The month of May we were delighted to have many visitors. First Yas from Japan, then a lazy day of picnics and wine in the countryside with Clifton, who’s working for the amazing NGO Wholesome Wave up in Connecticut. And also a chance to catch up with fellow CDT thru-hiker, Stretch, who we hadn’t seen since hiking in Wyoming back in July.
Nat, Stretch, Buddy & Dan
But we saved the best for last – Dan’s sis, Nat, visited Memorial Day weekend. We had a brilliant time with her… Sticking our noses in wine at posh vineyards, strolling round the cobblestone streets of Waterford, mingling with huge leather-clad Harley riders in DC during Rolling Thunder, enjoying sushi and chili mango ice lollies at Lake Anne. But irregardless of what we were doing, everything was better with Nat. Even just biking round town and running errands was great. And she put up with the heat wave that struck like a champ (we were also saved by the opening of the pools).
Dan, Fala, Buddy & Nat
Nat’s charming and at ease whether she’s at a five star hotel in Cannes (yes, a few weeks back, and no, not on her dime) or being interrogated while dumpster diving at night (yes, no, yes of course, delicious). Buddy loved her immediately and it was so great chat chat chatting about EVERYTHING! We’re going to have to get strategic with operation bring Pizzos west.
And to step #1 was to go see the brilliant Peeps dioramas at the Artisphere. Nothing says “US of A” quite like neon-colored sugar-coated marshmellows in the shape of bunnies. Especially when they’re riding broken escalators on the metro!
In the end of April, we were thrilled to enjoy a visit from M&P. We guzzled bubble tea at Pho 75, chatted round the chimnea, drank local wines, were dazzled by the blooming red bud and dogwood and then hit the wilds of West Virginia.
You don’t get much wilder than that hair!
We stayed at a charming farmhouse in Lost City, WV with a red tin roof complete with a clawfoot tub in a sunny turquoise bathroom and lots of classic kitchy 1950s decor (like the stuffed squirel bookends and paint by numbers cowboy paintings in our bedroom). We enjoyed a lazy rainy day munching on (high fiber) muffins and doing a ridiculous cow puzzle.
The next day we hiked above the clouds in the rain, but later the sun shone till our skin flushed pink. In the evening we sang our hearts out at the Karaoke night at the local bar. It was country and western until we broke out with some Beyonce and Black Eyed Peas. But there was also a surprising & delightful middle-aged gay contingent from DC amidsts the local mullets and perms!
Then we were off again – Dan navigated our “fire truck” on some crazy dirt roads to the Big Scholss region on the West Virginia/Virgina border. There we left our wheels behind and introduced M&P to wilderness backpacking! They loved it… other than a thunderstorm when we headed out, we had AHHMAAZING weather and Buddy was in good form after Pete performed a mini-operation on him (he’d basically just broken a nail, but the poor dog was limping for days until Pete came to his rescue!).
After a night round the campfire and plenty of s’mores we woke up the next morning and summitted Big Schloss. John Denver’s Country Roads played on loop during most of car ride home. In the 4 days we’d been away our backyard had gone from a tiny bursts of lime to a lush jungle of emerald, jade and malachite. But soon it was time for M&P to return to the other side of the pond again….. and once they’d left, the pond seemed as large as a great ocean.
I just read Robert E. Simmon’s Reston Master Plan from 1962. It’s fascinating…. overall Reston has turned out according to many of his plans… no cemetery or riding stables, but lovely paths, open areas and recreational opportunities. Bob pushed for woods rather than “useless front lawns” which still holds true… to a degree. Sadly, rather than the bustling paths and walkways he envisioned, it’s often traffic-filled streets. Good thing traffic isn’t a problem when you’re biking!
With the Silver Line metro headed to Reston in just a few years, more changes are on their way fast, so now’s the time for those of us who live, work or play in Reston to get involved. And to start with, Reston Residents make sure to vote in the Reston Association Board of Directors election – ballots will be mailed March 7th and candidate statements are available here.
So Lake Anne and Portofino, have a few slight differences…. but with new Greek and Thai restaurants and a new cupcake joint, Lake Anne is pretty sweet.