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18 August 2010 @ 11:54 pm
Washington DC, 2010: Day Two  
This morning we went to Arlington National Cemetery for the ceremony. A woman named Therese met us and talked us through the service, what to expect. We were taken to the columbarium where Grandpa’s ashes would be placed, and the funeral service was held. A chaplain did a reading, some musicians played TAPS, a flag was folded. I was watching, but I think I was also half-lost in memories of my grandfather, because I can’t quite remember everything that happened. Like, where did his ashes come from? Did my dad or aunt bring the urn with them, or did we ship it over so that the chaplain had it? Funny, the details escaped me completely.

It wasn’t just my dad and his sister; for the first time I met several of the extended Hough family members. My grandfather’s brother, Donald, was there – looks just like Grandpa but with a more cherubic face, rounder eyes. Several cousins were present, too. I’m not sure of the exact relation – Donald’s kids, but what that makes them to me I don’t know. Second cousins?

When the interment was completed, we had lunch at McCormick & Schmick’s.

Then it was pretty much over. My parents were heading back to San Jose, my aunt and uncle went back to their home in Bethesda, and the mysterious other relatives scattered to the wind. (I think they drove back to Florida, which seems like a very great distance but perhaps states are just closer together on the East Coast.) Seanie, my brother and I were dropped off at a new hotel, the Westin, which is much closer to the heart of DC than our previous accommodations.

We didn’t have a ton of time before museums started closing up, but the three of us did make it to the National Geographic Society, where they had an exhibit about the inventions of Leonardo Da Vinci. It was pretty cool. Some clever people had taken Da Vinci’s sketches and translated them into real 3d scale models. Another section had a reproduction of the Mona Lisa and talked about all the different “hidden” things the viewer can’t see without a microscope or other special equipment. It was really interesting.

After the museum closed, we tried to make it over to Georgetown. My brother wanted to check out the night life there. However, when we got off the metro everything seemed to be closed up, too. We walked up and down the streets for close to an hour and just didn’t see anything that looked interesting! My brother wanted to keep trying, but Seanie and I were pretty pooped after the busy morning, so we ended up getting back on the Metro and crashing in our hotel room, eating room service pizza and watching TV. Kenny might go out and investigate Georgetown again, if he can figure out where the interesting stuff is!