Friday, April 5, 2013

Travel, Housing and Work Update

Well, it's been a ridiculous week for Summit 5, but we're now ensconced in what will hopefully be our permanent housing for this spike. My red bag is unpacked, clothes are in the drawer, books are on a makeshift bookshelf, Red Menace (my Frisbee) is on the table and the Battlestar Galactica flag is on the wall. Feels like home already, or at least like New York.

Brief backstory on our adventures: In Vicksburg, my team was initially told we'd be living and working in Washington, D.C. Then we were told we'd be moving to Jessup, Maryland, which is not a big city (under 9,000 population) but was close enough to D.C. for it not to matter. We set out to Rivendell Jessup on Tuesday, intending to get there Thursday, but were told to take an extra travel day, so we stopped in Luray, Virginia, in the middle of the Shenandoah Valley. We got to an EconoLodge in Frederick (MD) last night, and were told we'd be working instead in Virginia, in the National Processing Service Center in Winchester. After much grumbling, we finally got our permanent housing earlier today, in an Extended Stay Motel in Frederick. (Early on in the program, my friends and I mused that the whole NCCC program was really just a deferred subsidy for Wal-Mart, where we spent all of our food money. Now I know better. It's a sop to Extended Stay.)

So yeah. I was initially not happy with this, because I love D.C. and cherish it and was really looking forward to staying there, and because our original assignment had been to work at Headquarters instead of a NPSC. However, the extended stay is nice and we're staying with three other teams, so that's a thing. Our hotel is away from the freeway, which is nice, and right near a large mall-like entity with restaurants and a movie theater and a suit store should we need emergency good looks. It's only an hour to D.C. and there's a rental car place in town, so I'll be able to go to Cleveland for minimal cost next weekend (job interview-excitement!).

Beyond that, I have little information on what we're going to be doing or how long it might last. We just spent the day in Baltimore, though, and I found it extremely nice. They have a great waterfront--there's a Civil War frigate, a World War II submarine and a reasonably modern cutter there to be seen, as well as tons of restaurants and an aquarium and a Barnes & Noble built out of some kind of old factory, plus a fleet of dragon boats sitting in the harbor. (Pedal-pushers. John, Katrina, Malinda and I rented one and had both some fun and a workout--those things are hard to push!) I went to an old used bookstore and picked up Bruce Catton's Civil War in three volumes, The Forever War (which I'd been meaning to read for, well, ever), and a copy of The Return of the King. I have owned that since I was in elementary school, but having just read Fellowship and Towers and without a copy of the third one handy, I'll gladly pay the three bucks rather than wait months to finish the story. Also picked up A Clash of Kings at Barnes & Noble because I haven't read that yet. That's the news from Frederick; see ya next time!

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