There was a tour of IAD on Friday (which I had to skip due to work), a dinner get-together on Friday night, a tour of the Hilllwood Museum on Saturday (which I skipped due to too much to do, though I did very little of it), dinner on Saturday night, brunch on Sunday, and a tour of the Udvar-Hazy Museum on Sunday afternoon. But the real point was hanging out with people to talk about travel and frequent flyer miles and such.
The Friday night event was at the downtown branch of Capital City Brewing, which gave us the upstairs room and did an excellent job, even down to giving individual checks to 30 some odd folks. The food is not horribly exciting (your basic pub grub), but it is cheap and the beer is decent enough. (Their pale ale could be hoppier, in my opinion. My recollection is that other branches of this small chain have a wider beer selection.) Again, socializing is the point.
The food Friday night at Zengo was very nice. As is typical of fusion menus, I found the appetizers and dessert better than the main courses. (The food was served family style.) Drinks were very pricy and the acoustics left a lot to be desired. I found myself more or less having to shout to the person sitting right next to me.
Sunday brunch was at Harry's Tap Room in Clarendon. Their French toast was excellent and, more to the point, it was possible to carry on a conversation without shouting. I drove a couple of people over to the Udvar-Hazy (the branch of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum out by IAD) and they were kind enough not to mock me for missing the exit from 28. (For some reason, I mistakenly thought the museum was north of the airport, and did not see the sign.) Our docent was a real enthusiast about airplanes (duh) and very informative. I do find the space section of the museum disappointing, mostly because I think it is too focused on human spaceflight.
Overall, it was a good weekend. I wish I could say the same thing about the finale of The Amazing Race.
Dan and Jordan weren't too bad through most of the race - a bit whiny, but people are stressed. They did very well on the fast forward a few episodes back, mostly by making the one who was scared of heights do the task first. But they completely fell apart in China and their melt-down in the taxi last week (including punching the plexiglass between them and the driver) earned them a lot of disdain. Their silliness in putting their packs down in front of the cowboys this week didn't help. (That didn't really make any difference, but it was childish. The cowboys showed their usual class and didn't stoop to that level.) What really made the difference was their talking the flight attendant into letting them sit in business class for landing, which gave them a significant head start getting off the plane. (Amusingly, the flyertalk discussion of the show was focused on which model of UA's plane this was.) Frankly, the tasks were not hard enough for anybody to get a real advantage through them.
The cowboys were, I thought, very clever to have bought a San Francisco guidebook while waiting at the airport. Their behavior at Industrial Light and Magic reminded me of why I liked them so much. Cord's silly instructions (before the head set came on) were hysterical and, even when he was frustrated over trying to read the text, he never lost his temper. (It did seem to take them a long time, however, to figure out that Jet had to spin around to slow down the text. That was also a big factor in them coming in second.)
As for Brent and Caite, their taxi woes just revealed how ugly they are. Brandy was even uglier by refusing to clap for them at the end and I did like Caite's comeback to her.
And now there is pretty much nothing on TV for me to watch obsessively until the next season of The Amazing Race.