I recently took a trip to our nation's Capitol to help my company support the recovery efforts from the Sept. 11th Attacks. It was an awesome trip despite the turmoil surrounding the reason we went there. I enjoyed my stay there and took a bunch of pictures of some of the things that I was able to see during my time off. Read along and pick out the pictures you want to see - they will appear in a separate window, so just click back on this page when you want to choose another to look at.
A bunch of my friends from work and I went there around the 3rd week of September to help some of the government agencies in the area deal with the Sept. 11 attacks. I can't really mention much about the work we did, but I can say that I spent some time at the CIA headquarters and the Office of Naval Intelligence working with computers. Both facilities were absolutely wonderful to work at and the time I spent in both places was very enjoyable. The CIA headquarters was nothing like I imagined and very cool. As well as the ONI was a very interesting place to work as well. I had a lot of fun working and meeting the people that worked there...I hope to go back someday. Here's some arial pictures of the CIA headquarters and the ONI building I got from MapQuest, so I'm not giving away any national secrets or anything.
This first series of pictures are of the Embassy Suites Hotel of Chevy Chase that I stayed in for most of the time I was there. The government was picking up the tab for this trip, so we got a major discount for the stay. These rooms were somewhere in the neighborhood of $300 a night, and we got them for $119 on the Govt. per diem rate. I wound up moving over to a Best Western Hotel in Tyson's Corner that kinda sucked in comparison - thanks Wayne. He had to go home about 2 weeks into it because he wasn't prepared to stay longer - which was cool. But to fill his slot, I was sent over to the CIA Headquarters...which was pretty cool all in itself. But the Best Western sucked and I had already settled into a routine at the ONI and hangin' with Jeff. I did finally convinced my friends over there that they needed to move into an Embassy Suites - and they jumped on it. I was only in that hotel for 2 days before I moved back over to the Chevy Chase hotel with Jeff and back to working at the ONI - which I think I enjoyed more than the CIA since I was more comfortable there. The CIA involved way too much walking for my liking since I was so out of shape, and the workload over there wasn't quite as big as they thought it was going to be, so I asked to go back to the ONI since Jeff was left all alone to do everything there. It all worked out and I was glad to have had the opportunity to work both places - plus it was a blast working with the others for awhile as well. I had a good time at both places.
Anyway, the hotel was built in a mall that's located on the corner of Military and Wisconsin Ave, in the northwest area of DC proper. As it was, the intersection was right on the Maryland/DC border, so if we walked across the street, we were in a different state. In fact, the shot of the building was out of my window and it was in Maryland as well. Plus, due to it's location, there was a Metro station in the bottom floor of the hotel, which was very convenient for our sightseeing efforts.
The room was very comfortable with a large bedroom, kitchenette w/wet bar, and a nice living room. The phone had a separate data line so I wouldn't miss a call when I was online. Of course my laptop only had a 56.6 connection, so I wasn't online much...besides, this was DC - I went out and saw some stuff.
There was this really cool bar & grill called Chadwick's that was about a block away from the hotel which Jeff and I spent a couple of Saturday evenings while we were there. It's shown on the picture and highly recommended if you ever make the trip to DC and happen to be in the area.
The first day Jeff and I were there, we took the long way around town to get to the ONI where we needed to work. As you can see on the map above, that would be the Interstate 495 Loop that goes all the way around DC - or the "Moving Parking Lot" as Al called it. We got on that route first thing in the morning and decided that it was a bad idea. FOrtunately, we only had one day to work before it was the weekend, so we just dealt with it and got to work. On the way home was different story - we got majorly lost. And this was after we decided to take a trip to Andrews AFB to hit the Commissary & BX to grab a few essentials and some groceries for lunches and stuff. There was a NASCAR trailer at the BX, so I naturally blew my money on stuff from the trailer (Thank God for ATM's). On the way back to the hotel, we got SO lost it wasn't even funny. The sad thing is that we wound up only about 3 blocks from where we could've turned onto Military Rd to get back to the hotel when we decided to turn around and find something familiar, which took another 45 minutes or so.
I mentioned this because the next series of pictures is from the trip we took on Saturday in effort to find a better route to get to and from work. These are the pictures from the passenger seat as we drove smack down through the middle of the DC proper on Connecticut Ave, to Independence Ave, to South Capitol Road, to Suitland Parkway, to Silver Hill Rd, to Suitland Rd, and eventually to the ONI gate.
The other pictures were taken after we got turned around again on the way back, but we kinda wanted to go this way anyway. Jeff had been through this area before and kinda remembered how to get to the Pentagon. Well, he found his way through again and we wound up in a parking lot just to the west of the Pentagon. From there you can see the damage that the airliner did. Even though we had military ID's, we weren't allowed onto the installation because of our cameras...which was understandable. Some people had put together a make-shift memorial since this was as close as people could get to the Pentagon at that time. These pictures would've been better except for my crappy digital camera. Well, I say crappy because of it's age and low-resolution - but it runs like a champ and takes pictures like it's supposed to, so I guess it's not THAT bad. It beats having to get film developed.
This is all I've finished on this page for now as of 16 December, 2001 - Hey, it takes time to get all these pictures straight and keep the code working properly - sorry. Check back for more later - I've got more than 100 more pictures to put up here with some stories as well.