September 28, 2009 by Amy Elliott Bragg
We learned something
For one, that Grace Coolidge had a pet raccoon.
For two (after a discussion about the world’s cutest rodents), that raccoons are pretty biologically isolated – they’re not cats, dogs, bears, marsupials or rodents, but belong to the family procyonidae, which includes kinkajous and coatis and olingos and other nonsense animals.
We also learned about Chesapeake oysters, cod liver, whaling, lifeboat technology and container shipping; that James K. Polk sent his cabinet secretaries home one summer and answered all the mail himself; that Dwight D. Eisenhower took up painting after asking a portrait artist if he could try his hand at the brush; we considered moral relativism as it relates to the presidency of Andrew Jackson during the National Book Festival and the health of the academic press industry at lunch with the director of Georgetown Press.
We learned a lot in Washington D.C., and also drank a lot, walked a lot and visited with a lot of our friends.
More to come, but rest assured we’ve arrived home safely.