Last week I traveled for work: Washington D.C on Friday - Monday, then to Raleigh, North Carolina, then back to D.C. on Tuesday night, and back to Phoenix on Thursday. Of course, I figured this would be no big deal, since I'd gone to SXSW a few weeks ago.
But that was when I was 21 weeks along. I was now 27 weeks, and those five weeks really make a difference, as I was about to discover.
The first night in D.C., after an incredible Italian dinner, my coworkers and I drove and walked around to all the monuments, and didn't get back to the hotel until around 1 am.
I'm not skilled enough with a camera to take great pictures at night, and my phone died, but we saw the White House, Eisenhower building, Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial (really cool at night, with the Washington Monument and lights of the city reflecting in the pool), Korean and Vietnam War memorials.
I've been to D.C. once before, as a high school sophomore. I didn't remember there being so many steps at the memorials. Now, I know where to find all the elevators! Pregnant lady win.
I took this photo from my hotel room early Saturday morning. With the time change and work, I didn't get much sleep on this trip. I worked until 1-3 am most nights, and then had events to go to.
But Sunday, I did more sightseeing.
Come to find out, the Library of Congress is closed on Sundays. We found that out after we walked all the way there. Amazing building though!
The National Archives! I saw the Declaration of Independence (Looking a little worse for wear, but I guess that's understandable after being stolen by Nicolas Cage, rolled up, almost run over, shot at, and rubbed with lemon juice), the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and ... the Magna Carta, wearing its age well - since it was written in 1297.
Outside one of the government buildings, I happened to see this statue. Nathan Hale is one of my heroes - he was only 21 when the British hung him for treason. His famous last words: "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country."
We also went to the Smithsonian Museum of American History, but adding all those photos would really make this post long. But, not to downplay the amazing historical artifacts of great importance, I totally geeked out at a display in the lobby of movie costumes from "The Adventures of Robin Hood" with Errol Flynn.
To close the day, I met up with a co-worker at St. Paul's Cathedral, the National Cathedral, to hear the choir from St. Paul's Cathedral in London sing. It was a boys and mens choir, with an other-worldly organist.
After the craziness of the weekend, and the craziness to come, I really needed that hour of peace and beauty.
It's funny to think that I actually sang in that cathedral. That high school trip I mentioned earlier was with the acapella choir, and we performed in the exact spot as the choir I listened to that night.
Then after the concert, things got a little crazy. My ankles swelled, probably from spending the last couple days on my feet. It hurt. Plus, I had a killer headache, and I'd realized how much stuff I'd actually forgotten to pack, considering that 60 degree weather was a lot colder than I remembered.
And I was supposed to fly to North Carolina the next morning, at 6:30 am. But since someone else had bought the tickets and said they'd send me the info, and hadn't, when I finally got in bed at midnight, I still didn't know what airport I was flying out of.
Monday morning! Time to wash the windows.
I woke up to my alarm at 4:00 am, after not sleeping much at all. Thankfully, I saw I had a text from my co-worker, saying she got us later flights. But even so, thanks to some slow Uber driving, we still had to run through the airport. Not easy when pregnant with cankles, but we still made it on the plane. Another pregnancy win.
So, let's talk about Southern hospitality. It's real.
When I arrived ready to work, I was given a present, just for being there.
I was invited to dinner in the backyard of someone I'd just met, and not only was it beautiful, but it was delicious: steak, potatoes, watermelon salad, and apple pie for dessert.
Raleigh is truly stunning. There's beautiful southern mansions mixed in among the corporate buildings, forests everywhere, and everything is so green. And everyone is nice! While working, people carried my laptop bag for me, brought me water and food, and often checked on how I was feeling, which was actually really nice after several days of the cankle situation.
I was a little sad to leave, but after a crazy Monday and Tuesday in Raleigh, I was needed back in D.C. So I caught yet another flight, and made it back.
After having spent the previous Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and some of Monday there, as I flew in over the Potomac River, it felt oddly like coming home.
But sometime in those last couple days, I injured myself. I don't remember how, since tripping on sidewalks is a pretty normal occurrence for me. But somehow, I did something to my right foot. Of course, I kept walking on it as usual, so by Tuesday, not only were my ankles swollen to an unusual size, I couldn't put my full weight on my right foot.
And, I started having the curious sensation of the ground moving beneath me, when everything was definitely standing still. I think it might have had something to do with flying so much ... maybe it's vertigo? I'd never experienced anything like it, except after riding the Tower of Terror at California Adventure (never again).
I took it a little easier on Wednesday, and Thursday I spent the day off of my feet, but on a plane of course.
Ironically, I had to switch planes in Charlotte, North Carolina. I can't seem to get away from there.
But the flight home felt like the longest of my life. I was actually thrilled to look out the window and see brown.
After a weekend of sleeping in my own bed, elevating my feet and not walking as much as possible, the dizzy spells have passed, I haven't had any more ankle swelling, and my foot injury is almost completely better.