Wednesday, March 17, 2010

West Virginia, Mountain Mama (and DC, and Delaware)

Sorry DC and Delaware -- I was forced to include you as a parenthetical reference...not because you're not awesome, but because you just don't have an awesome song about you.

If you can believe it, we actually experienced a beautiful day today complete with sunshine, warm temperatures, and no precipitation frozen or otherwise. This is a pretty big deal since Zach and I manage to bring snow, sleet, sub-freezing temperatures and gale force winds wherever we go (sorry New Jersey). Perhaps the curse is over!

When we last left you, we were enjoying an amazing dinner at the Campbells' home in Sutton, West Virginia. If there are three things I can share with you about West Virginia they would be the following:

Boy. The Campbells sure know how to spoil your stomachs. I mean really. They. Know. How. To. Eat. We went to bed, full of fried chicken and pork loin and macaroni and cheese, West Virginia slaw, and mashed potatoes -- then we'd wake up to the smell of homemade biscuits and gravy waiting on the stove for us. Yes, this is for real, folks. Finally we had to leave because let's face it -- we don't have any self control when it comes to delicious food nor do we have the metabolism of hummingbirds with which God has blessed the entire Campbell clan. A big shout out to Jan and Nan for cooking such amazing food and sending us off with yummy goodies, to Madison for playing Monopoly in such a cunning way that even Zach decided not to cheat, and to Phil for sleeping on a cot in the office so we'd have a room and a bed.

J.L., our host and my best friend's dad, is the Mayor. Staying with the Mayor is pretty dang cool. We were fortunate enough to witness the good Mayor in his natural habitat -- listening to citizen concerns and attending to city business. We also got to experience something that few of you will ever experience. A Mayoral tour of his city. Everywhere we went folks would wave and shout greetings...BECAUSE WE WERE WITH THE MAYOR. Yes. That's right. Lastly, the cool thing about staying with the Mayor is that you don't have to follow any stupid rules. If anyone asked us why were littering or leaving our dog poo on the sidewalk or tagging local city property with giant, stylized P's and Z's and E's, we just let them know, "Suck it. We're with the Mayor."*

West Virginia is beautiful. On our way in we stopped at the New River Gorge and on our way out we took a moment to enjoy Seneca Rocks -- which was breathtaking even through the misting gray weather. I think Zach suffered a bout of mild depression at passing such a perfect rock with no hopes of climbing.

All good things must come to an end and so too it was for our West Virginia adventure. Zach wiped his tears and we headed out to Washington, D.C.

Our D.C. visit was short, but awesome. Our first night in town we met up with Dara, Eric, Lisa and Maggie, some of my friends from graduate school and from my prior stints in D.C. We spent the night chatting over beers and catching up at Maggie's new home. It is always remarkable to me how when you're with your closest friends, it doesn't matter how much time has passed, you just pick up right where you left off.

Saturday was gloomy and rainy, so we met Maggie for a movie in the afternoon and then went out for drinks at The Gibson.

Maggie had promised that it was well worth the wait, and she was definitely right. I might just start trying random, unmarked doors on the street more often in hopes that on the other side lies an intimate, tasty cocktail just waiting for me.

Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday we spent time welcoming Jenni's new baby, exploring the city on foot, and hitting the museums (Portrait Gallery and National Gallery of Art were awesome, Natural History made me not want to have kids for the next umpteen years, and unfortunately, the Corcoran is never open when we want to go). Big ups to Mags for sending us off properly -- first with an exciting game of Settlers and second with a delicious lunch from Founding Fathers. Yum.

Tuesday night we tried sleeping in our car for the first time. That would have been more fun if Emma hadn't rolled in something dead before snuggling with us in the back of the ole Matrix, but never fear, she ran on the beach today and got her salt water rinse as well as a real bath (the lady at Wash N Wag told Zach he looked really nice in the pink apron he chose to wear while bathing her).

Tonight we're bedding down in Newark, DE. Zach's friend, Dave, that he met while studying abroad in Costa Rica and Nicaragua hooked us up with the best hostess in the state (and maybe the East Coast), his mom. A big thanks to Ann Sylvester who agreed to have two strangers and a dog stay with her sight unseen and to Dave for hooking us up with such a sweet deal.

Tomorrow we head to Philly and then Friday to NYC! We'll post pictures soon of our travels thus far, though they may be the last for a while. The Canon's gotta be sent in for repairs -- it has a defective shutter. Thank goodness for warranties!

*No littering, or dog poo leaving, or tagging occurred on this trip. But that's what I would have said if it had.**
**I probably wouldn't have said that, even it had happened, which it didn't.


  1. Sounds like fun is being had by all. Better you two than me sleeping in the car with Emma. Love you two! Stay safe!

  2. it's because the Corcoran know's it's worth it. one does not visit the Corcoran. One plans one's entire trip to DC around the Corcoran.