Having a cup of coffee and waiting out a squall on Tuesday, the 15th, I reflected back on the ten days since I’d rolled up in the ambulance with the beginnings of a cold that cramped my style for a few days. It could have been a real downer, but turned out to be one the of many gifts of the trip. The best part of that was getting to spend time with my daughter, just caring for ourselves (she came down with it, too) and talking about this and that.
Once we were over the virus, or at least somewhat in control of it, we set out to have the best weekend ever. On Friday night, she and her husband and I attended Lewis Black’s The Rant Is Due at the Warner Theater. He’s one of my favorite political comics; I enjoy his acerbic turn of phrase as well as his point of view. We had amazing seats, and got to observe his every tic.
We followed that up with a nice walk over to The Hamilton to listen to part of one of my favorite local DC bands, The Lloyd Dobler Effect. A good walk in the late night Spring-filled air to the Metro, a relaxing ride back sharing laughs. All the perfect Act I of the birthday weekend.
On Saturday, I went to see my friend and old neighbor in Silver Spring. I was kidnapping her for the rest of the weekend, but I wanted to have time to enjoy Spring in her wonderful backyard gardens. Another gift of the trip.
My little dogs were unruly pests, and her big golden lab greeted me with wiggles and waggles and took my whole forearm in her mouth while she whined and chortled and made it clear that she knew who I was and “Oh! Oh! Oh! I’m so happy to see you! I have so much to show you and tell you and, squirrel…”
We, my girlfriend and my daughter and I, then drove to Virginia to meet at the home of another friend for a girl’s night out and “slumber party”. We went to a wonderful restaurant and theater experience in Alexandria: Medieval Madness. The foods and drink (either ale or wine) are all authentic to the 14th-15th centuries, some of them still being made by the same monasteries (e.g. Ettal in Germany) according to the same recipes. The foods were delicious, the entertainment (including the serving wenches) enjoyable and not too cheesy, but cheesy is kind of the point.
We sat up late and talked, but all of us were pretty knackered and we had a big day planned for Sunday, so the only giggling and shrieking occurred when I dumped a full glass of cold soda water in my lap whilst trying to take a picture of my friend’s little black snowpuff of a dog in her motorcycle-mama goggles, etc.
On Sunday we had a wonderful champagne (mimosa!) brunch at Mrs. K’s Tollhouse in Silver Spring. The atmosphere and the food just cannot be beat there. They gave us a booth in the cellar, and we enjoyed ourselves to the fullest.
From there, we took in a play at Silver Spring Stage: Other Desert Cities. Very well done, as always. A good denouement to the weekend. It was followed by goodbyes and commitments to get back together when we can be in the same time zone.
Such a wonderful birthday party! I am so blessed to have good friends to see me through tough times and good times. Another gift in this bounty of gifts.
My best birthday present was yet to come. In a quiet conversation with my daughter, that night, I shared my longing to complete at least a part of the Camino de Santiago. To my complete surprise and delight, she jumped on it and said, “I’ll do it with you!” In the next 12 hours, her brother was in on it with us, and now we are all researching and planning and beginning the training for a long walk that will take place sometime in late spring next year.
On Tuesday morning, after the workers had gotten to work and that rain squall had passed through, I loaded up the dogs and the last of our gear and we headed back to Denver. During the 3-day drive back, we nearly froze to death in Ohio. I won’t travel without a space heater again!
The eastern portion of the Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me tour was THE BOMB! Tomorrow morning, I head out again on the southwestern leg. Check you later, gater!