Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Impromptu weekend

Saturday we went to the Bethesda Strut Your Mutt dog show, but we were hungry for lunch first and so ate and relaxed (digesting is hard work for two small people), by which time everyone was packing up.  But we saw more than enough dogs, met a few, and nearly adopted one.

Then what to do?  As the afternoon was young we decided to check out the Greek Festival and all I will say about the one in DC is it cannot hold a candle to the one in Houston.  It's more like a street market than a festival - no printed guidebook with menus and schedules of shows, no dancing or live music.  Bah humbug!  Good thing we're planning on going to H-town in October!

It was a heavy afternoon so hot and sticky we walked a couple of blocks from the festival to the National Cathedral, where we sat on a bench under the trees to rest, cool down, watch children playing, birds catching worms, and the breeze rustling the leaves.  Then at Evensong time, 5pm, we went to the door only to find out from the chatty guide on the steps that the board was wrong and we'd missed it by an hour.  So now what?  

Jeff has an idea for everything.  Dinner in Old Town.  Old Town where?  Old Town Alexandria.  So we drive across the Potomac River from Georgetown into Old Town and go exploring.

We find free tours of an original creation - a Tall Ship, owned by an interesting commune.

(Somebody looks pleased as Punch in these photos, and I'm not referring to me.)

We found ourselves in a quaint old seafood establishment that had a big walk-in fireplace in the bar.  King Street in Old Town is full of 18th century terraces.  There's also a Queen Street, Duke Street, Princess Street.  I didn't see a Prince Street.  NYC seems to have stolen that one.  Next time I will take more pictures.  We both forgot our cameras though I had my trusty phonecam.

Anyway, I had calamari with the BEST, I mean, BEST, accompaniment EVER.  It was cilantro and sweet chili mayo, emphasis on the cilantro here, and in my opinion you can never have too much cilantro.  That's coriander leaf for my British readers.

I also had She Crab soup.  Not sure about why it's called that, but it's creamy and spicy and full of sherry so there's a warm bite of alcohol followed by a warm flush of spice which builds as you eat.


On Sunday J's mother was in town for a conference over the weekend, which she left early so that he could drive her up to Baltimore to see his nephew, who had been hospitalized earlier in the week but is now fine.  Baltimore is roughly a 45 min drive from here.  They knew he was on a schedule so he was in and out the door, and back in DC to pick me up and take me to Andrews Air Force Base for the Joint Services Open House and Air Show.

Sorry Flighty.  We got stuck in traffic owing to an accident, and by the time we were out the parking at the stadium was closed and the shuttle buses were finished and the air show was closed to further entry.

In driving around looking for a vantage point to park amongst the hundreds of other people lining the empty spaces with their cars and tailgate parties outside the event, we found ourselves turning into the AFB and down past the visitor's center to a checkpoint because we were unable to turn around.  So the guard took his driver's license and he drove round a U-turn to the exit, and his DL was returned by another guard) both carrying machine guns, and we were out.

By then I was starving with a cherry on top and fixing to faint, so he took me to Washingtonian Waterfront in Gaithersburg, where he fed me an excellent Mexican dinner of chile relleno (stuffed poblano chili - the spiciest I've had yet), and when I perked back up again we went to Target.  He bought an electric kettle so he can properly make tea, bought he can...make more tea...even though he already has tea.  And he bought me a vase for the next time he surprises me with flowers.

Then we went to his place, seasoned the kettle, made tea and more tea, two kinds, ate cookies and watched My Best Friend's Wedding until 11pm when I panicked since it was past his bedtime and we had work the next day.

I have not caught up with my sleep since then because my schedule is now pushed back too far...grrrr.

Teaser:  for the long Memorial Day weekend he has booked us a quaint holiday in Cape May, New Jersey.


Glo said...

How much fun are you having ?? ;) <3 I love reading your posts and following you two along on your's a tasty journey with just enough spice! I also liked the little sit down with you outside the church as you watched the world go by. Radian photos of you both, and it's easy to see that happiness is smiling from both!

Glo said...

That's supposed to say 'radiant' photos of you both...

Olivia said...

We like to sit and watch the world go by, but I am sure you've noticed that by now - happens every Sunday in Bethesda after a busy Saturday. We're adventurous introverts, which explains a lot.

Regarding the B&B in Cape May, after he booked it he called me at work to read the website description. "Livvy, there are board games in the parlor!"

So cute!

Christopher said...

Romance is in the air...oh how lovely it all is! I am so glad you are having fun!

The secret to Thai Iced tea is using jasmine tea, half and half and sugar! Yummy!

The Moody Minstrel said...

I dunno, m'lady; I'd say you BOTH look pleased as Punch, evidenced by the matching smiles! ;-)

Too bad about the air show, but I know you've always preferred quietly observing life going on around you to flashes and bangs, and it's good you have a partner to share that with now.

Flighty said...

I've always found tall ships really interesting and spectacular under sail.
Shame that you didn't get to the Andrews show which always has plenty of aircraft to look at. Next year...!
You sure had a varid and enjoyable weekend! xx

michelle G said...

ooh the holiday in Cape May sounds grand

and the Mutt show...I love dogs

Anonymous said...

v sweet. i am v jealous that you too get to eat out all the time. i love my food and find dining out quite expensive! is it cheaper over there?

Jo said...


Oh, and the Greek fest in H-town is the best ever. I have never had better street food.

You two are too cute. I hope this lasts a long time! You guys look so happy! :D

Anonymous said...

Oh wow! New pictures, yay! :)

That She Crab Soup sounds great! I love the photo of the boat mast. It makes me miss going down the the seaport.

steve on the slow train said...

I'm looking forward to the pictures from Cape May. Have a wonderful time!

Palm Springs Savant said...

I just love tall ships! I never tire from seeing them. Visually stimulating for me! I'm so pleased for you...things are going well, it would seem~

MattJ said...

Seriously, looks like you guys are having the funtimes!

I stand by the colonials on this one, Cilantro is the leaf, coriander the seed. I like that Coriander as a plant produces both a herb and a spice!

Hmmmm, you'll have to let me know where this Chili place is so I can go when I am over in January!

Um Naief said...

funny that you should mention electric kettle. while in california this last time, i looked and looked for them and couldn't find them anywhere. they're perfect for heating up water for baby bottles... so i'm glad to see that target is carrying them!

i'm now loving Green Tea with Jasmine by M&S. :)

all the food makes me hungry. the sauce for the calamari sounds yummy... and the spicy poblano pepper. yum!!

you both look really happy and comfortable with each other. it's nice to see. :)

Anonymous said...

The two of you always manage to find lovely fun things to do -- and photogenic things, too, like those really cool tall ships.

michelle G said...

hey liv, just noticed your fab photos on facebook

beginninghere said...

I want some of that Calamari.

It is plain that you are having a great time together and I am so glad to know it :) It is great to see your photos and read of the delicious things you eat only then I want some too.

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