were for when the museum first opened and they also don’t allow walk-ins on the weekend. We were wrong. The line was making it’s way to the street on a cold wet D.C. morning. We stood in line for about 30 minutes, and finally got in. Apparently, the time on one’s ticket means nothing. As long as one has a ticket for that day, he can show up any time he feels like it. So there were people with tickets for 3 pm who arrived right when the museum opened, causing a bit of chaos.

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A Weekend in D.C. – Trap Karaoke and Broccoli City Fest

Despite the fact that I have family in the city, I have never been to D.C. I stumbled upon an interesting lineup for a festival in the capitol, and considered visiting for the first time. I bought the ticket the day they went on sale without even thinking! Ugh, it’s like that sometimes. I need better self-discipline. The money I budgeted for new eyeglasses went to Broccoli City Festival instead. A few days after buying the ticket, I realized I had something already planned that same weekend. I was supposed to see Lauryn Hill on Sunday in Houston, and BCFest was Saturday in D.C., but I don’t reside in either of those places!

Somehow, I made it all work out, and I left for D.C. on Thursday evening. After a lot of running through airports and near-missed connections, I hopped off the plane Thursday evening to temperatures in the mid-40s. Yo, I did not plan for cold and dreary weather. I was wearing the only long-sleeved item I had with me, and I didn’t have anything I could use to pull my hair up in case of frizz.

My Airbnb was in the Historical Anacostia neighborhood of D.C. Apparently, that is the sketchy part of town, but I feel like I spent most of my life in the sketchy parts of town. I can survive. That’s where all of the fun is. When I reached the neighborhood, there wasn’t much going on. I guess I expected people to just be hanging outside on the corner doing nothing, but things were kind of bland. Save for a few dilapidated buildings, it was generally nice older neighborhood.

My Airbnb hostess wasn’t available to me, so I had the entire home to myself for the weekend. There wasn’t much time to enjoy it because I spent most of my time out and about. I started Friday morning at Founding Farmers with chicken and waffles. I wasn’t expecting to eat very good food in D.C. I mean, I’m from Louisiana. We’ve perfected comfort food. The chicken and waffles were decent. It’s an overrated meal in general, but I left satisfied.

I spent most of the afternoon wandering Capitol Hill, Library of Congress, and the Native American Museum. Honestly, I only went to the Native American Museum to use the restroom and kill time, but I thought it was interesting. The amount of information and artifacts was a bit overwhelming for me. The Capitol Hill tour was a waste of time in my opinion since I didn’t leave feeling any more informed than when I arrived. Also, part of it was being remodeled. Continue reading