Planes and trains and buses…Oh my!

Ok, so again, it has been forever, and I can’t possibly do it all justice in one post.

Here is the down n dirty:

The last timeI wrote to you all, I was discussing some unpleasantness that was going on at World Services for the Blind. On the 20th of July, I left there and returned to Oxford. Tim and I did decide to live together, which has, of course, created some friction between family and some friends. We have tried to explain our side, but no one is listening. We feel that whatever happens, we know we have one another and that if we are solid about this, then the rest will fall into place. Though we fight and I get upset aboutsome things, I know that I love him and that he loves me. Maybe we make some mistakes along the way, but we do love one another, and if we are commited to that, then the rest is just extra drama.

So anyway, he was told by his boss that he was allowed to take a vacation if he wanted one. We talked about it and he decided that yes, in fact, a vacation would be lovely, so we tossed around a couple ideas, and eventually decided to visit Wendy, Shane, Andrew, Alex and Jessica in Washington D.C.

We left Oxford on Friday, August 10th. We were picked up that evening by Wendy, Shane and Andrew,who were kind enough to allow us to stay with them for two days. Saturday, we took Shane to the movies to see Diary of a Wimpy Kid, which was quite entertaining. The whole time there, I kept thinking how the difference in Shane was so huge. I had this small picture of him in my head, no taller than my waist, and now he reaches my shoulder, which is crazy. Also I cannot just pick him up as I used to do.

Anyway, on Sunday, Alex, Jessica and Jessica’s mom came from Fairfax and we all picnicked in a park close by Wendy’s home. The big thing there was that Jessica got her eye stung by a bee, and I had a meltdown about some private things and just walked and talked with Wendy. It felt good to get it out but only exaggerated how I feel there are no solutions. But moving on as this post is supposed to be a happy one…kind of.

Monday morning, Andrew drove us to Fairfax, where we prepared to go to our first museum, which was the Holocaust Memorial Museum. However this was not to be.

Whenever we arrived at Vienna Metro station, we went through the fare gates and then down an escalator. Somehow, I am still unsure as to how, Benjamin got his foot stuck in the bottom of the escalator. This of course was very traumatic,but the jist is that the station people took at least a minute, maybe a minute and a half, to press the emergency stop button, which I am ashamed to admit I did not know where it was. Anyway, all this time, Ben is yelping loudly and I’m screaming somebody stop it stop it make it stop and no one is hearing me or if they are they are not doing anything. Finally the escalator stops and I tell them make it reverse. Reverse it maybe it will let his foot go. They tell us that they can’t do that, and that they have to wait for someone to come. When animal control and the fire department get there, they take the plate off of the step above Ben’s foot and are able to extricate it. He is rushed to the emergency animal hospital. Tim rides with him while Jessica, Alex and I take a cab there.

There’s a lot of upset through this time but basically, Ben ends up losing two toes, has been in and out and back to the hospital, and we ended up extending our visit another week in order to allow him to receive the care he needs. We did not, of course, go to the museum that day. What we did do are these things, in this order, which I will write a post for each individually, as I have pictures and different bits of history and detail to share about each place.

  • Library Of Congress-Tuesday morning
  • Smithsonian Castle-Wednesday morning
  • Natural History-Wednesday afternoon
  • American History-Wednesday afternoon
  • National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped-Thursday morning
  • Capitol building-Thursday afternoon
  • Supreme Court-Thursday afternoon
  • Air and Space-Friday morning
  • Holocaust Memorial Museum-Friday afternoon
  • Duk’s tour-Saturday morning
  • D.C. Fest-Saturday afternoon
  • Department of Engraving and Printing-Thursday afternoon

We will be leaving, Lord willing, this Sunday evening. It is my hope to sit down with recordings that I made and give details about these places. In addition, I have several pictures that I am willing to put up, but of course, these will not help my blind or low vision readers. Some things, like the Supreme Court, and the natural and American history museums, I do not have any record of because it was not permitted. There exists a record of the National Library Service tour, but as it was not my device that made that record, I do not currently have posession of a copy of that. Once I obtain a copy, I will be able to discuss this tour. I did not take any pictures there. Nor did I, for obvious reasons, take pictures of the Holocaust Memorial.

I will write each post title as, “Tour: location name here.”

This way, if you are personally uninterested in this particular place, you can choose not to read about it.

We have had dinner a few different times with other blind people who live and work here, and have enjoyed it very much. As I write, we are preparing to go for a late lunch with a blind lawyer who works for the Social Security Administration.

Please pray that Ben continues to heal and that the trip home is not traumatic for him and that sometime between now and the time our flight takes off, we are able to find someone who can pick us up from the airport.

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