PJ and I spent four days last week in Washington D.C. I was attending the conference of the National Collegiate Honors Council, and PJ was doing a little work at the Library of Congress.

D.C. is one of the first cities that PJ and I visited together in the 1990s. In retrospect, it’s a great “first city” to visit: if you stay downtown, the city is fairly easy to navigate by foot, car, and/or metro. And it’s difficult now to believe how accessible all of the government buildings were before 9/11. My first memory of being at the Capitol is that we practically just walked right in — we went through a metal detector, but that was about it. Today, everything’s much more secure.

We drove over, which took about 6 hours. The mountains of West Virginia and Maryland were gorgeous. The autumnal landscape was breath-taking with its combinations of reds, browns, yellows, greens, and oranges. Just outside of D.C. it started to drizzle a bit, but overall it was a fairly easy drive.

Because of the drizzle, I didn’t take any pictures the first evening we were there. The next morning, PJ and I walked over to the Capitol before parting ways: he walked on to the Library of Congress while I visited the National Art Gallery before heading back to our hotel to attend a conference session.