An early rising in Reykjavik and wouldn’t you know it, the sun was out. But that is life in Iceland, the weather is unpredictable and we still had a great time in Iceland. It is well worth the visit and not as expensive as people think it it is. My flight was only about 2/3rds full so I had a spare seat next to which made thew 6 hr flight to Washington DC a bit more bearable.
Now I’m yet to understand why Dulles airport has these vehicles to transfer international arrivals. They are clearly a custom built transporter, great as you board them like a plane and thus not exposed to the weather. Seems excessive, given elsewhere they uses buses or have a way to direct you through the airport building to immigration. The immigration official was not the most welcoming of people either, but I got through as easily as a white Australian male would expect.
I ended up catching a cab into town, because I couldn’t find the bus I wanted and time was running out. I checked in which for an AirBnB means I’ve got a key got inside, found my room and put my bags in it. I have a small room with a bed and ensuite. Not the biggest of rooms, but by far cheaper than any hotel I could find! I walked down to the Hyatt where John and Vicki were staying. I realised I forgot my ticket so we got a taxi to my place, got the ticket and headed out to the game on the metro. There was a 15 minute walk to the stadium, but well marked.
When we got to the Stadium John and I went into the Redskins store, only to be told we couldn’t go back out and Vicki had a bag they wouldn’t let her bring in, plus John had her ticket! We played the Australian card and managed to get Vicki a lovely clear redskins bag, so everyone can see the contents of the bag and she had to throw away her other small bag.
I guess this is where I explain why we came to the game. John and I have talked about this for years, maybe 10 or more at least, actually we probably talked about it at the 2000 olympics when we volunteered there. Our teams tend to only play each other every 4 years, so every four years we think about it but never went. Then John was diagnosed with cancer and thus we took the now or never approach to life to come see this game. It also tied in nicely with Claire asking me to go to Iceland with her.
So the first thing you note about an American football game is the amount of patriotism that goes on. It was especially so as it was September 11 last week. Every TV timeout they were thanking veterans and other people. Its a huge difference between the Australian and American culture. We love our country but don’t feel as insecure about it and are pretty laid back. American culture you don’t get a choice in it and patriotism is everywhere. You even notice it at the museums where veterans get discounts to museums.
So the game was everything it lived up to. The atmosphere was great, the crowd had a fair few Steelers supporters though. The early going was the Redskins, but unfortunately for the home crowd the Steelers got on top and kept going winning 38-16. A good night for me, unfortunately John has seen the Redskins twice now and they lost both games. Although we both agree it was great to do this, the experience was good and one team was always going to have to lose.
This morning I woke up a bit late, but then headed to a place for breakfast. I sat down and didn’t get served, then found someone who gave me a menu. The service was ok, but my $13 breakfast soon had tax added and then a tip as well and became $17. Americans never realise that the consumer and the worker are the ones being screwed here. I then met John and Vicki for a trip to the Spy museum. We got into a lift and lights changed int the lift, I had no idea what was going on. We were told to pick a cover profile… Again, what the hell is going on, then sat through a briefing. Well fortunately it didn’t matter although John remember all his characters details, I was only 2/3 rds right.
The museum though is quite good, there were two parts to it, the first section was all about spies, gadgets and people. Lots of detail, lots of exhibits and quite interesting. The second part was all about the villians of James Bond. It happens to be one of John and I’s favourite film franchises so that was also good.
After the Spy Museum I said goodby to John and vicki. I will see them again when we all get back to Canberra. I went to the Nat Geo Museum in the afternoon, where the exhibition was all about the greek empire. A fascinating museum, but not what I expected. I was hoping for more about the history of Nat Geo itself.
Tomorrow, I’m going to do the Smithsonians I want to see (Air and Space and Natural History) and walk up and down the mall itself and see the landmarks.
I’d have thought that my influence as a spy (and world reknown tram driver) would have infuenced you Justin, so I wasted 23 years of my life as a spy and you managed to retain only 2/3’ds of it…. Dont you remember the time I booked a chinese restaraunt in the name of Bond?? Ahhhh Mister Bond so good to see roo…
Interesting comment too about how insecure Americans are. Mind you their Veterans do get a raw deal compared with Australian Vets…