The title of this post is intentionally vague. This morning I joined a group leaving the academy for a tour of a certain five sided building associated with the military. Our tour was conducted by the police assigned to protect that building and our guide was generous with allowing us to take photographs in most locations. However, he requested we not post the photographs to social media such as facebook. As one of the class photographers, I am uploading all my shots for my classmates to download, so I am going to link to some of them here. I would ask my handful of readers not to repost any of the photos anywhere else; I will be deleting the images from this post (and the folder of images) when we graduate.
The weather this morning was typical “hurricane coming but a long way out”.” We left the academy at 0930 and arrived at our destination by 1000 or so. The traffic on I-95 was the lightest I have seen it since I arrived. The tour was excellent. We were there for three hours and I would have been delighted to have spent twice as long. I confess I had been ambivalent about this tour, thinking we would see a bunch of closed office doors and maybe a small museum or 9-11 memorial. As we arrived we could see Marine 1 taking off, I managed to capture a poor quality shot through the van window, I believe it was over the hotel Tracy, the kids, and I will be staying at next weekend.
They did have a 9-11 memorial, which was done very nicely, but even though this is a working building, it was like being in a museum. The hallways were full of art, dioramas, and displays. We went through it quickly enough that there was not enough time to read most of the display descriptions. It is an amazing building in size and scope; our guide said the official capacity on a workday is 23,000 people but in actuality, the number is a good bit higher. There are shops and eateries inside the building and the garden in the middle courtyard is quite attractive.
By the time we left, the storm was starting to kick up a bit more. The vans from the FBI Academy headed straight back; three car loads of us went with Pat, our fellow student from Thailand, to a Thai restaurant not far from the building we toured. The families that own the restaurant apparently have a long standing relationship with any Thai students at the academy. Pat stayed with them when he first arrived and they store supplies left by the last student for whoever follows him. They also brought enough food for international night to have fed all of us. BTW, Pat is not his real name, it is just the closest American diminutive of his name.
I did not have much experience with Thai cuisine and was a bit worried it would be spicy. I tried the cashew chicken, which was delicious. It was something like sesame chicken but better. Leaving there, we headed back to the academy. The drive back was gusty and the rain was coming down pretty good but it still was not worse than a typical FL rainstorm.
At this writing, Irene is still on the approach. The winds are probably thirty mph or so and the rain is steadily coming down. The crossroads are full with pocker, billiards, and ping pong games going. A couple of guys ran out earlier and rented movies to show in the forum; those start at 2000 so I need to wrap this up.