So shortly before the drill was scheduled to start, I left the building. (There were already quite a few people waiting in the lot, which demonstrates why announcing a fire drill in advance sort of defeats the purpose of having the drill in the first place.) But instead of heading to my designated spot in the parking lot, I took out my Blackberry and sent an e-mail to my group monitor informing him of my whereabouts, and set off for the Senate side of Capitol Hill.
I no longer work on Capitol Hill, but I still bank there. I rarely need to go to the bank -- most everything can be done online, over the phone, or via mail -- but today I had a check I wanted to cash. And my current office is just over a mile away from a branch of my bank, so the fire drill provided a good excuse to hike over there.
What a beautiful day for a walk! Spring is really the best possible time to be in Washington DC. The sky is virtually cloudless, and a light breeze from the west is keeping the temperature at an exceedingly comfortable level. The cherry trees are still in bloom, and the countless flower beds that surround the Capitol grounds have exploded in a dazzling array of colors. Not even the Jersey barriers and heightened police presence can detract from the beauty.
After I finished up at the bank, I stopped off to see my friend Kevin, with whom I used to work many years ago. I didn't intend to do anything more than say hello, but he suggested we grab some lunch and eat in the park between the Capitol and Union Station. Sounded good to me! Not only did it afford the opportunity to spend some time with Kevin, whom I'd not seen in a couple of months, it also gave us a chance to feast our eyes on the beautiful scenery. By which I mean, of course, pretty young women, of which there are an astonishingly large number working on Capitol Hill. Shallow, I know, but at least I admit it.