Monday, August 12, 2013

Weekend in Maryland

I just returned from Parents Weekend at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland to see my middle daughter.  Jessi had spent the last six weeks getting through the rigors of Plebe Summer.  My wife, younger daughter, and the dog arrived there Friday morning via car from Wisconsin, and I took a flight from Minnesota.  My sister Linda flew in from California and stayed at a hotel adjacent to ours.  After watching Jessi in a military parade on Saturday, we got a chance to check out the campus with her: the dining hall, the pool, the bookstore, Bancroft Hall, Tecumseh Court, and some of the historical sites such as John Paul Jone's tomb.  I arrived too late to see her dorm room.  Jessi had to be on her guard throughout our visit, as Detailers were out and about making sure the Plebes didn't violate the rules.  Seeing my daughter in a uniform and finding out that she's not just surviving Plebe Summer but enjoying it made me feel good.  I don't take pride in too many things, as my self-inflicted Calvinist background keeps me in check.  Nonetheless, I have tremendous pride in Jessi, Monika, and Erika.  They're much more ahead in life than I was at their ages. I had an opportunity on Sunday to see Washington D.C.  There were zillions of people walking around.  Lack of time and parking spaces reduced our visit  to a quick driveby.  I saw the White House, Capitol building, and the famous monuments from afar.  We did pay a visit to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, though, as I've taught courses on genocide for years now and have wanted to see it.   Linda and I could have spent more time there, but we arrived near closing time and Jessi was getting tired.

Upon our return from the capital yesterday afternoon, Jessi, Linda and I watched a horror movie matinee at the local mall: The Conjuring.  We went to a lot of restaurants during these three days because Jessi didn't have this kind of freedom in the last six weeks.   We had fun eating ice cream at the marina.  Teri took lots of pictures.  Jessi got some good rest in the hotel room.  We said our goodbyes in the late afternoon, as Jessi had to report back by 6pm.   Linda and I goofed around at a historic preservation site near the airport before I dropped her off for her flight.  It was a good weekend.  I got to touch base with family, check out the naval academy, and see interesting historic sites.  Jessi will be there for four years, so I guess it won't be the last time I visit.  That's a good thing.