Today was a banner day in the "make new friends" arena.
It started this morning, when I met up with Suzanne, who was down from the Big Apple to check out Virginia Theological Seminary. We ended up attending a service at The National Cathedral of Saint Peter & Saint Paul. Now I can cross "attend something at the National Cathedral" off my list of things I've wanted to do while I live in D.C. My favorite statue in the cathedral is a little sculpture of Eleanor Roosevelt in the narthax of the church. The organ music was just stunning! And, of course, the stain glass is always beautiful, especially when the sun hits it. (Suzanne, thanks for pointing out the constellation window. It was truly beautiful!)
Suzanne and I then did a whirlwind tour of D.C. and its prominent monuments... "On your right is the World War II Memorial with the Lincoln Memorial in the background... On your left is the Old Executive Office Building--the largest granite building in the world... Straight ahead is the Jefferson Memorial..." Well, you get the picture, I'm sure. It's too bad Suzanne wasn't here after sunset, because the best tour of the monuments, I think, is a night time tour when all the monuments are bathed in light. I love the Lincoln Memorial at night. There's just something so ethereal about it. But I digress...
After our little, wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am tour of the city, we then headed out to Shirlington where we met the Gunfighter for a bit of lunch at the Capital City Brewing Company. (Side bar: I forgot that Virginia is STILL behind the times in terms of banning smoking from bars and restaurants. I'd like to say it was barbeque we were smelling when we walked it, but it was cigarettes. Most unpleasant. Note to the Commonwealth of Virginia: Get with the programs, folks! Otherwise, I'm staying in the District for my dining experiences from now on.) And again, I digress...
We met the Gunfighter, who just turned out to be the most adorable guy. (Sorry, Gunfighter, but you really are.) You just want to pinch this guy's cheeks (and I'm talking about the ones on his face, mind you.) Talk about the nicest guy! We had a reasoned, enjoyable discussion about politics and religion and Canada. I really enjoyed meeting both him and Suzanne.
After that little fete, I hussled back to the city, dropped Suzanne at her car, showed her the way to Beltway, and toodled home. It started snowing like nobody's business, but then seemed to stop. I managed to pull together a batch of my raspberry pinot noir sauce (but not without first forgetting to pay closer attention to it and having it boil all over the stove top. Joy), then hopped in the car and was off to the Creole Princess' house for dinner with her and the "Robinator." Oh, and Jarue and Lucy--their two happy go-lucky, fun loving dogs.
On the way to Monica (aka Creole Princess) and Robby's, it snowed like the dickens. It was practically white out conditions on the Beltway. I almost turned around twice, but then it cleared up and by the time I hit the exit for their place, all was well. Monica made a lovely salmon that she placed on top of grilled asparagus and then nested in a bed of mixed greens, topped off with a mustard seed sauce. Divine, really! She served bread with truffle oil, as well as a lovely selection of cheeses and grapes and chocolate truffles, not to mention the dazzling raspberry-ginger frizzies we drank. (Monica: I must get that recipe!) We had a lovely dinner and enjoyed good conversations about so many things. Monica is a hoot and a fabulous hostess. If you ever get invited to her place, it's a treat, believe me! We're definitely getting together again. (And soon, hopefully.)
Meeting folks via the blogosphere has been reminiscent for me of the days when I was active on the LDS Grads* list and when I met folks as a result of my participation in that list. Eight of my dearest friends in the whole world were originally part of that list, lo these many years ago. I certainly hope folks like Suzanne and the Gunfighter and Creole Princess become good friends like that as the years progress. Today was, by far, one of the most enjoyable days, in terms of meeting new people, I've had since I moved back to D.C.
Thank you Suzanne, Bill, Monica, Robby, Jarau, and Lucy!
LDS Grads was an email list I was on years ago for--what else?--Mormons who were in graduate school. I met people from all over the country and the world on that list. Five of my eight friends who comprise the group in the links on the right known as "The Scary Feminists" I met as a result of LDS Grads. There's a story there, but I'm too tired to tell it tonight, so it'll have to wait for another blog and another day.