Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The district sleeps alone tonight, part 1.

Last Tuesday afternoon, I ventured out to Queen Creek to teach a few piano lessons and then, I LEFT MY KIDS and their packed little suitcases with my mom. I drove home. Alone. With no kids.

It was weird.

Dill and I had a few errands to run before leaving the next day. I had forgotten how convenient it is to go places when you don't have kids. No buckling screaming banshees into car seats. No repeated strains of "Are we there yet?". No random escape attempts in the grocery stores, no tantrums, no impending bedtime to ruin the fun. As we traipsed around town in kidless bliss, I wondered why we didn't go more places before Bubby and Smush were born.

If you're reading this and you don't have kids, stop and make plans to go somewhere tonight. And tomorrow night. And the night after that. Just trust me.

Anyway, Wednesday morning came bright and early and we rode with Dill's parents to the airport. Our flight left around 8 a.m. and we were in the air for about 2 1/2 hours before we had a layover in Kansas City. Let me tell you: Kansas City has the most awful airport ever. It's tiny and run-down and there's only one bathroom beyond the security checkpoints. I'm not even kidding. I pretty much waited in a bathroom line during the whole layover and then it was time to hop back on the plane.

Another 2 1/2 hours passed and there we were, in good ol' Baltimore. The first thing I noticed was how HUMID it was. My hair immediately went flat and started curling up. I felt sticky. I am from the desert. I don't really know how to deal with humidity. I tried really hard not to cry when I saw my hair in the mirror. But on the flip side, humidity makes for some beautiful scenery. I couldn't get over how green it was. No brown in sight, anywhere. Trees, trees, trees. It was like another world.

After we secured our rental car, we picked up my sister-in-law Melanie and made our way to our "home" in Kensington. Since we were in town for a temple wedding ceremony, we were able to stay with a woman, Sister Hansen, who rents rooms out to temple patrons for $20 a night. That was pretty sweet, though I'm not gonna lie -- her home smelled strongly of old lady and she was slightly senile. But hey, $20 a night for a place to sleep? I'll take it. Plus it was only a mile from a metro station so that was an added bonus. And Sis. Hansen was pretty nice, though she was adamant we make our beds every day.

Once we got settled, we took the Metro Rail to downtown D.C. I had never been on a metro before. We got our tickets and went down to the tunnel. First thing I noticed: it smelled just like the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, only worse. Second thing: it was entirely freaky. You get down there, way under the ground, and there's this huge, dark, silent tunnel with tracks running down the middle. Then all the sudden, a train comes barreling noisily out of nowhere. I was completely unprepared for how the metro would be. I did get used to it eventually, but man, those first few times? Scary.

When we got downtown, we joined the bride and groom and the rest of the groom's family for dinner and dessert at Co Co. Sala. It's this super-swanky restaurant and bar and all the menu items, even entrees, have some special chocolate feature. It was unreal and delicious. Dill and I shared a delectable creamy artichoke tart and then we each got a dessert of our own. Mine was called A Sticky Situation, and it was basically a sticky pudding cake topped with whipped cream, toffee sauce and chocolate shavings, served with a side of ginger caramel ice cream. WOW. Dill got a chocolate crème brulee with marshmallows and graham cracker crumble on top. Another WOW. I tried to get a picture of our desserts but the lighting was low and they didn't turn out. Here's a picture of Melanie's dessert:

I mean, seriously.

Some of the crowd at Co Co. Sala.
After dessert, we were all stuffed and drunk on chocolate and good conversation, so we took the metro back home to catch some Z's.


  1. Ok, where you stayed and your description has me cracking up. I do appreciate a good deal so I would suffer through the strangeness and smells anyway :)

    That dinner sounds to die for!

  2. How fun to run errands without kids! Oh, and go on vacation, too.

  3. i'm going to take your advice and try to convince clint we need to travel somewhere exciting as soon as possible.

    i've been in the kansas city airport and can definitely agree with you.

    can't wait to see/hear more about your trip!


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