Diaries - Travel - Photos

Previous Diary - Next Diary


Business Trip

October 13

Written November 26

Dear Friends and Families,

Normal business trips are pretty tightly scheduled: fly, sleep, meet, fly back. However, this trip to Lynchburg, Virginia was unexpectedly different. I had flown over with my German colleague Bernhard, expecting meetings Wednesday, Thursday, and most of Friday, but our group managed to squeeze everything into just the first two days. We debated making Friday work-productive and thought that we could LOOK more productive by hanging around the office, but, REALLY, touring Virginia would be a better idea. So, we left Lynchburg after breakfast and headed to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home, and finished the tour with the Udvar-Hazy Center (Air and Space Museum) at Dulles Airport. Here are some notes and pictures:

*********** Thomas Jefferson's Monticello *********

This was my second trip this year to Monticello and I enjoyed being the "expert", although Bernhard's awareness of U.S. history far exceeded my knowledge of German history. Here we are on the Montcello's back lawn.


Last April, the trees were just blossoming and the vegetable garden was just being planted. Now, the fall colors were out and most vegetables had been harvested. Either way, the grounds at Monticello are worth a visit. Of course the grounds visit is required because the waiting time for the house tour was almost an hour-and-a-half.

This visit, the highlight of the grounds for me was the variety of flowers still in bloom. Here are a half-dozen, all, like other plantings at Monticello, raised from strains originally planted at Monticello in Jefferson's time.



********* Steven F. Udar-Hazy Center *********

********* Air and Space Museum *********


After a few hours for the drive from south to north in Virginia, we only had time for a quick spin through our second major tourist attraction. The Udvar-Hazy Center was named after a Hungarian-American immigrant who made his fortune in Southern California and decided to give something back to his adopted country by funding the building of this extension to the downtown Air and Space Museum. I'd been here before, but would always volunteer a return.

We managed to get a few pictures, including enough to prove that Bernhard had indeed been here. No, this was not the Lufthansa plane he would take back to Germany in a few hours.


After this, it was a ten minute hop to neighboring Dulles International Airport, where Bernhard's real plane would pick him up for the long return to Germany. I was glad I was able to show an appreciative guest two American attractions. America may not have many castles, cathedrals and Rathauses, but, given a day off work, there are places worth visiting.


I was not returning to Germany just yet, but rather, starting a ten-day whirlwind of family visits in Maryland, Virginia, California, and Colorado. From the airport, I drove up to brother-in-law Ron's place in Frederick, Maryland. We did what we normally do when I'm there: eat too much. But, it's nice to see he's settled into his new place.

Saturday night I stayed with Geoff and Susanne, back down in Virginia. As a relatively recent home owner, Geoff was still working on the moving-in painting chore. I volunteered to help, but he had finished most of the work. Darn. He and Susanne (and her folks and his mom) have worked hard repainting the house and reworking the yard and I suspect they look forward to a bit of peace and quiet -- before their new child arrives next year.

Sunday it was off to California, to rejoin Marianne for at least a few days - but that's another story.


John and Marianne.



Diaries - Travel - Photos

Previous Diary - Next Diary