Mr. Z Visits Washington

walkable-washington-dc-lgFrom last Thursday to Sunday (yesterday) the Z family drove to the land of politico stooges – Washington DC. I’ve been to DC, but never did the full tour until now, and I can tell you, it is an absolutely spectacular place to visit. To say that it’s just a bunch of statues, museums, and big buildings is not only a gross understatement, but you slander the millions over the years who have toiled to make our nation’s capital one of the most breathtaking places you’ll ever happen to enjoy.

First off if you ever plan to do the tour, KNOW that you will walk the sidewalks and streets for miles on end and your legs and feet will ache beyond comprehension. Each morning I had a Motrin omelet with three pots of coffee to get me revved and going. Plus the fact that the temperature was in the high 90’s sure added to the difficulty of moving around. Of course my kids are 14 and 18 so they were pretty much fine. I, on the other hand was limping like a wounded grouse caught in a hunting trap. Even my wife who walks miles every day and is in great shape, was dragging terribly. I wished I could have rented a rickshaw and a massage therapist for the duration – happy ending, optional – no, not from the rickshaw guy.

washington-dcWe stayed across the river in Arlington and made use of the Washington Metro, an amazing subway service that gets you where you want to go cheap and fast. (Yes, it’s the same train line that had that horrible accident last week.) First stop was the Whitehouse and you get to see all of the crazies picketing, waving banners and shouting, like loons. Every time we walked by I would yell out, “Hell NO, we wont go!” I felt like a real rebel.  Then some old lady kneed me in the groin and called me a pinko.

If you’ve toured through Washington, you understand the grandeur I speak of. But if you’ve never been there, then it’s hard to even put into to words for you how grandiose it really is. There are buildings made of marble and concrete with ornate carvings and Roman columns that span ten football fields across. You think about the time period that these places were built in, and wonder how it all happened and how much massive.  manpower it took to complete. The Capitol Building and the Library of Congress are SO overly ornate, painted, sculpted and mosaic tiled that I was in awe (and pain) every step of the way.

1384739281_6ea7675f7bThen there are the museums that one could spend days on end in each – the Air and Space Museum, the American History Museum, and the Holocaust Museum (yes, the same spot the guard was killed in several weeks ago) were indescribably breathtaking. I got to see Archie Bunker’s chair and Seinfeld’s puffy shirt, the Wright brother’s plane, and an Apollo space capsule. But nothing is more sobering than hours spent in remembrance of those who endured the grotesque pain of Nazi hatred. I learned a hell of a lot more than I ever knew about the holocaust and what actually led up to it. Seeing in person the real prison uniforms, luggage, shoes, hair, and belongings of those who had their lives erased was surreal and so very humbling.

data1But for the good news, I DID get to smoke a few cigars in some very wonderful shops. Friday afternoon I spent several hours at W. Curtis Draper, Tobacconist, located about two blocks from the Whitehouse, on 14th Street. It’s the fourth oldest tobacco shop in the U.S. (around 120 years old) and it is an oasis for the weary traveler in need of a smoke and fine companionship. Owners John and Matt spent the entire time talking cigars with me and sharing their concerns about the tobacco taxes, anti smoke laws, and the new FDA inheritance of governing tobacco. Even though they face a hell of a battle, their spirits are high and have countless friends who enter the doors to purchase a leafy diversion from life. The guys are doing some excellent “outside the box” thinking to cater to their customer base, including diners where you have a pre-meal cigar reception at the store, a multi-course feast at a local eatery (no smoking as the laws dictate), then back to the store for post meal smokes. Everyone from highbrow politicians, military personnel, businessmen, and everyday botl’s like you and me, are the clientele, and Rudy Guliani makes it a regular stop when visiting. And if you love cigars like me, it will become a regular stop upon every visit.

Another wonderful place to stroll is Georgetown with it’s beautiful college campus and cosmopolitan streets with trendy shops, restaurants, and Georgetown Tobacco, where I found the people to be wonderfully friendly and again, true tobacconists in every sense of the word. Wandering M Street with a big-ass AVO hanging from my jaw was a pleasure after our brick over pizza feast at Pizza Paradiso. On a nice day, this is a terrific place to peruse.

1860008-mansion_of_george_washington-mount_vernonCan’t forget General George’s house in Mount Vernon. It’s a three story colonial mansion built on gorgeous farmland, with a breathtaking view of the Potomic River. Walking through the house that our nation’s founder lived in was pretty incredible. You get to see the actual bed he died in, which is ultra creepy, along with his tomb, but I say it’s a must visit if you’re in the area. GW also owned a distillery 2 miles up the road where over 11,000 gallons of hootch was produced back in colonial times. The original gristmill is still in operation and a very cool thing to see.

vietnam_memorialSunday morning before leaving we visited the Lincoln Memorial and the stunning Vietnam Wall – another sobering reminder of war and the wake of sadness it leaves behind. The amount of names inscribed in that stone is something you don’t expect. And I wanted to mention that about three years ago in DC we toured the Arlington Cemetery, an experience that changes you when you leave the grounds. Time didn’t permit us going this time around, but I will again on my next visit, for sure.

Wow… we did a lot…saw a lot… and I complained that I ached a lot. Plus I drove everyone nuts because I stop to drink and pee every five minutes, where my wife can go all day without stopping like a god damned camel. We had a tremendous time and I would not only recommend it highly, but I’ll do it again in the future. If you can try to forget the fact that the politico dirtbags of society inhabit the city in droves, I guarantee you’ll have an amazing time, as my family and I did. Just MAKE SURE to stock up on your painkiller of choice.

Have a great week my Patriots,

Tommy Z.

JR Cigars Blog With the Zman

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