Sunday, May 10, 2009

A couple of weekends

Oh no!  We have catching up to do!

Last Saturday, I got flowers for no reason...and was speechless for once.

Last weekend was full of rain, but before it all hit we managed to spend some time at Dumbarton Oaks Museum and Garden in Georgetown.

The museum is a Harvard research library filled with Byzantine and ancient artifacts, a stately mansion which used to belong to a family who founded the gardens.  If you've ever read The Secret Garden, it's a magical like that, only not wild and not a secret.

My photos came out quite fuzzy because I didn't realize my camera was stuck between Auto and Scenery, so obviously didn't know what to compensate for.  However, here are some of the best, and a couple from Jeff's camera.

From J's camera - on the Juliet balcony overlooking one of the garden levels

An interior gate between two small gardens

The pebble fountain and wisteria

J and the spewing horse

The back of the library museum

White wisteria?

An urn garden

Pretty, but no public access area.

The rain started as soon as we left the garden!

I don't recall where we had dinner after that, but it was somewhere around Dupont Circle.  Afterwards we went to our favorite haunt the 18th Street Lounge, and oh boy do I have a story, which I already shared on Facebook so for some of you this will be a repeat but for most of you it will be new and "excessively diverting", to somewhat quote Jane Austen.  


The 18th Street Lounge jazz floor is usually host to a sophisticated and level-headed crowd, unlike the young clubber types on the trance floor downstairs.

We managed to snag a sofa that was vacated not long after we arrived, but before the band set up. Jeff went to get the second round of drinks so there was me, a little space, my bag, and the next sofa. Some tall dude came and plopped himself down in Jeff's spot. I tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Excuse me, somebody is sitting here." He looked at me like I was lying, asked if he could sit there until my drinks did arrive, and proceeded to introduce himself, "Hi, I'm Bob." He sounded Irish. He put out his hand and I gave him a fingertip handshake, as almost a reflex of politeness. 

He said, "Aren't you drinking?" I said, "I'm waiting for my drink." He said, "Are you here with your girlfriend or boyfriend?" I said, "My boyfriend." He said, "Just checking." Then he said, "Thanks for saving me a seat." I said, "This is not your seat." He looked shocked. By now I'm desperately thinking to myself, "Jeff, where are you...?"

He then proceeded to ask, "Are you in school?" I said, "No." He then asked, "What do you do for work?" I said, "None of your business." And proceeded to shoo him away, like you do with garden critters. And with audacity he proceeded to touch one of my shooing hands. I shooed again with more vigor and when I spotted Jeff approaching very nearly shouted at him to buzz off. He did leave and when Jeff sat down a moment later I told him my story and thought I could point out my "admirer", but he had simply disappeared.

As for Jeff, he too had a story. He said that a guy had bought us our drinks! There was some mix up with the queue so the guy who was mistakenly placed ahead of Jeff was kind enough to order in such a way that the bartender told Jeff that, by the way, the drinks were already paid for. 

Quite an odd evening at the 18th Street Lounge, if you ask me.

The following evening when retelling the story to Jeff's law school friend at dinner, when I was describing how "Bob" had taken hold of my shooing hand (I think I'd forgotten that part when first telling it), Jeff said with surprised cuteness, "He took your hand??? Nobody touches my Olivia...!"


This past Thursday we joined 4 of his friends to see the opening of the Star Trek movie.  It was excellent!  I know prequels usually have a bad reputation but this one was perfect, probably not least because it had J J Abrams at the helm, he who created Fringe.  It was a great mix of drama, romance, action, and comedy without losing balance.

That is all I will say, since it's so new yet.

J and I ordered one medium popcorn and medium drink to share, and unsurprisingly, despite working hard at it, we didn't even finish quarter.  Next time, we should order small and perhaps get half of it finished ;)

We enjoy what we eat or drink but can't always finish, and waitstaff are continually surprised.

After the movie, we all went to a brewery restaurant which was alive and kicking at 10pm on a Thursday night.  I don't know how.  J didn't drop me off at home until past 12.30 - this was very wild of us, and I paid the next day by having waking dreams in front of my computer.


