Rosie knew this wouldn’t turn out well. We started off our trip with a diner lunch right away. You know when you find one of those diners? And you weren’t expecting it, but it’s just so fabulous, and they have the best milkshakes and make really incredible muffins?
But we set off from there, some random New York State diner, our bellies full of American cheese, trying to be optimistic. Then there was the New Jersey turnpike. Here’s the traffic just at the gas station.
Morale dipping, we soldiered on. Got to Baltimore, where we met up with my old friend Liz and her nice boyfriend Nick, a painter in a leather jacket. They took us to a much better diner with toys glued to the walls.
Unfortunately, it was 10:00 by then. Even the chocolate milk couldn’t cheer Rosie up.
Then we settled in at Joey’s brother’s, where everyone ate a lot of pizza. I made dinner one night in my attempt to save the world in my own way, but not much was eaten, as there was a whole leftover pizza in the fridge which was the object of everyone’s desire.
We ventured to Shirlington, VA, a mixed use development a few minute’s away from Josh’s. This place is younger than Rose, but I was curious to see what people are building these days, and I was excited to visit Cakelove, a bakery started by a guy in an early mid-life crisis who realized that he only loves cake (I guess cakelove sounds better than lovecake). It looked like a chain, and I felt sad about it. Pretty cakes though.
The whole Shirlington thing just fascinated me. The concept of creating a place where people can live and work and shop without driving seems really great, but I felt like I was walking around in a little architectual model.
I grew more and more grumpy. Then we went into DC, and after much grumpy walking, I was saved by a little coffee shop with an even littler alley.
You know when you think you’ll never get out of a mood, and a moment just does it for you?
Then there was Ethiopian food.
There were a few more memorable-ish culinary experiences- a really good ice cream flavor called “libido” for no reason except so that an old fat Italian man could say “it tastes like the measure of your sexual desire” to me (not much at that moment, I can tell you), lunch at a Thai restaurant with my surprisingly political and hip cousin Jason, in which I tried to show him how hip, young and political I was, but really just succeeded in feeling like an old lame mom, a few good cups of coff
ee that I took way too much pleasure in.
And the final night we were there, my friend Liz came to take me away from the family. Liz has been my friend for a long long time.
And it was with Liz that I ate the best and maybe one of the only actually good things I had during this zany trip. It looked so good that I forgot to photograph it until I had eaten half of it.
It’s a poached pear salad with caramelized onions, sweet pecans, and goat cheese. It brought me happiness when I really needed it. I’m going to make it tomorrow and I’ll give you the details when I figure them out. It was a nice note on which to end a difficult voyage.
Except there was more. The Mexican bakery around the corner from Josh’s in which we met our friend Dave gave us a nice belly ache to end the trip. Fitting.
And that’s just about it. All I’m going to tell you at least. And really this whole story is here for my sister-in-law Leslie, who was missing due to the need for some R and R (and R). It would have been more fun with her there, mostly because she knows how to get a good laugh out of anything, no matter how dismal. But whoever else might be reading, I hope you enjoyed this little tour of Washington DC via my family drama. It’s going to be a while before you catch me back there again.