The 37.5 Hour Easter Weekend

A whirlwind weekend. Good Friday should have been a day of rest, but instead, it was packed as I tried to fit in work around shopping and prepping for our weekend visit to Washington, D.C. to see Kate. Since we were hosting a Sunday brunch, we needed to be really well prepared to avoid a last minute shopping trip while down there. This involved a second trip to the supermarket in the rain while rushing to the Post Office to get the taxes in the mail so we don’t forget in the expected exhaustion of post-weekend reality. Once we thought we had it all together, Deb carefully assembled each element of the meal on the kitchen counter, checking it against the menu, surveying supplies and deeming us complete.

It wasn’t until 8 p.m. we collapsed with our dinner (which I had fortunately made the night before).

Saturday, we were up and out by 6:40 a.m., stopping to pick up fresh bagels and much needed coffee. Despite the horrible fog, we actually sailed south and got to D.C. in well under 5 hours with two stops.

We stayed at One Washington Circle Hotel, one of two owned by GWU, and Deb sweet-talked the desk clerk into upgrading us to one of the suites with a nice kitchen. The room was very spacious, with a dining table for six as well as complete kitchen set-up. We stuffed everything in the fridge, unpacked and took a deep breath.

Kate and her dance partner Mikey had just finished a practice so they joined us for lunch. Kate selected a Thai place which meant Robbie, the adventurous one, could finally try this cuisine. It was quite good food which pepped us right up, and best of all, he liked what he sampled.

We spent the afternoon walking from campus to the Mall where we checked out the recently opened World War II Memorial. It’s a very nice, tasteful addition to the memorials dotting the city. I took full advantage of our stroll to pay my respects at my favorite, the Lincoln Memorial – appropriate since it was the anniversary of his death. We delightedly watched a family of ducklings swim the in the reflecting pool and listened to several bagpipe bands rehearse.

Back to campus, we grabbed a cool snack and then relaxed back at the hotel, time necessary for Deb to assemble part of the brunch which needed to soak and chill together over night. We changed for dinner and then went to the Bistro where Kate waitresses. I wanted to check out where she’s spent some fine hours over the last two years and sample the fare. I was very impressed by the varied menu and inexpensive pricing. Of course, she knew everyone working so chatted a bit.

The evening was devoted to Easter Vigil mass. Father Bob in Fairfield had spent time in D.C. and based on the service Deb wanted, recommended a church near the Georgetown campus. The place was packed by 7:30 and we got what were probably the final four seats together. It was wall to wall people and a wee bit warm so Rob and I both fought off nodding to sleep. The two-and-a-half hour mass was also an opportunity for some three dozen people to be baptized, receive first communion or be confirmed – they came from all walks of life, all ages, shapes and sizes. Speaks well for the parish, I suppose.

Afterwards, we went to the Cheesecake Factory for dessert and finally collapsed back at the hotel.

Sunday, Deb woke up early and decided to take her camera and go for a walk back to the mall to grab some exercise and take pictures without so many people crowding the scene. She felt invigorated by the walk while Robbie and I woke a bit later. While Deb was out, I got stuff into the oven and we starting setting up for brunch. Just after noon, Kate and friends arrived. Initially, we were told all total, we’d have 10 people for brunch. By Saturday we had some friends vanish and by Sunday, Kate walked in with Mikey and Bernadette from across her hall. So, in typical Deb style, we had food for at least a dozen and we were only six.

Her baked recipes worked out well – there was a savory strata and a sweet strata, bagels, homemade chicken salad, cold cuts, fruit salad, green salad, and Easter eggs plus bowls of jelly beans and assorted sweets. Every one ate and talked and enjoyed the experience.

While Deb and I cleaned up and readied to check out, Robbie and Bernadette accompanied the ballroom dancers to their open rehearsal. The first hour, I gather is for prospective newcomers to come and learn with the real practice starting at 2. We got there after practice had begun and watched as Robbie quickly mastered the beginning steps, impressing his teachers.

By 2, we said our goodbyes and headed for the car and home. I dreaded the trip back, recalling our 7 and 8 hour excursions. We had hoped the timing was in our favor so we’d be burning miles while people had their Easter Dinners. Well, with three stops, and some volume, we returned home in five hours and fifty-eight minutes so we consider that a good trip. Within 20 minutes we had the car unpacked, everything put away, and was ready to have some late dinner and relax.

All in all, a successful trip which all four of us enjoyed. I’ll be repeating this experience in a mere four weeks when I head back to collect Kate and her belongings – what a concept.