The phone really didn't wake me but it tried hard enough. When I finally came around
it was to the sound of Valma talking to somebody and after a few moments I realised
that it was Pete Weaton. They were discussing the fact that Alexis Gilliland was
waiting for us downstairs and that we had obviously slept in a little bit. We packed
up all the accumulated mess quickly enough, very quickly we might have said under
normal circumstances but we still seemed to take a long time about it. When we had
almost finished Alexis rang and asked us if we were ready. "Almost" we replied and
a little while later we were down in the lobby with all our stuff. There were a lot
of other people standing around with their luggage as well, the last remnants of the
convention. We stood around for a while chatting with Robin Johnson who had offered
to re-arrange our flights for the rest of the trip, giving him last minute instruct-
    The Gfllilands' car isn't terribly large but somehow Valma and Pete and I all
managed to stack our luggage and ourselves into it and Alexis took us out of the
gates of the hotel and through the streets of Washington. Our first destination of
the day was the Washington Monument and the drive to there from the hotel was an
educational (to pick a word out of the hat) one since I had hardly seen any of the
city in the time we'd been there. The city looked little different from any other,
the wooden planking over the road where they are building their subway was amusing
and the lowness of the buildings seemed unusual until Alexis pointed out that by law
nothing is allowed to be higher than the Capitol within the District of Columbia.
only exception to this rule is the Washington monument which was constructed before
the law was thought of and I suppose that in a way it is very apt. From a distance
the monument looks like a tall thin needle, I had been at a loss to place it when the
name was mentioned but when it came into view I realised that I'd already seen it in
more than enough films. Still, when we parked the car and walked up to it I was
staggered by the size of it, at the base it is a massive structure and when you stand
right next to it you tend to forget how high it is. This little mental omission was
very rapidly put to rights when we entered the lift which rune up the centre of the
monument and were carried up to the observation deck at the top. It cost us about
ten cents to ride up in the lift (which is the only way to get up since they closed
off the stairs), we had to stand in a queue for a little while but being a Tuesday
there was no great crowd of visitors.
                               On the way up a tape recorded voice told us
some 'interesting facts' about the monument but they instantly fled from my mind when
the doors opened st the top and we crowded around the little observation windows while
Alexis pointed out various interesting things. Peering through the windows is a very
quick and effective lesson in the geography of that part of the city. In one
direction there was the Capitol, in the opposite the Lincoln Memorial and the Pool of
remembrance. Off to one side was a little two storied building which was the White
house and off to the other side was a large lake and the Jefferson Memorial. Over in
the distance was the airport, I had read a lot about it being very closed in and
the problems they were having in trying to operate it properly but before I had never
quite understood what had been meant. One glance at the little airport and the land
around it filled in the picture completely. As we all watched an aeroplane took off
and flew past the Monument. It was a long way away but clearly we were way above it
from our vantage point.
                   On our way back to the parked car we met Bruce Pelz and a
couple of other LA fans who were on their way to the monument. We talked for a couple
of minutes but it was not surprising that we happened to meet, with DISCON over there
must have been many fans out exploring the places of interest and it is a wonder that
we didn't bump into more of them later.
                                 Everybody has heard of the Smithsonian
Institute, I suppose it must be the most well known museum in the world if it could
be called a museum. I don't know what else it could be called but the word just