Wednesday, September 9, 2015


In a previous entry, I mentioned that I did some travelling, and that I'd update everyone on those travels.  Well, I'm finally doing it.  It's already been almost a month!

In mid-August, I took a week off of work.  During that week, I took trips to Richmond, Va (Fri-Sun); Washington DC (Mon); southern Delaware (Weds-Thu); and to Camden, NJ (Fri).  I've already written about the trip to southern Delaware to see my parents:  find that HERE.  Now, I'm going to write about the rest.

The trip to Richmond was to visit my dear friend Ally.  She invited me to her birthday party, and, as I missed the last year's, I was determined to attend this one.  I drove down Friday morning, arriving after a seven hour trip (lots of traffic south of Washington DC.)  After freshening up a bit, we went to Jay and Ally's favorite watering hole, Barcode.  Many of their friends were there, and as always, Ally was flitting about the room.  I had nice conversations with several people.  There was another transperson there.  Her name is Kelly, and we spoke for a bit.  She was a perfectly charming southern lady.

With Ally at Barcode

The next day, I had plans.  Hayden was supposed to arrive by bus around noon, and Ally and I would go collect him from the bus station.  I then planned to go to Hollywood Cemetery and see all the famous people there.  But Hayden's bus was delayed... and delayed... and delayed.  So I waited.  It was nearly 3:30 when he finally arrived.  By then, it was far too late to go to the cemetery and still make the beginning of the party.

I kept asking what I could do, but was told "nothing."  Jay and Ally put together a marvelous spread of food, and Hayden arraigned the veggie plate.  It all looked so good!  (and it was good too!)

Almost Ready!

The party was simply magical.  I met many wonderful people, and re-made acquaintances with many more that I'd met previously.  As I sat in the living room, I saw a knot of guys in front of the bar.  They were discussing... Interior Decorating!  I commented that you could tell it was an LGBT party when guys hanging at the bar weren't discussing sports or women or cars... but Decorating.  Many of them laughed.

Party pic!

I spent a good part of the evening having a friendly discussion with a gay man who was head of the college republicans at UVA.  He was born rich, always had servants, never wanted for a thing in his life.  He said he was sad that for birthday parties, the servants would run the party while his mother drank cocktails in another room.  Yes, that IS sad, but I'm sorry- no sympathy.  I countered his points, and we were quite civil.  He said he couldn't imagine life without money and privilege, and I said THAT'S why you're a republican, despite the party hating [him.]  There is a picture of us speaking together, but as I don't have his permission, I won't post it.

Party Time!

Ally was in her element.  Everyone sang Happy Birthday and she was almost in tears.  The biggest surprise of the night was when one of Ally's daughters arrived.  She was gorgeous- just like Ally!

I went to bed around 1 AM.  I understand the party continued far far later.

The next morning, I woke up, had breakfast, and got on the road.  I offered to take Hayden back to Baltimore as it was on my way.  He was pleasant company on the ride.  After a long day of driving, I arrived back in Pennsylvania, and retired early.  The next day would be another long trip.  You see, on my way home from Richmond, I passed by Washington DC.  And I thought about how long it had been since I'd been there last- a decade at least. My roomie, Linda Lewis used to work on airplanes and has a passion for outer space.  Seriously- she studies the space program like it's her job.  So I figured- hey- Linda is off, we should go down to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.  She readily agreed.

I woke up early the next morning.  Linda, always an early riser, was already awake, dressed, made up and on her third or fourth coffee by the time I awoke.  I showered, shaved, did my makeup, and we were on our way!

I used to live in Baltimore, so I knew a little trick.  As it's VERY hard (and very expensive) to find parking in downtown DC, I parked just inside the beltway, and we took the train into the city.  Parking there and the train cost far less than parking in the city, and as a bonus, I didn't have to drive in the city!

Linda waits for the train

As we exited the subway at the Smithsonian station, we were accosted by a man "giving away" maps.  We politely said "no thanks."  He replied "Why don't you want a map, SIR?"  I glared at him.

It was a SUPER hot day, and by the time we'd walked the several blocks to the museum, we were both soaked with sweat.  The air conditioning inside the museum felt SO GOOD!

We spent several hours at the museum.  I knew more about the war planes than Linda, but her knowledge of the space stuff was simply astounding!  She knew what everything was without even reading any displays!  Having her there really added to a wonderful learning experience.  I posted many pictures on Facialbook.  I may post some on Flickr.  I'll only post a few here.

Apollo 11 Command Module

Naval Aviation Exhibit

Left: Voyager; Right: New Horizons (its twin is currently orbiting Pluto)

Linda and I in front of Viking Mars lander.  Upper right is the Spirit of St. Louis

We couldn't see Zefram Chochrane's warp ship, the Phoenix, as it was being restored or something to do with the space time continuum.  The original model was being restored as well.  It normally lives in the lower level of the Smithsonian Gift shop.

 It was late afternoon, and we'd seen most exhibits at least twice when we decided to head home.  We made a video in front of the museum, then walked to the train station.  It was a long trip back, but we finally arrived.

The next trip was Southern Delaware, but, as I stated above, I've already written about this.  I got home from there in the afternoon.  The next morning, Friday, I awoke, got ready, and drove with Linda into Philadelphia to pick up our prescriptions for HRT.  We then drove home as fast as possible, as Wife and Daughter were waiting.  Wife took off work that day so we could go to the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ, across the river from Philadelphia.  We had a wonderful time, and even had a family picture done.  Daughter rushed us through the first part of the museum, over-eager for Wife and I to see something  (she'd been to the aquarium previously with day camp).  And when we got there, she was so happy.  It was an underwater tube, around which were swimming many sharks.  She was so enthusiastic about this, and actually about the whole trip in general.  Maybe someday she'll be a marine biologist?

I took some pictures, but they all have Daughter in them, so I'm not going to post them.

It was a very tiring week, but also a productive one.  I was able to see friends and family and accomplish some important things.

But since then, it's been back to work.  Retail... and Christmas is coming...

Be well!

1 comment:

  1. Sophie -

    Sadly, people like you and I will always be at risk for being misgendered due to the shape of our faces. Hairlines, brow ridges, jaw lines, nose widths, are the problem. I hope that one day we (on our own) can afford the facial surgeries to help make them more feminine and less masculine. (I'm assuming you may want to do this for purpose of discussion - if you don't, that's fine too....)

    It's too bad that we couldn't have been treated for being TG before puberty, so that we'd have blocked the wrong puberty until we could (as adults) confirm the puberty we should have. We'd have had many fewer problems. Sadly, we'd have never have met our spouses - I'm not sure if I'd have given up knowing my late wife for the sake of having the appropriate feminine body. Again, that's the type of decision that only we could make as individuals....