Sunday, October 4, 2015

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Well, as you know, we won the Your Voice Your Ad contest, thanks to the help of a lot of friends voting for my ad.
As you may recall the prize was a trip to D.C. and lunch with Bill Bennett.
I've looked forward to this for a while.

We drove to D.C. and arrived Tuesday afternoon to check in at the Hilton Garden Inn on 14th an H streets. After settling in, we went looking for a place to eat.
We got intimidated by the pricey restaurants  surrounding the hotel and found a nice sandwich shop called Cosi's which offered soup and salad to Scherie and a pizza to me. Good food.

It was cold and rainy most of the trip and that night in particular, so we walked back to the hotel, watched some TV and crashed.

The next day we met Cathina and her family (her mom Tamma, husband Gabe and five year old son Spencer), Bill Bennett, Chris Beach (his producer), Scott Noble (the campaign creator) and his lifelong friend Jeff Weak.
Scott Noble heads Noble Royalties  and Jeff is a former standup comedian who does presentation work for Scott. I cannot begin to tell you how down to earth these guys are.

Scott, Tamma, Ed, Scherie, Bill, Jeff, Spencer, Gabe, Cathina and Chris

Lunch was fabulous. We ate at Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab in a private dining room.
It must have cost a fortune.
Stone Crab Legs, Calimari, Shrimp were passed around as appetizers, and following the urging of my host, I ordered swordfish. When I lived in Italy, I would drive down the coast, sit on a table on the beach and order a swordfish for about $1.50. Around Ypsilanti it's about $20 for one the size of a pork chop. What I got was about 2" thick, 4" wide and 6" long. Vegetables were passed around family style.
The staff was wonderful (thanks Anthony and Jorge!).
Bill asked each of us to tell something about ourselves and it was very interesting.
He recounts it here.

We talked politics and motivation for awhile and then Bill left.
After Bill left, Scott gave us a presentation that he had given Carly Fiorina a couple days before (with Ladisa and Rachel) showing the effectiveness of the Your Voice Your Ad campaign in audience targeting and ROI (Return On Investment) for campaign dollars.
Scott said that if candidates expected him to support their campaign, he wanted them to make the most use of that money and campaign effectively using data from Your Voice Your Ad.
We then discussed Scott's presentation and how we might to continue to help him.
After a couple hours of that, we left Joe's.
Scherie and I walked to the White House, the Treasury Building and the Washington Monument.

But after a while, I was looking forward to resting a bit and continuing the next day.
In retrospect, we should have gone that evening to see the Lincoln Memorial lit up at night.
It was the last of the not raining weather.

The next day, we were given a tour of the capitol by Cmdr. Eddie Pritchert, the defense adviser to Sen. Jeff Sessions, arranged by Bill's assistant Noreen (thanks Noreen!).

When that was done, Scherie and I went to visit the Library of Congress.

Where we ran in to Cathina and her family.

(Thank God for that "panoramic" function)

And then we went to dinner in the hotel.
Where we ran in to Cathina and her family.
It was raining and so after dinner, we retired to our room.

The next day, Friday, we awoke and due to some issues from work I had to deal with, we got a late start. We skipped breakfast and began looking for an early lunch.
We found it at Old Ebbitt Grill.
It was around the corner, and although more expensive than Applebees, it was worth every penny for the food, service and ambiance.

When we were leaving, as I stood up I dropped my umbrella. I bent to pick it up and as I was standing, a gentleman in a suit thanked me. I was confused and I asked what for? His thanks was for our having eaten there. I asked if he was a manager, and he said yes, whereupon I told him of the great service we had and thanked him for having us.

We then left and got a cab for the Lincoln Memorial. We had the driver drop us at the WWII Memorial which is at the opposite end of the Reflecting Pool from The Lincoln Memorial.

Which we walked along.

And to.

And looking out, you see this:

Having done all that, we went back to our room and got warm, got the car, and drove to dinner to meet MR. and MRS.AOW and Old NFO!
We had dinner, swapped stories and got to know each other on a more personal note.
I was very impressed with our company, bright and knowledgeable and personable.
Old NFO gave us each a Challenge Coin and Mrs. AOW a copy of one of his books.
How nice to put a voice and face to each blogger.

When that was done we drove back to the hotel to leave the next day.
We were supposed to visit with our son Josh in lower Virginia on Saturday, but he called us and warned us off because of the flooding. It was sad, because one of the reasons we drove to D.C. (instead of fly) was to drive down and see him, But we'll take another opportunity later.

All in all, we didn't see everything we had hoped to, but we hope to try again, maybe next year.
I have to say, we took more cabs than we thought we would, but every cab driver we had spoke English well, was personable and helpful.
Especially Alan Moore, a former Nation of Islam adherent, who engaged us in conversation regarding our mutual Savior. What a blessing to talk to him.

If you are still reading this, thanks for sticking around.
And once again, thanks for the support that allowed us to do all this.


  1. Great post Ed. I enjoyed reading it and the pictures.

    Congratulations of winning the ad campaign.

  2. Great to finally meet y'all, and I'm glad you had a great time (minus the rain)...

  3. Great reading about your trip. Enjoyed the pics. Glad to have my neighbor back home.

  4. Sounds like a wonderful trip, and a great experience. Congrats on winning, btw.

  5. Ed,
    You took in a lot of sights -- even if you did have to slog through the monsoon here.

    Mr. AOW and I enjoyed meeting you and Scherie. If you return to the D.C. area, let's get together again.

  6. Glad the you decided to visit the Library of Congress. Visitors to D.C. often overlook visiting there. Mistake! It's a glorious place!

    1. Glorious. That's the word. What a gem!
      I never would have guessed.

  7. Ed, so good to read the details of your wonderful trip. Well deserved.

    1. Now, back to the grind. But good memories!

  8. It all sounds just wonderful....what an exciting few days! And then to meet Mr and Mrs AOW, too...great! So glad you made so many fabulous memories.

    Did you get a story on what changed the cab driver Alan from Nation of Islam to Christianity? Very cool!

    Thanks for the beautiful pictures and great details.

    1. He realized that the "blue-eyed devils weren't all bad, and wondered what else was he lied to about.
      Then he began to challenge their whacko teachings of how whites and blacks separated as races.
      Going into the army also exposed him to other views.
      Eventually came to embrace Christianity and Christ.
      I was looking up Nation of Islam to make sure I was straight about some stuff and found that Louis Farrakhan is leading them in to Scientology!

    2. Scientology? There's a leap....fascinating.

  9. Ed, Fantastic post and loved the pics. I do have one area of concern...

    " I bent to pick it (umbrella) up and as I was standing, a gentleman in a suit thanked me."

    Have you checked for your wallet since then? You were in D.C. after all.

    1. I carried little cash. I was more concerned about the devil stealing my soul while I was in his hometown :)

  10. Awesome. LOVE IT when good things happen to good people!

    And thank you for what you do to try and do something, ANYTHING, about what's happening to our once great country.


    1. Freddy! It's so good to hear from you!
      I hope all is well.
      If you blog again, email me please.

  11. I was wondering when Bill was going to pay up.

    Sounds like you packed in quite a bit.

    1. And they gave us a debit card for incidentals, besides.
      Good stuff.

  12. Welcome to the DC area. Sounds like you had a great time. If you get the chance to come again, Arlington National Cemetery is a don't miss. Rain or shine.

  13. What was Dr. Bennett's take on the upcoming presidential contest?

    Glad to see you enjoyed yourself.

    1. We asked.
      Bill wouldn't tip his hand to us as to a preference except he would not want to see Hillary, Bernie, or Joe in office again.