January 5, 2008

Week in review: December 8 – 16 in DC

Posted in Visitors at 8:46 pm by Lauren

I had a whirlwind week in DC, and I’m going to try to write a very short post about it. How interesting could it be to you to read my social calendar? So, here goes:

Saturday: I arrived at Ryan and Stephanie’s around 2 pm, and by 3 pm, I was out the door with Cate. We hit the Container Store for wrapping paper, and I was comforted by the familiar sight of Christmas commercialized. Welcome to America! There had to be at least 60 different patterns of wrapping paper. That night, I joined the CAL girls – Cate, Jill, Regina, Julie, and Sarah – to watch Love Actually, and I didn’t even cry this time.

Sunday: I spent the afternoon with the CAL girls again, this time doing our annual gift exchange. I got a box of Washington DC City Walks cards, so that I can continue with the city walks when I get back to the nation’s capital. I’ve really enjoyed the Paris City Walks. I was a little disappointed to see that most of the 50 Washington walks are centered around the monuments, and that there were few off the beaten trail. (No City Walk for the Franciscan Monastery in Brookland?)

Monday: Stephanie swung me past Best Buy so that I could pick up a new laptop (hooray!). That evening I went to the house to see my brother. I arrived early to go through the mail, and it took me over an hour. There were many exciting surprises, like a $75 bill from my dentist (I thought those were the cheapest cavities ever!) and a $100+ phone bill from our cut-off cell phones. Alan and I hung out for a while, and then I caught one of the last metros back to Arlington.

Tuesday: Steph, Katherine, and I went shopping at Tysons Corner, in what would be the first of three visits there during my stay in DC. (Oops.) Katie’s a very chill baby and did well at the mall. We played lots of peekaboo behind racks of clothes. (With her in the stroller, you can imagine that this meant Aunt Lauren was acting the fool.) On Tuesday evening, Stephanie and I cooked chicken pot pie from the cover of Cooking Light, and my parents-in-law came for dinner.

Wednesday: After a delightful visit to the French consulate in the morning (see two posts ago), I wandered down through Georgetown, stopping at Papersource for Christmas cards and Barnes & Noble for Paris guide books. I met Shari at her apartment around 1 pm, and we had lunch and found a Christmas present for her mom at Pentagon City mall. She dropped me off in front of Catherine S.’s office that evening, and the two of us headed out to Tyson’s Corner. Astonishingly, neither of us bought a thing. (That’s a lie. I bought three pairs of socks. But our normal shopping habits include me returning laden with huge bags and Catherine carrying hardly anything – and Allen rolling his eyes at the inevitable sight.) I returned home that night to do some heavy barfing.

Thursday: I was a bit weak in the knees after the barfing flu, but I rallied and went to see Michael Clayton with Shari. Then Rebecca picked me up, brought me to her hotel for an hour of sleep while we waited for Chris to arrive from Fredericksburg, and we ate at Mike’s American Grill in Springfield. I did my best. I always do when it comes to food.

Friday: On Friday morning, we made it official: my niece Katie associates the word “cock” with her Aunt Lauren. Katie is trying, very impressively for a 14 month old, to say the word “clock.” That consonant cluster is just too much for her. (I’m impressed by the initial and final consonants being so well enunciated. Go baby!) But Aunt Lauren (that’s me!) has a fancy, sparkly watch that fascinates babies. Katherine really likes it. In the morning, when Steph, Katie, and I went to the Botanical Gardens, Katie said “cock” while I was putting her back in her car seat. She didn’t utter it again until I got back from spending the afternoon with Cate. Stephanie and I had a pretty good laugh because we had invented a stupid name for me: Tata Lala. Tata is how French kiddies say tante, which is aunt, and Lala because she obviously can’t say Lauren – so we joked about how awful it would be if Katie called me Tata Lala, and she decides I get the label “cock” instead. Clever girl.

Friday afternoon, I went to Cate’s for lunch with her and Regina (who really didn’t want to go back to work after that), and then Cate and I spent the afternoon stitching. That evening Stephanie, Katherine, and I met Ryan and Aunt Patricia at Tallula for dinner. Besides having an extensive list of wines you can order by the glass (I enjoyed a pinot gris, at Ryan’s recommendation), Tallula has a menu of amuse-bouches that make a delicious meal. (We each chose 4-5 to eat. I had a Risotto Fritter, BBQ Pork Pupusa, Liptaur on Crostini, Venison Meat Pie, and Crab Pot Sticker. I didn’t order the Steak Tartare but did taste Ryan’s, and I think it may have been the best thing on the menu.)

Saturday: The weekend brought a trip to drop off some cross stitch pieces for framing. Later, Cate and I came back to Steph and Ryan’s to babysit Katherine, but rather than going out, Steph and Ryan baked cookies.

Sunday: I left for Connecticut to visit my grandmother and the rest of my mother’s family. I stayed Grandma (and my Uncle Scott lives upstairs) until Friday, December 21. Grandma had just had back surgery, so we all mostly just had family time, having dinners together, running a few errands during the day, and just hanging out. My cousin Colleen came one night with her boyfriend, and another day my Aunt Camille and my cousin Hailey came to Greenwich to have lunch with us. Then it was back to DC on the 21st, and back to France on the 22nd.

So much for short!

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1 Comment »

  1. Cate said,

    A whirlwind, indeed! It was so great to see you! I haven’t been to the Franciscan Monastery since I was like 14, but I thought it totally rocked–it remains one of the most memorable of my ‘tourist’ trips in DC! Your mention of it puts it back in mind and makes me think it’s time to go again. 🙂


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