Friday, July 29, 2016

Sailing on the Potomac

In the world of law firms, the companies (at least the larger ones) wine and dine the summer associates as a way to entice these law students to choose them as a workplace upon graduation. By wine and dine I really mean dine and trip. Can I use "trip" to mean "take on trips"?

Apparently, when the economy was booming, back in the early 2000s, law firms (especially the New York ones) planned really extravagant adventures. This might be a myth, but when I a law student, I heard that one law firm gave their summer associates $5,000 to spend in 48 hours. Crazy, right? The lavishness has calmed down, for the better I think, but the free lunches and dinners and events still happen.

This year, my firm took our summer associates on a sailing trip on the Potomac and invited a few of us regulars to join. I quickly signed up (because, obviously). The boat was smaller than I expected -- which now that I think about it makes sense because it was, after all, a sail boat -- but for some reason I was expecting more of a big boat, something sturdy. Really, I was hoping that it would be a bigger boat because I was afraid I'd get seasick.

The last time I was on a boat (whale watching in San Diego), I got so nauseous I had to lie down the entire time. Which wasn't as bad, since no whales surfaced that day. So, I didn't miss anything. But I knew I couldn't really lie down on the boat this time if I got nauseous, because, you know, it was full of people I work with. That would've been embarrassing.

But it sounded like a cool (and free!) trip, so I went anyway.

Sailing ended up being a lot of fun. The breeze felt really nice, and I tried to face forward most of the time, so no headache and no nausea. Although, every time a boat passed us and we got its waves, I could feel the equilibrium in my inner ear freaking out. I guess it makes sense that waves cause motion sickness, it just never occurred to me for some reason. But thankfully, aside from the occasional pesky passersby, the river was calm and gentle.

Is there anything not to love about the sky, the water, the sun? Such beauty we are blessed with as inhabitants of this planet.

And manmade beauty. I love the Washington Monument. I love seeing it from all different points of the city. I love when I turn a street corner, and it appears unexpectedly. It's simple and strong and it grounds me. It's a constant. It's a reminder of home, even if home has only been home for a little while. I suppose this is how Parisians might feel about the Eiffel Tower.

So there we were. Sailing on the Potomac, watching the sun set on this gorgeous city, colors changing from blue to orange to pink.

A really neat part of this adventure was seeing the houseboats. How do you get electricity to them?! It's amazing. And they look so cute and cozy. Maybe a riverboat is in my future...

(Oh, side note. Instead of boardwalks or waterfront condos, one side of the river is peppered with military housing and CIA/FBI-and-who-knows-what-else structures. There were a couple giant buildings that had no widows whatsoever. Why would you put a windowless building on the river bank?? Just wasteful, if you ask me.)

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