as my friend trish pointed out in a comment, the algonquin hotel has a mascot - matilda the cat. she sashays around the lobby like she owns the place, and judging from the regal bed situated near the door, she likely does. in fact, the password for the hotel's wifi service is "matilda." don't tell 'em i told you.
we'd hoped to get an early start on our day, with plans to stop for a visit in philadelphia before heading down to D.C. and we managed to get up at a decent hour. the hub headed out to pick up the rental car and left us to finish getting ready, pack, and check out of the hotel. we were making pretty good time, too, and i was excited for sightseeing in philly, since i'd never been before.
but you know what they say about "the best laid plans..." - turns out i'd managed to fuck up our car rental reservation. apparently, i'd requested to pick up the car the day before. shit. the hub and i had a few, uh, discussions via text and phone, and he informed me that the rental agency was still willing to give us a car - at double the price we'd reserved it for. crap. as it was, a one-way rental is already way higher than a round-trip one, and i freaked out for a bit.
but as luck would have it, hotwire (which offered better pricing than priceline) still reflected the same rates as i'd booked the week before. phew. we ended up leaving a handful of hours later than we wanted to, but we had a car. it was a big, ugly mercury marquis (the ultimate edition, thankyouverymuch), and the teen muttered "do we get a light to put on the roof, too?" but at least we had transportation secured for the longest part of our road trip. crisis averted.
a tunnel, a bridge, and several toll plazas later, we arrived in philadelphia just in time for lunch.
the rental car snafu put us so far behind schedule that we had to settle for a driving tour of the awesomely historical city's sights. i'm still super bummed over not getting to visit betsy ross' house. does that make me a super nerd? probably.
this is the closest we got to the liberty bell. and i was bummed not to pose cheesily with rocky and run up the steps of the art museum.
this rather menacing-looking group reminded me of the scene in "forrest gump" where he punches yet another of jenny's abusive suitors at a gathering and mumbles "i'm sorry i ruined your black panther party."
more cool-looking, probably super historic buildings and cobblestone streets.
heading back onto the highway, i was plunged into random and slightly vague flashbacks from my childhood. i even looked up one of our old houses - its address is stuck forever in my long-term memory: 404 royal beach road, pasadena, maryland, 21122. yup. want the phone number, too? 301-647-3821. don't go calling that shit now. i was about five years old when it was ours.
i would've loved to pull up directions (it wasn't far from where we were at all) and do a drive-by of the place, but we had places to be and stuff to do. i settled for looking at the satellite map via google, and we moved on.
as we pulled into D.C. and drove through their chinatown (every metropolitan area in the country seems to have one, huh?), i giggled at some of the familiar signs, translated into chinese.
before checking into our hotel for the night (the renaissance downtown, again pricelined for $100, yay), we drove around a little. being the day before the big independence day holiday, a lot of streets were blocked off and there were lots of people milling around, but we still managed to see some cool stuff.
this is as close to arlington national cemetery as we ever got.
the bean was unfazed and didn't really give a crap about anything besides watching spongebob squarepants on my phone.
the teen was a little less than interested, too.
but everyone was happy to get out of the car and stretch out a little in our comfy room - with TWO beds! whee!
and don't tell him i said so, but the hub was pretty stoked at the high(er)-end toiletries.
well, okay, i was digging them too. i was already trying to figure out how to score on some extras before we checked out. i'm ghetto like that.