Saturday, May 18, 2013

USA: Washington, DC

No sooner did I come home from Portugal on Tuesday night and I was off last night to Washington, DC with Sunita. She is doing her Six Sigma Black Belt certification. She invited me to go to Boston with her last Fall but I was already going to Peru and Galapagos Islands so I couldn't go. Then she invited me to go to New Jersey with her last month but I had just returned from Edmonton and was getting ready to go to Portugal so I declined. I said okay to DC but by yesterday I was wishing that I didn't agree to go because this cold is getting worse rather than better.

We are staying at the Hotel Monaco in Old Town Alexandria Virginia. This morning we got up early and had breakfast and went across the street to a farmer’s market. It was cold and drizzly (I thought I left that in the Azores but it looks like I didn’t). We wore our raincoats and took our umbrellas and decided that we weren’t going to let a bit of rain spoil our day. We walked down to the waterfront and it is quite pretty. We thought about taking a boat cruise from the Alexandria docks to Georgetown but it would take more than two hours and we didn't have that amount of time.


After some window shopping, real shopping and browsing for the perfect restaurant to eat, we found one that served Louisiana style gumbo and poboys and they were very yummy. We debated about the beignets and ordered them but they were a huge disappointment. Nothing can compare to those she and I had in New Orleans many years ago. That was a trip that still makes me smile to think about it. It was October and she and I were staying in at a Bed and Breakfast in the Garden District. We had an apartment at the back of the home and were we ever glad we did. It was so cold at nights and the room had no heat so we turned on the oven in the apartment to heat the room. It was nice and toasty in the mornings. Then we had these black women who were cooks at the home and they served us the hugest bowls of grits of which we could eat a few spoons before we had enough. Each time they would look at us and say “Honey chile, you need to eat some moe to put some flesh on dat bady.” We went down to the Café Du Monde each day and had our usual beignets and café au lait and listened to the street musicians. Yes, those are fond memories not to be re-created at a Virginia restaurant serving Louisiana “style” food.

Later that afternoon, I took the very efficient metro and was picked up by Simmone and Ramona who gave me a nice little bunch of roses. What lovely girls. We went off to Georgie’s and Janice’s home for our mini Cummings Lodge reunion. It was such a wonderful feeling to see friends, some of whom I have not seen in more than 40 years. I did not recognize Forbes but did with the others because over the last decade, I met most of them. Beatrice and Chead celebrated their 40th anniversary and since I was not at the wedding in 1972, I was honoured to be at the 40th anniversary celebrations. I am really glad that so many people made the effort to travel to get here for this reunion. It shows the depth of love and friendship that we have for each other. Janet and Dolly quickly went out to the store and got a cake so they could celebrate in style. Of course we took more than our share of pictures.



Pandit was either bored with our company or had something rather interesting on his phone that required his attention so much so that I was talking to him without an acknowledgement that he heard a word I said! 

My cousin Bayney and his wife Donna came a bit later – well quite late – just about the time everyone else was leaving. Georgie offered the use of his car to get around but I declined and was well prepared to use the metro to get back to the hotel in Alexandria but George and Janice’s friend Gabe (CL alumni) and his wife Malini graciously offered me a ride back to the hotel. It was a great evening all around. We promised each other that we would not wait for that much time to pass till we meet again.

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