Sunday, June 13, 2010

Zach Attack!

This post is about the time when Valerie flew to Texas to be with some friends and Zach Parry Esquire flew to Virginia to hang out with Brendan and Myself.

First, a couple of things to know about Zach:

1. Yes, he is indeed the same Zach Morris from Saved by the Bell. As most of you know, he dyes his hair dark brown for his current role on Raising the Bar.

2. Zach is absolutely a lego maniac.

3. Zach still tours with his band "Zach Attack," which features Kelly on backing vocals, Lisa on bass, and Slater on drums.

Okay, the story begins with Valerie leaving for Texas. Now, I've never been a big fan of Texas; however, I did approve of Valerie going there to be with some friends because she deserved a little break and it had been many years since she'd seen these particular friends.

This was the first time Valerie would be away from Brendan overnight. I don't know about Valerie, but Brendan cried a little at first. Every day he would ask "Where's Mommy? and every day I would tell him "Your mommy was very naughty, so she got sent to Texas." Then we'd both cry.

Valerie left Thursday and Zach came into town on Friday morning. His flight left Vegas at 1:00AM, had a layover in Minnesota, then finally made its way down to D.C. around 11:00 AM. When Zach finally made his way out of the airport we embraced each other and Zach lifted me up off the ground. He doesn't know this, but I even lifted my leg up behind me when we hugged; just like in the movies.

And that was how we began our weekend of a real-life episode of My Two Dads.

Obviously, I was the cool dad with the beard and Zach was the boring, strict dad with the highly fashionable sweaters. And Brendan got to be the girl with the long, teased hair and hunky boyfriend played by Ricky Schroeder (Who, for your information, is now a Mormon).

Due to formatting issues I have to work around the photos I already uploaded into this post. It won't let me change the order of the pictures I put in, so this post will be in reverse order of how our weekend actually went. The coolest part of the picture above is, and I'm sure we can all agree, Zach's shirt. The shirt is a charcoal color. Slightly faded in the shoulders and neck region. Made in Indonesia entirely of a 50/50 cotton/polyester blend. It portrays a person dancing like a robot. The person dances a few moves, then gets pounded on the head by an actual robot. I assume it's because they weren't dancing up to real robot standards. As a side note, Zach is standing by some waterfall that we went to in northern Virginia. The signs in the bathroom stated "If you fall in the water, you will die." In hindsight, I'm not sure if that was a reference to the waterfall or the toilets. Fortunately, we all made it out alive. Brendan loved it because he got to throw rocks in the water. I loved it because I got to throw rocks in the water. Zach loved it because he got to take great pictures with his cool camera.

Next topic. Pictured above is Brendan sleeping. This was after a long day traveling across D.C.
Anyone that knows Brendan knows that he only sleeps when absolutely necessary, but that's how tired he was. Of course, he woke up once shortly thereafter and ran around and knocked on all the windows outside the Cathedral and tried to jump in the fountain outside the cathedral as well. The cathedral itself was pretty breath-taking. Lots of details, hundreds of stained glass windows, and statues of every kind (including two grotesques, one of Darth Vader's head and one of a raccoon. Both designs picked out by elementary school kids back in the eighties. True story. They're so high up they can only be seen with a zoom lens, but they really are there).

Prior to going to the cathedral we went to the botanical garden right next door to the Capitol building. Zach is an avid botanist and always looks for any chance to explore new plant life inside a hot glass and metal environment (another reason why Zach was the lame dad and I was the cool one). Actually, in hindsight Zach said the botanical garden was probably his least favorite part of the trip. I'm not sure if that included the red eye flight over here or not. But the garden was neat if you like plants alot. It had a cool view of the Capitol building from inside it and it was probably Brendan's favorite part of the trip because he got to spray water and play in the dirt, but for your average Paul Reiser-type of person, the garden was kind of boring. So we took the tour, went up a really slow elevator, saw the plants from a catwalk, played in the kids botany section, then headed out.

