Yesterday, a couple of my college friends from the University of Maryland came to DC for a visit. They currently reside in Delaware. They married each other as soon as they graduated and they now have two precious little girls, ages 8 and 10, to which I can only say, “OMG they are 8 and 10 already?!”
They wanted to bring the girls to DC to see some of the Smithsonian museums and visit with some of their friends, especially Miss Colleen whom they have not seen in about four years. It’s been so long that the girls do not even remember me, which is sad.
Liz & Steve contacted me last week and asked me if I knew of an inexpensive place to stay close to DC. They have family in Maryland, but they are in Baltimore, which is kind of far. I told them that my apartment building has a guest suite for $100 per night, which is cheaper than anything they will find hotel-wise considering DC is a high-priced market for hotels. To this they said, “Book ’em, Dano!”
They arrived late yesterday afternoon, which was perfect for me since I had to work yesterday. I pulled into my parking lot just as they were unloading the car. Liz was already inside. I pulled in next to Steve and the girls and hopped out of the car. Immediately, the youngest girl Sarah, testing my cool factor, asked, “Do you like Harry Potter?” Not hello. Not nice to meet you. “Do you like Harry Potter?”
To which I replied conspiratorially, “I do like Harry Potter! Do you like Harry Potter?”
“I love Harry Potter!” she replied. Having passed her rigorous examination of my taste in books, she then shared with me every facet of her love of said stories. All. Night. Long.
After getting them settled, I showed them my apartment, and both girls were very excited to see my four bookshelves filled with books, which they immediately scanned for proof of my interest in the great HP, while I changed into more casual clothes. Then we walked down to the village to find a good restaurant for dinner.
We went to a Chinese restaurant, which was wonderful. We talked for a good long time. It was nice. I haven’t seen Liz & Steve in forever. They are great fun. Then I mentioned a place the girls would just love. I mentioned Cake Love, which sells cupcakes and cake pops in addition to regular cakes. This is an awesome place. As soon as I said cupcakes, Ellie, their older daughter, turned and looked at me, her whole face lit up and said, “Cupcakes?!” Then she turned to parents and said, “Can we get cupcakes?” To which, they replied, “Thanks a lot, Colleen.” Hey, anytime, guys.
We took a good long walk through my neighborhood, stopping to get cupcakes of course. Cake Love is right by the Shirlington Library and the Signature Theatre. Liz, becoming increasingly jealous of my neighborhood turned to Steve and said, “A nice walkable neighborhood. A theatre. A library. A bike path. Wonderful restaurants. Honey sell your dental practice and let’s move here!”
Ellie, too excited for words, looked at me and said, “Can we go in the library?” I was astounded. Her level of exuberance was off the charts. One would have expected her to be saying, “Can we visit Hogwarts?” She was that excited. About the library.
Sarah chimed in with, “Yeah, let’s go to the library!”
“Your girls are book nerds!” I said to my friends. “Awesome!” Kindred spirits, all of them. Both are big readers and Liz is a former librarian, which explains the girls’ love of the library.
In the doorway of the library, they keep a stash of old books that the library is selling. Ellie holds up an encyclopedic style book and says, “Look mom! Pompeii!” I was cracking up. I remembered being obsessed with Pompeii, when I was just about her age. But don’t worry, she is still a kid with kid interests. She expressed the same level of excitement when she asked if she could borrow a book, “Look mom! Fairies!”
They bought a selection of book from the front. Sadly, no books were borrowed.
Now, my writer’s group meets on Wednesday, and this week, they were meeting at the Shirlington Library. If they saw me wandering around the library, I’m sure they were thinking, “WTF?” I did see them at the end of the meeting as I was watching the girls outside near the fountains while their parents picked up some food at the grocery store.
They also loved these yarn-bombs which are all over Shirlington.
Before that, however, we walked on the bike path for while and I gave them the grand tour of my neighborhood. There are rent-a-bike’s on the path, which they were also thrilled about. Then we walked back up the hill and played games for a bit.
I just love their girls. They are so funny. They talked nonstop from the moment I got out of my car until I went back to my apartment to sleep. I think I maybe understood 1/3 of what they said, but I loved every second of it. I cannot believe I have missed the last four years of their lives. I will not be making that mistake again. And it was great to see Liz & Steve, too.
I was so exhausted, I passed out cold at 1130pm. But I had a great time! We plan to meet for dinner tonight after my second writer’s group. I cannot wait!