Sunday was to be our only day on tour entirely free of musical obligations. We breakfasted on blueberry bagels, fruits (for which our gastric systems were all very grateful), yoghurts and various toasts – our illustrious conductor managing to not so much toast his toast as entirely cremate it. It was a gorgeous day in Washington and we split up to do various gorgeous things; some went to explore the city while others began their day at the Museum of American Art, where we were lucky enough to see the recent Barack Obama portrait and a hallway made entirely out of fabric.
When in unknown cities, I always enjoy researching the best places to get lunch, which is normally a fairly successful approach but has also given mea reputationfor leading friends to restaurants which are unfortunately closed. Today’s search of the Internet had thrown up a barbecue restaurant in Columbia Heights, which is not very central, but I insisted that we go there anyway because that’s the kind of chap I am. Fortunately I was entirely vindicated in this, with Will Anderson declaring it ‘the best brisket I have ever had’, which somewhat tempered his earlier comment that I was ‘the worst friend he had ever had’.
We of course then needed to walk off the effect of several pounds of meat inside us, so we set off to take a turn round all the monuments that Washington has to offer. This was rather a stop-start process, as different members of the groups had to go to the toilet seemingly every ten minutes, but it did at least mean we were able to rest our weary feet every so often. It is currently cherry blossom season in DC (I had previously had no idea that this was a thing) and we were delighted to be able to walk through the blossoming trees for over a mile, before ending our day at the Museum of Air and Space (I can confirm that it is indeed full of both airs and spaces).
Our evening was spent at Nationals Park watching the Washington Nationals take on the mighty New York Mets at baseball. Cockney choral scholar Nick Cornforth tried his best to repurpose various Fulham football chants for the baseball with various degrees of success. Although not quite cricket (as it were) it was still immensely enjoyable and we were very sorry to see the Nationals lose by only one run (a point? a goal? Who knows). Do watch today’s video as it is full of exciting and stimulating content. No, honestly.