Maybe the botanical garden would have seemed cooler if we hadn't just come from the Library of Congress, which happened to be one of the huge highlights of the weekend. The Libaray actually consists of three buildings. One, pictured above, is the one one usually shown in movies and pictures and it's obvious why when you first walk in. The building is immense and almost as ornate and detailed as the National Cathedral. It's certainly more colorful and vibrant. Lots of statues, detailed paintings, and a rotunda with a painted celing somewhat similar to the Capitol. When we first went to the Library of Congress we could only enter certain parts of the building. You have to have a library card to get in to the sections that actually have the books. So the second time we went, we had to go to another Library of Congress building and get our official library cards. Library cards are suppossed to be issued only to "serious" researchers, but we managed to get one even though our purposes were less than serious. The building where you get your card was a major letdown. It reminded us of an elementary school with primary colors used on the doors and lots of laminate floor tiles.
For anyone that tours D.C. the Library of Congress is a must-see.

When we first went to the Library of Congress we accessed the building through a series of
underground tunnels that connected the Capitol to the Library. That means that prior to going to the Library of Congress we spent some time on an official tour of the Capitol. The two of us(that's right, two of us. The first day of the trip Brendan hung out with his friend Josh while Zach and I saw some sights.) started the tour off with a movie on how great the checks and balances system is and how effective the current democratic process is. I'm not sure why they bother showing fictional movies like that before they start you on the tour.
At the tour they give you headphones and briskly herd you around to the rotunda and senate/representatives buildings. The rotunda was impressive and the guide gave some interesting insights into the history of the artwork and the various disgruntled artists that contributed to the work over the years. One angry artist painted his face into a tree as an act of definance before being fired.
The most intriguing part of the tour was when we finished and the guide asked for us to hand him our headphones. We were in the back of the group at the time. We were in a bit of a hurry to get going, but I was content to wait until everyone else turned in their headphones in front of us. However, in a classic Zach move, Zach took my headphones and his own and handed them to a tourist from Hawaii while we took off. The look on her face was priceless as she went from surprised to confused, then to annoyed, and finally to angry as she realized what had happened.

When we left the airport to start touring the city we first had to get some nourishment. The obvious solution was to buy jumbo slices of pizza. Hence, we went to Jumbo Slice Pizza. Or at least we tried to. I'm still not sure what the name of the place was that we ate at. We were looking for a recommended pizza place called Jumbo Slice Pizza. What we found were three shops all on the same block with giant signs that said "Jumbo Slice Pizza." It seemed that one was legitimate, and the other two were jumping on the jumbo slice bandwagon to gain customers. Anyway, whatever one we went to, it had really big slices and it was good. But don't be fooled by the picture above. What looks like ham and canadian bacon is actually turkey. The place we went to didn't sell pork products, but we were surprised when we found out we weren't really eating pork. Couldn't tell the difference.

Again, due to the formatting issues, my pictures are in random order and this post is at the mercy of the Blogger settings. One evening we went downtown to see the national mall including the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and other nearby memorials. The night pictures were some of the best, but most of them wouldn't load into this post. Try to picture big, white monuments with the sun down, but lit up by large lamps and camera flashes.
As shown in the picture, this was a very tiring weekend for us all, but especially Brendan. He would wake up early every morning so he could wake up his second dad by spraying him with a water gun. I'd get Brendan up and the first thing he would say was "Spray Zach?" Then we'd spend pretty much every moment of each day on the go driving to places including the masonic temple, Mt. Vernon, Olive Garden (Only becuase Zach had a gift card, not because we'd normally go to a place like that), a pupuseria, the Supreme Court, the Washington D.C. temple, and many other places.
While looking at the photo I noticed Brendan was missing a shoe. I guess that's what happens when you have two dads. There's no mom to keep an eye on those things, so Brendan gets run ragged dragged around D.C., with only one shoe, he probably had dirty underwear on, his hair was not combed properly, and he was likely being fed popsicles and soda for every meal. For Valerie's purposes, if anything like that did happen, it was Zach's fault.
We definitely made the most of our time. On Tuesday Zach had another long flight back to his family and Brendan and I had a joyful reunion with Valerie at the airport. Her arrival was nearly delayed by her almost missing her flight, but thanks to baby #2 in her belly she was able to cruise through security in a wheelchair and bypass all the long lines. We're back to being a nuclear family and it feels good.

1 comment:

  1. You are truly a gifted writer and in tune with the funny bone.

    I had almost as much fun reading about the trip as I did experiencing it.

    Thanks for remembering some of those important details that I forgot, like the water gun alarm clock, the pork made from turkey, the my-two-dad's theme, and the returning of headphones.

    I also thought the story particularly intriguing because it was presented in a Memento-like, back-to-front fashion that created a novel kind of suspense.