This is the only time of year I love Washington. This city is usually so gray, and the splashes of pinks and whites and yellows everywhere just breathes new life into the city after months of nasty, gray cold.
My favorite view: The Jefferson Memorial through the flowers.
The weather is perfect, there are people from all over the world. Tourists clog the streets, to be sure, but there’s something to be said for letting yourself see the capitol of our country through the eyes of someone from across the world.
Kind of gives me a new appreciation for this place. I make sure to see as much of it as I can so I don’t completely loathe the place.
I wrote this for a group of blogger friends. They suggested I make it public. Here is my emotional spill the morning after.
I’m tired of the Establishment vs. Tea Party wars. I’m tired of Republicans still treating tea partiers like idiots for being outraged. The tea party protested Mitt. We fought his nomination. Then we rallied around him anyway, and we still lost. If you don’t get why that’s infuriating and disheartening and why people need to be angry about it, fine. Berating them is the opposite of helpful and encourages the indignation. If Republicans can’t win WITH the Tea Party, what makes you think you have a snowball’s chance in hell without us?
I spent the primary being told to shut up, you’ll fall in line anyway. I said I wouldn’t, but I did. I thought I was doing the right thing. Obama was too scary, and Mitt is a good man. What did it get me? The most bitter loss I could have imagined, because everyone actually thought we had a chance this time. Mitt was the electable one, after all. Surely the GOP brain trust had info we didn’t and Romney was really the smart choice, despite what the grassroots told them.
I’m tired of the circular firing squads (which “establishment” types are EVERY BIT as guilty of). The self-flagellation and naval gazing are inevitable, and we all need a break. I know that I, for one, am completely burned out and broken hearted. There’s no way I’m going to be effective without a recovery period.
I don’t know what it means when our everything is not good enough. It hurts when you give your life to something for four years and fail miserably. I’ve cried. Hell, I’m still crying. I’ve lost sleep. This week, I reassess. Will I still fight? I don’t know how to do anything else. I have to believe that freedom will win.
I moved to DC in 2009 in a beat up Nissan full of nothing but my clothes, slept on an air mattress for 4 months and was totally broke and miserable. Somehow I met all of you guys and things just… Worked. This network we have built, this alternative media we are creating is critical. We are having an impact and it can only grow.
A friend sent a reply to a despondent message from me last night and I want to share it.
“You are leading new generation of conservative journos/social media mavens. You planted seeds that will bear much fruit. This is bigger than one election.”
That’s all I have to offer today. We gave it our all and it was a good fight. Rest. Spend time with your families. We will pick up the torch soon.
Taken from the top of the Empire State Building in April of 2001 with a disposable camera.
I was 17 and in my high school math class. A kid interrupted the teacher and said that a plane hit the Twin Towers. My teacher, clearly not processing what he’d just said, told him to stop interrupting, we had math to do. We went about class with the questions starting to buzz in our heads. What happened? We didn’t have phones or computers to get the information from. We just sat. Waited.
It wasn’t until we left that class that we heard the story. We’d gotten out in time to watch them break the news of the plane hitting the Pentagon. I was in my drama class, and my teacher’s daughter lived in Manhattan – a casting director for Comedy Central. There wouldn’t be any more class that day.
We cried. We barely understood anything. We knew it was scary and that it was bigger than we could imagine. We didn’t know that it would change the world forever.
I have no idea what else happened that day. I think they pulled us all in to the auditorium at some point. I don’t remember. I’d been to New York for the first time that spring with the theater department. We climbed to the top of the Empire State Building in the freezing cold and wind and took photos, me with the disposable camera I’d bought off the street on my way over.
It wasn’t until years later that I found this and remembered how I’d felt standing on top of that building looking out at the most defining towers in the New York City skyline; how I’d felt watching them burn.
Never forget the families, the emergency workers, the victims. The world changed forever that day. We live in a different place now. I’ll also never forget the unity we felt after the attacks. The confidence we had in our leaders, in our country. The hope.
It almost seems unbelievable that we were ever that united, even briefly. So different from the way things are now. I pray we get there again some day. We’re better together.
We’re better free.
So this is probably the 4th or 5th time I’ve been to Garden of the Gods now, but I really do love it. Low key, really accessible, free, and you can do it pretty quickly. You don’t need to block off an entire day.
After a morning glued to the computer in my hotel room, I needed to get out. I grabbed some Chick Fil A and headed over to the Garden of the Gods park, just a short drive from where I stayed in Colorado Springs.
Close to where you enter the park on the Colorado Springs side.
As we were finishing up our event in Grand Junction on Saturday, someone recommended we check out this place called Grand Mesa. Neither one of us had ever heard of it, but we decided it’d be worth the hour drive out there to catch the sunset from the top of the largest flattop mountain in the country.
Totally worth it.
It was a quick hour, and most of the ride up looked like this.
Heading to the top.