We decided to have a relaxing weekend, so there are no adventures to recount.  We ran errands, ate lunch at Cici's Pizza (my first time there since leaving Texas!) scoured the stores for a game of Scrabble, and bought ingredients for baking.

We used my nice kitchen to bake Magic Cookie Bars, had a cup of tea, then left them to cool while we went up to Bethesda for a light dinner at an Indian restaurant.  I had the most intriguing tamarind margarita.  Didn't get a buzz off it, but it was an exciting blend of tart and spice with a latent burn in the throat, like an authentic cup of masala chai would give.  And the papri chat starter will probably haunt me this week, I liked it that much.

As is our wont, we shared the starter and the entree (tandoori shrimp with naan), so as to leave room for dessert.  While we were eating outdoors, a jazz band down the street caught our attention so we ambled down there to check them out.  They were playing on the raised patio outside the Haagen-Dasz place so customers and passersby were sitting and standing around, expressing their appreciation with generous tips.  The amount of stray quality bands on street corners in this area is amazing!  These boys were very white, kinda preppy, kinda geeky, and college-age, but that was some of the best jazz I've ever heard.

Dessert consisted of magic cookie bars with tea.  We played Scrabble.  He won by a long shot.  We're both good with words but I'm a better speller and he's a better strategist.  Girl vs Boy.

Today was an even quieter day, the usual Sunday tradition of hanging out in Bethesda watching people, children and dogs - and today it was quite a show because of Mother's Day.  
We were defeated by our brunch - buttermilk pancakes, eggs, sausages, bacon - but had room later on for one scoop each of Haagen-Dasz ice cream.

Tomorrow I see him again because he's taking me to the mall to pick up my shoes at the cobbler, and we'll have dinner at California Pizza Kitchen.


Allison said...

that garden looks amazing! I'll have to add it to my list of things to see when we get to DC!

Selba said...

California Pizza kitchen? Yummmm... count me in? hehehe...

The Moody Minstrel said...

That garden is definitely dream fodder! To be honest, the one fuzzy picture I noticed actually looked kind of cool that way - interesting effect. It added some additional emotional impact.

The story of your "suitor" still makes me shake my head.

Hey, I recall Jeff saying that he hoped you two could bake cookies together. I guess it's another realized (waking?) dream!

I'm with Selba. The name "California Pizza Kitchen" definitely woke up some languishing taste buds (though I had to restrain my seasoned Oregonian instincts...).

Carol said...

what fun and a great mix of adventure and laidback time. Kevin wins nearly every time at scrabble, but we have fun. we finally learned to give ourselves more tiles, a variation on the game...SO much more fun

Jo said...

Wow, Livvy! You're seeing a LOT of Mr. Jeff these days! ;)

I love the story about the lounge! What an odd night, indeed! The shoo-ey got grabby. Ha! Sounds like he couldn't take a hint, but I loved that you waved your hand at him as if you were hustling a chicken back to the coop!

Guyana-Gyal said...

Sounds like you got yourself an extra admirer!

The garden makes me think of my nanee's garden, the way my mother describes it. She had little money but loads of imagination and a love for beauty.

This post rings of happiness.

Flighty said...

It's good to see you enjoying your weekends now that you're working all week! xx

michelle G said...

I love the gardens and what a story.

J is so cute

Anonymous said...

The gardens look amazing O! Everything is so quaint, and delicate looking. :)

That Tamarind margarita sounds like a go! I wonder if they make it in the city, someplace. I'm so glad, that you and Jeffare having a wonderful time. Keep us all posted, on the next adventure! ^-^

Glo said...

Great catching up with you, Liv ~ a most interesting post ~ sounds like you are happily busy and having fun. Lovely to see the purple and white wisteria out...yes, there are both kinds. We have them here, but they won't be blooming for awhile yet. That fragrance in the garden must have been sweet:) I can just picture you on that sofa... what a crazy night, eh? Makes for a good story, though ;)

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beginninghere said...

what an enjoyable post Liv. sure would like to visit that garden myself! your adventures and happenings are very entertaining :)

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