Described as “straightforward American cuisine” with “inspired and imaginative combinations of fresh ingredients reflecting our country’s rich cultural diversity,” it’s an elegant choice for a late lunch. Considering that it’s right across the street from our next adventure, the location is perfect. I opt for the lobster mac & cheese, just because I can. Maine lobster, fontina cheese, asparagus spears . . . yum. Jill chose the salmon BLT (with avocado mayo) and Paula, bemoaning the lack of a taco salad, went with the handmade burger. It was all delicious.
Over lunch, as our next stop is the International Spy Museum, we decide to choose spy names. I went with “Natasha” in honor of my old friends Rocky & Bullwinkle. Jill is Sophie and Paula, Scarlet. Armed with new identities, we decide to skip dessert (shocking, I know) and head to the museum for an afternoon of intrigue.
Once inside, we realize our plotting and planning was for naught—we’re assigned a spy profile and given 5 minutes to memorize details of our cover (name, age, place of birth, destination, etc.) before we’re allowed to proceed into the exhibit area. (How fun is that?!) I was even stopped by the museum “police” later and questioned about my identity. I think I managed to avoid blowing my cover, but I’m not sure…I eventually made it out alive, so I think I can claim to be a successful operative.
The exhibits are amazing…it’s like being in Q’s lab with James Bond. (Well, not exactly like that… I mean, Jill and Paula are my friends, but they’re no Pierce Brosnan, if you know what I mean.) We learn the stories of spymasters from Moses to Harriet Tubman, Elizabeth I to George Washington, Cardinal Richelieu to Joseph Stalin—all of whom relied on intelligence to be effective leaders. My favorite had to be the section on D-Day and all that went into making it a success.
Playing spy was grand fun, but did confirm I was right not to take that job with the CIA. I really did interview with them once, many years ago, but I was thinking analyst and they were thinking agent…and since I absolutely hate keeping secrets, that was never going to work.
We round off the evening with an Old Town Trolley Monuments by Moonlight tour. After all, the last time Jill was here she hardly got to see a thing (other than Nancy Pelosi at the opera). The tour is a great way to sit and see the sights, and while it’s a little cloudy for much moonlight, the government has done a fine job with their landscape lighting, so it’s a lovely view whatever the weather. It’s good to end the day with a relaxing trolley ride, because tomorrow we have a lot of walking to do. Until then . . .