Patriotic Sunbeams and the Jefferson Sandwich

I was most blessed to have the opportunity to visit my sister “Loretta” in Virginia, and especially to be able to visit Washington D.C. on September 10. Yes, the day before the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

We had an amazing visit! Her kids loved the crayon rolls. (See previous post.)

Her husband, I’ll call him “JimBob”, made dinner that first night I was there. Too late I realized that I should have photographed the meal. My camera was right there too. Duh. “Loretta’s” coworker gave her FRESH brook trout from the Chesapeake Bay. “JimBob” baked it with a flavorful seasoning and served it with rice and mixed vegetables that were steamed to perfection. I had, *cough*, three helpings.

The next day we drove to the Washington D.C. Latter Day Saint temple. It was glorious. Afterwards, her ward Relief Society (women’s group) served lunch on the beautiful grounds. Enter the Jefferson sandwich.

Sadly, I couldn’t remember how to get the macro setting on my camera, so the photo is unforgivably blurry. But I will describe it to you in such a way that your mouth will water and you will feel an immediate need to drive to the grocery to purchase the ingredients.

"The Jefferson"

A fresh baguette, crisp lettuce, herbed mayonaisse, premium turkey (deli sliced, of course), whole cranberry sauce spread. This was the perfect blend of savory, sweet and tangy. The first bite was a satisfying crunchy chewy taste of turkey and sauce. Subsequent bites revealed the delicate flavor of herbed mayo. I believe it had fresh dill in it, among other tasty herbs. The mayo was creamy; the meat was fresh, the cranberry sauce was delectable. Thank you, lady who made the sandwiches. They were the perfect way to start our foray into the Capitol.

What an incredible day. On a whim and the chance for free parking, we visited the Pentagon Memorial. I wish I had words to describe the intensity we felt visiting that hallowed ground. My photos won’t do it justice either. Suffice it to say, we were among angels, both living and dead. Some of the visitors clearly had loved ones  who died there. The Memorial was tasteful and solemn, heartwrenching in its beauty and symbolism. And dear readers, it’s lit up at night. I simply can’t tell you what it felt like to be there and to remember being dumbfounded and horrified on 9/11 at the events of that day. I learned that I still have some anger issues, and I will leave it at that.

Many benches had fresh flowers.

Every bench has a pool of water.

Sunlight plays off the ripples on every wing

All 134 innocents are memorialized in stone and water and light

And let’s lighten the mood a little. After that memorial, we shopped at Macy’s and had vanilla Cokes at Johnny Rocket’s. Rode the metro and spied on possible terrorists. Walked, actually, HOOFED it, all over the National Mall. I never dreamed I would get to see all of the National monuments at this time in my life. Loretta spoiled me rotten. She also forced me to walk faster than I wanted, but that is a different story. I got to see the Lincoln Memorial, the WWII Memorial, the Washington Monument, the White House, the Capitol Building, the Smithsonian, the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial and the reflecting swamp. (It’s under construction, oh well.) Then we attended a small ceremony at the Air Force Memorial and got to hear some of the back story on the design and funding of the Pentagon Memorial. It was apropos to end the day there. The moon was out; it was a beautiful night. My dinky camera simply could not capture the majesty of the Air Force Memorial, but we tried.

We watched the moon rise during the ceremony

With the possible exception of the war memorials, the monuments really come alive at night. (We didn’t see the WWII or Vietnam Memorials at night. Anyone else?)  The dark back drop combined with the illumination of spotlights renders these solid structures into molten, lambent sculptures. It’s breathtaking.

I shed many tears that day in remembrance of those who died at the hands of radical Muslims, but also for those who have died defending my life, my liberty, my sacred honor, my country, my parents, my lifestyle, my family, my home, my religion and my children. I honor them. I thank people wearing military uniforms whenever I get the chance. I put my hand on my heart when the man who calls the soccer game puts the scratchy recording of the national anthem on the broadcast system. I worship at my church. I teach my kids to be nice to everyone. I love my country, and I pray to God that He preserves us as we try to be worthy to call the country our own.

And I love a country that invents restaurants that make unbelievable food. For example, Cafe Rio.

Try NOT to drink the cilantro sauce right out of the cup.

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