- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 3, 2002

Washington-area residents made the best yesterday of a soggy unofficial last weekend of summer.
"We would have gone hiking, but the kids said it was too wet," said Liz Rose, who was standing in the hourlong line to visit the District's International Spy Museum with three children. "The museum is the perfect rainy-day activity."
The line for the museum wrapped around Ninth Street NW for most of the hazy afternoon. The museum, which has been welcoming about 3,000 visitors daily since its opening last month, saw the same large crowds this weekend, museum spokeswoman Jennifer Saxon said.
Silver Spring resident Debora Woods brought her family to the Air and Space Museum on her day off.
"We hardly ever get to come downtown because we work every day," Mrs. Woods said. She had planned indoor activities along the Mall with her husband and two children for most of Labor Day afternoon.
But though the city's museums were packed, street vendors said business was slow.
"Not a lot of customers today," said Hamayoon Kabir, who operates a soda-and-chips stand on Independence Avenue. "Maybe they will come later, but now nothing. They are probably watching TV."
A group of four miniature golfers at Upton Hill Regional Park in Arlington refused to let the threat of rain ruin their holiday, though they would have preferred a splashier end to their summer.
Josh Blanchard said the last weekend of summer was a disappointment. "It should have been 85 and sunny," Mr. Blanchard said, waving his golf club. Mr. Blanchard, a 24-year-old Arlington resident, said he had planned a trip to Kings Dominion but that the others in his group voted to stay closer to home because of the threat of rain.
"This isn't as much of a risk," Mr. Blanchard's friend, Lindsay Sikora, said. "Think if you drive five minutes and it rains versus if you drive two hours and it rains."
Though the miniature golf course was packed and a thick crowd was smacking pitches in batting cages next door, the park's swimming pool, which usually sees about 300 swimmers on its last day, was almost deserted.
Pool officials said people make plans in the morning and that when they see an overcast sky, they don't plan on swimming.
"It's been pretty quiet around here," General Manager Julie Kutruff said. "We would usually get a lot more business than this, but it was overcast this morning."
Rainy conditions forced the pool to close Sunday. Yesterday, the handful of lifeguards spent their last workday socializing and twirling their whistles near an empty pool.
On the other side of the Beltway, the Renaissance Fair crowd in Davidsonville, Md., was about the same as last year, according to J.R. Scott, a Rehoboth Beach, Del., resident who spent Labor Day in a full-length medieval "wanderers" robe.
"We were glad for the rain because it kept the dust down," Mr. Scott said. "There's so much dust from the jousting and people walking around, but rain made it nice," he said, referring to Sunday.
"It's been one of the better years we've had," he said.
The National Weather Service said more rain is likely tomorrow, when forecasters say the region could see thunderstorms.

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