Monday, December 01, 2003

DC Comics

I promised to tell you more about the DC trip so here goes...

Knowing that Shelly was going to be nervous and stressed about the interview (she always gets that way about interviews), I took it upon myself to make the weekend a little more relaxing. A few days before we left, I contacted the concierge at the hotel. I arranged to have some flowers and a cheese tray delivered to the hotel room when we arrived. (I will not shock you with the cost of this gesture) Since we arrived a couple of hours before check-in, but the room was ready anyway, the goodies were not waiting for us upon arrival.

We took some time to get settled and stop "flying" and decided to go down to the restaurant to get something to eat - that's where I had the Krabby Patty. Just before we were ready to leave, Shelly noticed the message light on the phone blinking. I called down - the flowers were here so I had them sent up.

Once the flowers arrived, I told her about the plan and the cheese tray. She was appreciative but hungry so we headed downstairs. As we got to the dining level, I realized I had forgotten something in the room and went back up. I met the man from room service and had him put the cheese tray in the room for our later consumption.

After lunch we decided to hop the Metro and go to the Pentagon City shopping center. After more than a week, I can't for the life of me recall what was significant enough about our trip to the shopping center that it bears mention... perhaps I'll recall later. At any rate, we did some souvenir shopping (including purchasing a White House Christmas ornament) and a little Christmas shopping and managed to waste a couple of hours.

On our way back to the hotel, I was extremely exhausted. Those of you that know Shelly know that she does not walk very fast. I often find myself having to slow my pace so I don't leave her behind. I sometimes forget myself and end up turning to make a comment to a complete stranger that has appeared in my shadow but I usually make up for it by sticking with her while whatever group we are with forges ahead. I tell you that to illustrate just how exhausted I was. As we left the metro and walked back to the hotel part of the corridor had a slight slope to it. The slope required enough effort on my part to overcome that I nearly had to ask Shelly to slow down and wait for me. Needless to say, I took a nap when we got back to the room.

When I awoke, I joined my wife on the sofa for cheese, strawberries and grapes. We each sampled a couple of the cheeses - many of which we could not identify - and came to a realization... we had no crackers. I made a call and room service was kind enough to bring some up.

Once we had the crackers, we dug in. There was a sliced, yellow cheese that I think was Colby. There was also a sliced white cheese that I think may have been mozarella, although the flavor was a little sharper than what I think of when I think of Mozarella. There was a small wheel of what we're pretty sure was a sharp white cheddar. There were chunks of a semi-soft white cheese that had some sort of thin seedlike spice in it - it had a pungent flavor but was nonetheless good. There was also a cream cheese that tasted wonderful with the grapes and a wedge of some soft cheese-like substance that tasted like feet. I only tried one bite of that last one - that was enough.

Once we'd had our fill of cheese I was thinking of going back to sleep but was extremely restless. Near the coffee maker was a packet of camomille tea. If you're feeling restless camomille is a wonderful way to relax. I chilled out and watched some TV.

By 8pm, we were both hungry again and in want of some real food. There was a food court in the underground mall accessible from the hotel. I volunteered to go down and grab us some sandwiches or a couple of burgers.

That particular section of the mall is about 1/4 to 1/2 a mile from the hotel. I took the elevator to the basement and walked all the way to where the food court was but everything was closed for the night. Now, I realize this is the downtown section of a major metropolitan area but who closes a mall at 6pm? I mean, really! Oh, well, it was good exercise.

I went back to the room and told Shelly the good news. She at least wanted a cup of hot chocolate so I headed to the bar/lounge/whatever where they serve Starbuck's coffee. Let me tell you, six pumps of chocolate syrup mixed with freshly steamed milk makes one HELL of a cup of hot chocolate! I decided to check on the possibility of getting something from the restaurant "to go" but ran into the soup Nazi. Actually, the gentleman was quite friendly but explained that the only way to get a to go order was through room service - which charges a 19% service charge plus a $2 delivery charge... a couple of hot sandwiches would have cost us $50.

At any rate, we thoroughly enjoyed our hot chocolate and made an early night of it.

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