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A bumpy ride Richard Peña | Sat, Apr 19 2014 12:00 PM

There was a time when I would anticipate with some degree of glee a journey cross-country. With little or no hesitation I would hop on a car or a plane or a train and away we would go on a five to six hour journey doing nothing but looking ahead. 

I suppose that if my means of transportation had been a covered wagon I would have felt the same way. On arriving at my destination I would then do whatever was planned for me to do on arrival. Alas, I think that is an era long past, something that I have recently learned.

A week or so ago I left the secure confines of my home and headed east. My son, David, who lives in the state of Maryland, had journeyed cross-country for a number of reasons, chief of these was to escort me to his home here in Silver Spring.  And escort me he did. I may not be the first person to go cross-country partly in a wheel-chair but I certainly am one of the most appreciated. From the time that we hit the curb at the terminal at Lindbergh till the time we did the same in Baltimore my walking was at a minimum and I suppose my old legs are forever grateful.

As I noted above in the olden days on landing at my destination I was ready for whatever action was laid out for me. If it was an immediate tour of the city, some exotic site-seeing or playing with the grandkids I was all for it. But the other day on my arrival the principal question was where do I sleep? If someone had indicated the floor I probably would have nodded my head and sunk down. A ride of six plus hours is about all that this tired old body can stand.

So,I think, barring any unforeseen circumstances, I will call this jaunt my swan song and revel in the memories of it and all the others that I have experienced over the years.

As of this writing I have been here two days and, outside of my family members who live here I have not been anywhere or met anyone else.  I have been here, to the Washington, DC area, many times in the past. We have covered all the principal buildings and museums more than once.  But Washington is not a place where one is satisfied to visit once. Like a good movie it must be experienced repeatedly to get the full savor of the locality.  And that is one of our goals

After a couple of days of ridding myself from the California syndrome I was just about ready to set out for a motor ride around the countryside, mostly to view what it is that is making this area so special. 

Like our own South Bay there is a plethora of yellow-blossomed bushes all about the city. But they are not acacias. Coni tells me they are called Forsytheis named for a man named Forsyth. There is some kind of story behind this but we have forgotten what it is.

Coni has lives in this area for some time so she knows her way around.  We drove to the city of Bethesda, a section of the town that features large, palatial estates.  Each property, it seems,has its own example of the just-blooming Cherry Trees, most of them forming a canopy over the street as the cars pass. 

I always thought that the only place where one could view the cherry trees was at the Washington Mall.  Not so!
In the days that follow I hope to see many other places of interest. I will, of course, report about them in this space.

Must make my swan song worthwhile.

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