I love the west. There’s no doubt about that. As an east coast girl, coming out here is like coming to a different planet. It’s dry and sunny and beautiful and deserty and awesome. I’d never been lucky enough to end up in Western Colorado before, and got in a little early after I left the DNC in Charlotte. It was a wise decision.
When I first got in, I was like, holy cow, what do people do here? I drove from the airport in my rental and was pretty underwhelmed. Then I actually went out and explored after I checked in and finished up a little work.
Thursday nights in Grand Junction, they do a farmer’s market downtown, but it’s not just food. They sell crafts, clothes, produce, and just about anything you can think of. There was live music and the street was lined with cute little shops and restaurants (including a real live record shop!). At the recommendation of the guy at the front desk of the Fairfield Inn, I went to a microbrewery and had a good little beer called the Widowmaker Wheat. Totally good and light, and perfect for the dry heat.
Before I left, I ran into a ranger from the Colorado National Monument park. She told me about this place that was roughly 10 minutes from where we were. After my lunch break the next day, I decided to go for a drive. This is what I found.
Colorado National Monument Park
So I know this was a couple weeks ago… forgive me for the delay. Here’s a recap of the rest of the trip.
I started my second day in the city by heading into Penn Station to meet up with a friend. The plan was to go to the Empire State Building and take pictures. That was quickly derailed when I got a phone call saying that there was a shooting a few blocks away and I shouldn’t move. So, I waited for things to calm down and went to Top of the Rock to take photos there instead. That tiny black dot up by the spire? Helicopter.
From Top of the Rock, shortly after the shooting at the Empire State Building.
I really do love this place.
I don’t understand it. It’s completely overwhelming and awesome. I would never live here. But it’s amazing. The Capitol of the World.
Times Square. It isn’t REALLY crooked.
The energy here is undeniable. Creativity and color and light everywhere – I totally dig it. For an ADHD kid like myself, it’s overstimulating. Which is likely why I’m awake at 2am recapping everything, despite being up at 5am and walking all day. And then walking more. But it’s totally okay because I’m pretty sure I took roughly 48739 pictures and began my mission of eating my way across the city.
I’m so sick of bully politicians pretending that they know more about my body and what my health care needs are than I do.
Out of touch men should not try to address how a woman’s body reacts to rape unless they are a doctor… and I’m pretty sure that Ron Paul is the only high profile elected official that is also a gynecologist. He’s also the only one who seems to have been able to keep his mouth shut regarding Todd Akin. For this I am grateful, because I’d be highly uncomfortable with Uncle Ron discussing girly bits.
To clarify: I don’t believe that men should be silent on all things regarding women and their health. They have wives, sisters, mothers and daughters – they should be invested in their rights and their well being. Issues like abortion and birth control clearly impact the male population in a significant way.
Sometimes, however, it is prudent to not speak about something you cannot fully understand. Rape is generally one of those times. It’s pretty simple messaging: You are against rape, you support women who have been raped, and you do not differentiate between different kinds. This is abortion politics 101. Rape bad. The end. Speaking as a woman who has also been a rape victim, I do not want to hear a man who clearly has no idea what he’s talking about discussing how my body reacts in that situation. It’s not helpful. In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite.
There have been many comparisons to rape gaffes from Joe Biden, etc. Fine. Joe Biden is an idiot. That’s a pretty low bar to set for a candidate, and anyone who claims to be a conservative should be better than that. This is also not an opportunity for pro-lifers to take a stand and flex their muscle. Todd Akin was not voicing a pro-life view. He was spewing nonsense and had no facts to back himself up. It was offensive. It was vile.
He should be better than this, and being utterly uneducated on such a basic issue is unacceptable at best. He needs to go.
It kind of feels like it. I mean, I get that it’s Florida in the summer and that’s kind of how it works, but it was killin’ me. It did hold off while we shopped at the country’s largest outdoor mall. At least that’s what the cabby said. I just bought make up and cat eye sunglasses so I didn’t explore too much.
Jacksonville is a weird little place. On our way out, a co-worker referred to it as “where people go to die” – not because it wasn’t pretty or anything, but because there was an overwhelming amount of hospitals, insurance companies, assorted medical facilities, and yes, funeral homes.
The Landing was adorable, though, and we enjoyed our night at the Chicago Pizzeria. Surprisingly good pizza, and the lightning show over the river was really cool. I thoroughly enjoyed the storm from under the covered patio.
We did manage to break away from the conference on Friday and catch dinner at the Chart House, and it was delightful. Apparently it’s a chain, but it’s one I’d never been to, and after several people pointed us in that direction, we decided it was worth a shot. We weren’t disappointed – the lobster bisque was maybe the best I’ve ever had in my life. Not exaggerating.
That was followed by a riverboat cruise with the Governor of Florida, which was really cool. We took off from the landing and spent about an hour on the boat. It was incredibly hot and sticky at the beginning but the breeze took care of that quickly – it was gorgeous.
I have a thing for bridges.