Since August the state of Wisconsin has been lucky enough to be represented in Washington D.C. by one of La Crosse’s golden sons, my old college/New York roommate Devin. Devin is attending a two-year grad school program at Georgetown, and two months in seemed like the perfect time to arrange a delegation of Wisconsinites to go check on his progress.
Nearly twenty-five years after the fact, my last trip to D.C. is still remembered in most circles for the unfortunate political faux pas I made when I repeatedly told my drivers “no more car” immediately upon arriving in the beltway. It left me labeled as fussy by the Washington insiders, but the truth is I was a young buck from the midwest who wasn’t going to settle for politics, or car trips, as usual and I apologize for nothing. That being said I considered myself lucky to be selected for this trip given my reputation as a rabble-rouser, especially when I found out who the other delegates were: photographer, future doctor, and all-around adventurer Jack and computer programmer extraordinaire Brent, who could easily prove to you he’s from Wisconsin even though all “official” records show he’s lived in Minnesota his entire life (nice try FBI.)
Brent and I arrived at Dulles International Airport within 10 minutes of each other on Friday and were met with much pomp and circumstance by two of the most professional drivers we’ve ever seen. They loaded our luggage and then whisked us to Devin’s home where we partook in an exquisite state dinner prepared on a grill and served outdoors in the custom of a traditional Wisconsin feast. Dinner was followed with several games of euchre and then a reception attended by all the greatest minds in Devin’s graduate program. The four of us tried our best to make up for lost time and filibust-a-move until sunrise, but we knew we had important work on the Hill to do the next day and retired at a very responsible hour.
On Saturday Devin called in some major favors and arranged for us to use four of the city’s finest Capital Bikes so that we could visit as many monuments as possible and still have time to help congress make up for 200 years of inefficiency. We road from Georgetown, crossed the Potomac and first visited the Lincoln Memorial before thoroughly touring the National Mall and its many tributes. We eventually pedaled our way to the Capitol building which sits atop a surprisingly steep hill (this might explain why many representatives struggle to get work done on it.) The building was beautiful, but we found we could debate, compromise and legislate much more efficiently over pub grub at the Capitol Lounge down the road than we could at the actual Capitol. With the Hill well-conquered we hopped on fresh Capital Bikes back to Georgetown.
Sunday took an exciting turn when we were drafted into defending our country at the Smithsonian in an important flight simulator mission. Devin and Brent were able to shoot down 7 MiGs to Jack and my 5, but we all walked away with the rank of ace, and a strong urge to play beach volleyball, mission accomplished.
Too soon after that, we went our separate ways, Jack to Chicago, Brent to Minneapolis, and I to New York, but we left our gracious host knowing he was in good hands and that, for at least the next couple years, our home state of Wisconsin will be well represented in D.C. no matter what politicians live there.
Note: Besides the first photo, all of the pictures of our weekend are from the superior camera and mind of Jack Temple.