Husband and I set off on a little adventure last weekend–nothing earth shattering, but a sweet 36 hours away from home. Above all, it is good to see family. The heartbreak of the past few months has made this even more precious to us.
Just being able to say hello in person, give a hug, laugh together, and, at times, cry together, is a balm. After our loss last fall, even DC, a mere 3.5 hours from us, seems too far away. The little ones, all 5 and under, are beautiful reminders of the hope and life that is yet to come. And quiet “adult” time is a solace.
Husband’s sister and brother-in-law are delightful people, generous to a fault, and beyond supportive. Together, we spent a treasured evening sharing tapas and paella at Jaleo, a restaurant by Jose Andres–a real treat for my food-loving Husband. I even got to try some foods I’d never had before and it was all amazing (especially the Endibias Con Queso De Cabra Y Naranjas, if you’re ever there, try it–seriously).
We were spoiled to have a gas fireplace in the basement/guest room where we stayed…true, it wasn’t wood-burning, which is what I’ve been craving. But it was warm and the flames deliciously orange. Oh, how I’ve missed the calming solace of a good warm fire…someday we’ll have our own fireplace, someday.
On Sunday, we intended to have a leisurely day with Husband’s other DC sister, but as the day went on we got more and more inspired. We first went to Great Falls Park and hiked along the top ridge of Mather Gorge. Great Falls is a little strange…only a few minutes outside of Alexandria and within a stone’s throw of Washington DC, and yet it feels like the middle of Montana…
The views of the gorge are just incredible, almost hard to believe this is the same Potomac River that runs so placidly to the Chesapeake Bay.
After a nice hike in the chilly but incredibly sunny great outdoors, we headed inside for Pho (Vietnamese soup…although I actually ended up getting lemongrass beef with vermicelli, yum!). From there we headed over to this great hole-in-the-wall Asian store where we bought beef jerky, dried mango and Thai iced tea. I would definitely recommend anyone going to the Great Falls area check out Eden Center and explore some of these wonderful Asian restaurants and shops.
From there we headed into DC to meet my brother near his apartment in China Town. We visited over coffee and chai at Busboys and Poets. It was a pretty happening place, with a good menu, lots of fair trade items available, and books for sale. And the apple pie was delicious! The only drawback had to be the loud music, it made our conversation a little hard to hear. In spite of that, though, we got to talk–just talk, for the first time in a long, long time.
I saw my brother back in December for the first time in over a year, did I tell you then that he lives a mere 3.5 hours from me? So, so sad that I haven’t gotten to see him much. But we made it happen, and that makes me happy.
He’s slaving away at law school, busier than ever. I’m so proud of him, and loved getting to hear him talk about what he’s doing and what he hopes to do in the future. It’s so good to be able to support someone’s dreams, to believe in them. And I do. I believe he can do anything. I guess that’s one of the benefits of being the little sister–you believe your big bros are larger than life.
In all, aside from a mild case of food poisoning (first time in my life) and a few closed bridge-tunnels on our way home (do you know how hard it can be to get to Va Beach when both the HRBT and the Monitor-Merrimac are closed? We had to take the James River Bridge…talk about taking the long way home), it was a great little getaway.
Now, if I can just get some laundry done…